Winter Pest Threats
It’s easy to assume that pests can only be a problem during the spring and summer when conditions favour breeding and sources of food. However, it’s important to remember that pests can be a problem all through the year, and with changes to climate and the increase in warm and secure housing, it’s not unusual to encounter a pest issue in the middle of winter. In particular, rodents will hibernate during the winter months and easy access to your property provides them with the ideal place to see out the cold months. Rodents can be found in attic spaces, garages, sheds, wall cavities or cupboards.
Let’s take a look at the most common cold-weather pests in the UK:
Mice And Rats
The most common rodent in the UK and the most likely culprit for an infestation in your property, these furry pests will enter your homes or properties during winter in search of warmth and shelter, as well as easy access to food sources. Both species can be very destructive due to their habit of gnawing on various things to control the growth of their teeth – damage to walls, pipes, brickwork, cables and more is very common when dealing with mice and rats. They have even been known to cause electrical fires and flooding thanks to their destructive habits.
In addition, they both easily and quickly spread diseases and parasites throughout your property due to their movement and waste habits. As prolifically quick breeders, their numbers can quickly spiral out of control if not dealt with early.
Cute they may be, but make no mistake – grey squirrels are a rodent pest and can be just as destructive as mice and rats as they too will gnaw on materials. Most commonly found in attic and roof spaces, they can also be aggressive if approached. It is currently an offence to capture and release grey squirrels in the UK and they must be humanely put down if they ar causing a problem. While this may sound cruel, please remember that they are technically a pest, and releasing grey squirrels into the wild will often result in them being attacked and killed by squirrels already resident in the area as they are fiercely territorial. If you are lucky enough to find a rare red squirrel in your property, it is very important to note that this species is protected by law in the UK and must not be killed or have their shelter destroyed. In this situation, you will need to contact a professional control expert and the RSPCA.
Flies & Cockroaches
Reasonably uncommon in the winter, you can still encounter these insect pests if conditions are right and food is plentiful. With the change in weather recently and the warmer later months, the risk of a fly or cockroach problem during winter is increasing. For service industry or food
preparation businesses and properties, these infestations can have major consequences to both income and reputation.
Wasps & Hornets
Again, these are not typically found during the winter months but you may encounter a solitary Queen as she prepares to wait out the cold and build her new nest. Understanding their behaviour and breeding habits is important to prevent the chance of dealing with a full-blown nest come spring and summer. You may think that a nest has suddenly appeared overnight, however the truth is that an industrious Queen has been working all through autumn and winter to create the nest from chewed up wood pulp and her first batch of eggs are already securely inside and about to hatch.
Dealing With Winter Pests:
The easiest treatment is prevention – stopping pests from accessing your property is the easiest and most efficient way to prevent an infestation. It's important to check your property for any cracks, gaps or other access points that could be exploited, and to deal with any such points immediately.
Proper storage of foodstuffs and waste management practices are also important to prevent pests from being attracted to your property. Secure cupboards, food bins and boxes, and waste bins are
easy ways to prevent your property from resembling an all-you-can-eat buffet for pests.
If you have any concerns about pest prevention during the winter, or have discovered a pest problem on your property, contact us here at Protec Pest Control via our website www.protecpestcontrol.co.uk or via telephone on 0161 448 1782. We cover the entire Manchester and Stockport areas and will be more than happy to provide you with fast, efficient and cost-effective treatments and advice.