Although bug activity often slows down during the colder months, indoor pest problems can persist even in the heart of winter.

Pest control specialists – not to mention the unlucky homeowners who suffer from infestations – are very familiar with the usual cycle. Long, hot, dry summers cause an explosion in the number of rats, mice, possums, and other pests. And as soon as winter sets in, these pests seek shelter, food, and warmth in our houses.

Fortunately, you don’t have to put up with these invasions. Here are some of the most common winter pests, and how to effectively deal with them:

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Mice and Rats

Rodent populations are especially prone to skyrocket over hot summers, and they love nothing more than to hide in your house during winter. You can help reduce their overall neighbourhood population by setting traps in your backyard. Prevent them getting into your house by sealing gaps larger than 1.5cm (for rats) or 0.5cm (for mice). Keep rubbish bags in sealed bins, both inside and outside the house. If the rodents have already established themselves indoors, you can fight the good fight with traps and bait.

Cockroaches

As Shakespeare put it, “filths savour but themselves”. This couldn’t be more true of cockroaches, which are filthy insects that thrive in filthy environments. The best way to keep them at bay is by keeping your house as clean as possible. Deal with dirty dishes, vacuum regularly, and don’t neglect hard-to-reach nooks and crannies (like that annoying gap between the fridge and the oven). Cockroaches love moisture, so ensure that any puddles or leaks are mopped up.

Fleas

Because fleas actually bite humans, they’re a particularly nasty home invader. If you have pets, the best way to prevent an infestation is by asking your vet to provide anti-flea treatment. Most flea problems are caused by pets bringing fleas into the house after catching them from other animals. If you’re already suffering from a dreaded flea infestation, the easiest and quickest solution is to enlist the help of a pest control specialist.

Moths

As most people know from experience, moths live off the fabric of clothes and furniture. The best way to keep them under control is to use moth balls in any vulnerable areas, such as wardrobes.

Possums

Possums are considered pests in New Zealand, and most specialists agree that it’s better to kill them than to simply trap them and set them free. You can avoid possum issues in your backyard by making your property less appealing to them, such as by setting up motion-activated sprinklers near the spots where they tend to congregate (e.g. fruit trees). Keep outdoor rubbish bins sealed, and ensure that there are no other readily available food sources.

Spiders

Spiders prey on other insects – so one of the best strategies for dealing with them is by reducing the number of these other insects. Keep your house tidy, vacuum regularly, and sweep up any spider webs you notice. Try to keep outdoor lights off, as these attract the very insects which the spiders love to feed on.

If you’d like a comprehensive pest control solution, we’re always happy to chat. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, as they say, and our specialists are adept at preventing pests from infiltrating your home. Contact us today to hear more about what we do.

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