Winter Pest Control

winter pest control, winter forest

If you are an Albertan who thinks pests are a summer problem, think again! Although we don’t see many bugs thanks to our cold winters, winter pest control is necessary. Having an action plan for winter pests is just as important. This article will outline three common winter pests found in Alberta. We will outline helpful prevention methods and when you should consider calling a professional.

Common Pests In Winter

First, let’s talk about common winter pests. Below are some common pests found in Alberta during the winter. Being able to identify each pest will help you solve your pest control problem faster. 

Cockroaches

Cockroaches prefer warmer temperatures over the cold. So, when the temperature drops, this pest will nestle into your home. Cockroaches are reddish-brown or light brown and can fly. You can find them in dark, damp places around the house. 

 

One way to identify if you have a cockroach infestation is the smell. Cockroaches transfer an acrid odour on everything they touch. If you have asthma, this pest can trigger that too. Cockroaches like sugary foods, which means you might find them around your kitchen. Check under the sink, behind the fridge, or in your cupboards if you suspect you have a cockroach problem. 

Spiders

Like cockroaches, spiders seek dark and damp places as well. Garages, basements, or corners of rooms are great places for spiders to build their webs. Sometimes it may be an odd spider here or there, and removing them can solve the issue. However, if you see a new spider or web every day, do not ignore it. This is one sign you have an infestation. Calgary is home to several different spider species. Check out this complete guide for more on spiders. 

winter pests, spiders

Carpenter Ant

The third most common winter pest is the carpenter ant. Carpenter ants are red or black and able to fly. This pest will enter through windows, holes in foundations or on firewood you bring inside. The most significant problem carpenter ants cause is destroying moist wood. This can ruin the structural integrity of your home. 

 

They do this when building their nests and can be found in roofs, windowsills, or porch pillars. If left unchecked, this can also cause structural damage to your home. One way to see if you have an infestation is if you find small piles of sawdust around these areas. While carpenter ants don’t eat the wood they destroy, they will look for sweet foods inside your home. The easiest winter pest control is removing food sources for the pests. 

Prevention

These four simple prevention methods are easy ways to keep winter pests away. 

Remove Food Sources

The warmth of your home and supply of food attracts many bugs. Keeping food tightly sealed and put away is an easy way to keep them at bay. If you have a compost bin inside, be sure to regularly empty it or even keep it outside altogether. 

winter pest prevention at home

Remove Rotting Wood

Wet and damp places are popular among pests. Wood exposed to rain and snow will rot over time and make it easier for pests to enter. As mentioned earlier, carpenter ants, for example, are attracted to the exposed wood. Because many winter pests are looking for warm shelter, they won’t want to leave once they get in. Sealing points of entry and removing rotting wood will stop them from entering your home. 

Reduce Moisture

During the wintertime, it can be harder to keep areas of your home well ventilated. Nobody wants to be opening all the windows when it’s below zero outside. Using a dehumidifier to reduce moisture is another way to prevent pests who like damp places. Fixing any plumbing issues like leaky faucets should also help with prevention. You can also use a fan to keep the area well ventilated. 

Cleaning

Disinfecting high touch areas in your home, such as countertops, is essential. Many pests carry diseases that can make you sick. Cockroaches, for example, can contaminate food with bacteria that can cause food poisoning. 

 

To sum it up, regular cleaning is a great way to help freshen up your home and also prevent pests. We recommend deep cleaning areas that normally get overlooked, like the basement or inside cupboards. 

When To Call Pest Control Services

Even with prevention, sometimes winter pest control is necessary. If you find the problem early, at home pesticide options can help. However, looking through shelves and shelves of insect-killing sprays and traps can be a stressful task. Which one is good? What will work for my problem? Is this spray safe for my family?

If you are unsure, calling a pest control professional is the best course of action. Depending on how bad the infestation is, eradication can take time. Most importantly, do not leave the problem until the spring. Professionals know which methods will work best for each unique situation.

 

Have a pest problem that needs dealing with? At Martin’s Pest Control, our professional Calgary exterminators are Alberta licensed to offer exceptional service. With a Calgary and Airdrie location, we are ready to help you! Contact us today to request a free quote. 

How Is Pest Control Helpful

pest control helpful

Halloween features pictures of creepy crawlies entering homes and businesses. Well, there is actual creepy crawlies that do try to enter your home when October temperatures drop. Sometimes it is hard to know what to do about them.

That is where a professional pest control company like Martin’s Pest Control can help homeowners. We are familiar with the pests that are native to the area and what their habits are. We know where to locate them in the home, and understand the proper chemicals and methods of eliminating the pests.

In the Calgary area, there are some insects that homeowners commonly find invading their homes or businesses in fall. Some are beneficial, some don’t do much harm, and some will cause problems. Below is a look at common insects that make their way into a home and why you should have them removed.

Ladybugs & Common Insects

Ladybugs often hibernate under leaf cover outside for the winter, or they are attracted to the light and warmth of homes and make their way inside. They excrete a pheromone that signals their friends to stop by, too. Ladybugs are great predators of aphids. If you have just a few, catch them in a jar and put them back outside. Asian ladybugs have been making their way across Canada, and they can be more of a concern as they can bite, so precaution should be taken when catching them, or call a professional pest control expert to deal with the problem.

Boxelder bugs that collect around maple and elder trees can make their way under siding for the winter, and on warm days you might find them active on the south side of your homes. They sometimes make their way into homes through cracks and light sockets. They are black and red but with a long oval body and wings.

It is not recommended to kill them in the walls as they attract beetles that feed on their carcasses. If they get in the house, vacuum them out and dispose of the vacuum bag outside. They are not harmful, but if they are in the house, you may want to call an exterminator to consult what to do.

Flies, The Nuisance Of Every Home

Flies are a pest that enters homes in the fall, as well. They leave spots on walls, mirrors, windows, and their loud buzzing can keep you awake. Flies are attracted to the lights and are generally a nuisance. Furthermore, they carry disease, so they should be eliminated as soon as possible. They lay eggs in warm moist areas and can lay up to 500 eggs that hatch in 12-24 hours. When temperatures are colder, they become sluggish, and a fly swatter can usually kill small numbers. Large infestations should be dealt with by a professional pest control company, who will have the correct pesticides and methods to eliminate them. Rural areas often have large populations of flies that can invade barns, animal shelters, and garages.

There are other types of flies like fruit flies and fungus gnats that feed on organic matter. They also can be challenging to remove from home environments. Keeping foodstuffs in containers and cooking soil before repotting indoor plants can be helpful. Put about a 2lb of soil in a plastic bag in the microwave. Heat on high for two to five minutes; take the soil bag out of the microwave, seal the bag, and let it completely cool before repotting plants.

Spiders

Some people think spiders come in from the cold in the fall; however, arachnologists say they are probably brought into houses or are on the move because October is prime mating season for spiders. They eliminate many pests and are good for the environment. Some people leave them inside, to do that near the doorway and in basement shadows. However, there is a chance they can get into clothes and bedding. Their bites can be severe, so catching them and putting them outside is a better idea. Though they aren’t really found in the Calgary area, wolf spiders and black widow spiders do have poisonous bites. If you think you’ve seen one in your home, have an expert identify and catch then for you.

Bees & Wasps

Wasp Control Tips

Some homeowners have found that bees and wasps winter in their attics and between walls. Colin Butler of CBC news reported on Ontario homeowners that had 100,000 bees in their home this September.

With bee populations decreasing, relocation of the bees is important, and beekeepers and pest control professionals can help address those problems. Less frequently, wasps nest in homes, and professionals should deal with removal. Both will sting if disturbed. There are 800 types of bees in Canada, and some are mistaken for wasps. By consulting a licensed pest control company, homeowners can be sure of the proper removal procedures and safety precautions to clear their homes of bees and wasps.

How do these insects get into your home?

Some insects are attracted to house lights and fly through open windows or doors; others enter through vents, cracks, or holes in siding. They can also get in under doors with no weather strips. Homeowners can deter them by sealing holes where they could enter, apply good weather-stripping around doors and windows and calking window, door jambs and baseboards.

How to deter insects from coming in during the fall?

Check firewood, stored boxes and plants brought in from the garden for pests. Submerging a plant in water for several minutes, then allowing the water to drain through, can help eliminate pests from potted plants.

If you have a pest you want to get rid of, give Martin’s Pest Control a call. We can assess your home, find the likely entrance point, and take steps to keep pests out of your house.