The cold winter months turn bugs in to master home invaders. We put together a guide to all the ways these pests may creep in to your homes.
It’s getting cold outside, which means bugs are trying to get inside. Your house is warm and dry – everything that they can’t find outside.
If you already have noticed bugs inside, a professional pest control service like Environmental Pest Management can ensure the bugs are taken care of and make sure they don’t find their way back.
So, how do bugs get into your house? And what do you do once they have found their way into your home? Here at Environmental Pest Management, we’ve developed some helpful hints to keep bugs outside or to get them back out if they are already in your home.
What Bugs To Look For?
While many bugs live in the area, the most common bugs people deal with in winter are Indian Meal Moths and Carpet Beetles. Both of these bugs are annoying, but leave different signs of their presence.
Indian Meal Moths are commonly found in kitchens and pantries. These moths feed on grain and cereal products. They love to hang out in pantries more than any other bugs found on stored food. Indian Meal Moths cause most of the food industry’s pest problems.
Carpet Beetles, on the other hand, prefer to eat food that is animal-based, such as materials like silk and leather. They also commonly eat wool, fur, and hair. Because of their food preferences, they like carpets, furniture, pillows, blankets, and clothing. Typically, Carpet Beetles are not attracted to synthetic materials, unless there is oil, food, or sweat on them.
Carpet Beetles can survive inside or outside. But females prefer to lay their eggs where there is easy access to a food source. These nests are commonly inside.
Both Indian Meal Moths and Carpet Beetles can enter homes through open doors or windows. They can also be carried in unintentionally with plants, packages, or groceries.
Also Read: Proven Ways to Treat a Centipede Infestation
Where to Look for Bugs
Because Indian Meal Moths prefer to eat grains typically stored in cabinets or pantries, that is the first place to look for them. You will see webs near their food source. However, their nests will be in a more remote area. More importantly, they are nocturnal, meaning you will only see them at night. They fly in a zig-zag motion. They are tiny with a wingspan of only a quarter-inch.
Carpet Beetles are exceptionally hard to notice because of where and how they like to feed. Both mature and immature beetles prefer to eat in the dark, in areas that go undisturbed for more extended periods, such as under furniture or in the back of closets. Often, it is hard to identify a population until it has grown large and become difficult to eradicate.
How to Winterize Your Home
The first step to preventing bugs from entering your home this winter is to seal all the openings bugs might use. Any opening a pest sees whether it is a crack, crevice, or opening so small you think it won’t matter, can be an opportunity for a critter to crawl inside your home.
Examine doors and windows first. Check them carefully and replace weatherstripping that might have degraded over the year. Adjust doors and windows until there is a tight fit.
Find each location where utility lines enter your house, whether gas, water, phone, or others. Ensure there are no holes or gaps at these points. Any holes in these areas will undoubtedly attract pests because of the warmth that will be escaping. A good can of spray foam insulation or a caulking gun with waterproof caulk will be your friend.
Next, check for cracks in your ceilings. Flying bugs aren’t the only pests that can get in through the roof. Rodents and crawling bugs have been known to climb the wall to find a way to a warm spot. Either turn off the lights and look for light coming through a crack or light a candle and look for where the smoke is drafting. Use high-quality caulk, or other durable material, to seal these cracks.
You can purchase screens for your chimney or wood stove from local hardware stores. Look for a sturdy screen that will not be easily bitten through. Pests love to use these large openings for entry into a warm, winter paradise.
Take steps to ensure there are no good habitats for pests near your home. Store firewood a safe distance from your house, preferably 20 feet. Clear away all piles of rocks, shrubbery, or debris near your home. You don’t want anything that could be a decent shelter for rodents or bugs close to your home.
Keeping your kitchen clean is a must to keep bugs out. If pests have easy access to food, they will do whatever they can to get inside. Keep your counters, stove, fridge, and floor clear of spilled food and crumbs. In particular, keep your drain clean by pouring a bleach solution down the drain every week. Keep food in well-sealed packaging and off the floor.
Excess moisture is also a draw for pests to enter your home. Ensure that areas like your attic, basement, or garage have no leaking pipes and no gaps where moisture can enter. Consider investing in TAP Insulation, a thermal, acoustical, pest control product made of recycled paper that helps keep your home pest-free.
What to do if You Find Bugs?
If you have found bugs or other pests into your house already, don’t fear! Environmental Pest Management is here to help. We have the experience you need at the prices you want. Our friendly staff wants to solve your pest problems in a safe way that lasts.
At Environmental Pest Management, we will safely remove bugs from your home in an environmentally safe and wallet-friendly way. We will locate and identify the bugs, find out how they got into your home and then safely remove them. You won’t have to see another Indian Meal Moth or Carpet Beetle this winter!