With states as far south as Florida experiencing uncharacteristic cold weather, many hold out hope that a blustery winter means less pests come springtime, the National Pest Management Association(NPMA) warns that this unfortunately is not the case.
The truth is that bugs don’t just simply die off when winter rolls around. In fact, cold weather can actually be beneficial in keeping certain species alive.
Here’s a look at five pests and how they’ve evolved to withstand whatever Mother Nature may throw at them this winter.
Mosquitoes: While adult mosquitoes will not survive, their eggs will. Larvae enter a state of diapause, suspending their development during the winter and ensuing their buzzing and biting come spring.
Ticks: Ticks burrow deep under leaf litter which acts as an insulator once snow falls, protecting them from the elements until spring arrives.
Ants: Ants are able to physically lower their body temperature, and work to seal up their colonies to hunker down in deep soil or under rocks until spring.
Termites: These wood-destroying insects move deep into the soil below the frost line to stay warm.
Rodents: Mice and rats can fit through openings the size of a dime and quarter respectively. They look for these small openings around the home to find shelter from the elements and access to food.
There are several other pests that are forced to move indoors when the temperature drops in order to survive like cluster flies, stink bugs and Asian lady beetles.
For those ready to brave the cold, the National Pest Management Association recommends these essential winter pest-proofing tips:
- Trim back trees to prevent access to the underside of the roof overhang.
- Declutter the basement, attic and any utility rooms to remove harborage sites for rodents.
- Examine the fascia board along the roofline, replacing any areas of rotted wood.
- Repair loose mortar and replace worn weatherstripping around all windows and doors.
- Store food in sealed containers and keep crumbs off the floor.
- Seal any and all cracks or gaps on the home exterior with a silicone-based caulk and plug holes under cabinets to utility lines with steel wool.
- Store firewood at least 20 feet from the home, not only off the ground but also covered. Brush wood off before bringing it indoors.
- Hire a professional to clean, inspect the flue and install a cap over the chimney.Call a licensed pest control professional to inspect and help shore up the home against pests.
For more information, visit PestWorld.org.