As winter returns to the Charleston area, many pests will go into hibernation. While most pests will hibernate under logs or underground, some will find their way into your home looking for warmth and food. Take a look at these common winter pests and how to prevent them from using your house as a winter retreat.
The most common pest that sneaks its way into our homes in the winter is the mouse. House mice love to build nests in areas like basements, attics, and crawlspaces. It may look small and cute but this pest can cost you a lot of money in damages from eating through drywall to chewing through wires that could start a fire. House mice are also known to spread diseases and parasites like Salmonella and tapeworms.
Tips on Preventing Mice
Mice are small and their bodies can fit through openings much smaller. Seal any cracks or holes on the exterior of your house. A mouse can squeeze through an opening the size of a dime. Store boxes off the floor and keep food stored and sealed in airtight containers. Keep a lookout for signs of mice including chew marks, piles of seeds, and droppings.
Also known as the brown rat, Norway rats enjoy making their homes in basements and other debris. Although they have fairly poor vision, their other senses, including smell, hearing, touch, and taste are sharp. Norway rats are capable of jumping, climbing, and swimming. These large rodents can cause a lot of damage through gnawing. Norway rats are also known to spread many diseases like jaundice, rat-bite fever, and cowpox virus.
Tips on Preventing Rats
Norway rats can fit through an opening as small as ½ inch (or the size of a quarter). Inspect the outside of the home for any gaps or crack and fill them with silicone caulk.
Eliminate sources of moisture in crawl spaces and basements.
Regularly inspect inside the home for signs of an infestation, including greasy rub marks caused by the rat’s oily fur.
Cockroaches are found almost everywhere in the world and they can certainly find their way into your home this winter. Cockroaches like to live in close proximity to food and moisture.
Cockroaches can contaminate food and spread bacteria and diseases.
Tips on Preventing Cockroaches
Make sure to clean your counters and floors regularly. Vacuum carpets frequently and take out kitchen garbage cans. Do not leave dirty dishes in the sink too long.
Brown Recluse Spiders
Brown recluse spiders are shy but deadly spiders that can be identified by the violin-shaped marking on their abdomen. During the day they are usually hidden and only come out at night in search of food. Brown recluse spiders like to spin their webs in places with little human activity like attics and basements. They are not aggressive but will bite if they feel threatened. The bite of a brown recluse is very painful. Its venom has the ability to kill skin cells in the affected area.
Tips on Preventing Brown Recluse Spiders
Trim trees and shrubs away from your home to prevent spiders from using them like bridges. Store clothes and shoes inside plastic storage containers.
Call the Professionals
Don’t wait for your pest problem to get bigger than you can handle. Call in the professionals at Coastal Turf.
We also provide a wide range of lawn care services to boost your curb appeal and give you a dazzling yard to show off to your friends and family.