Winter is not generally seen as a time to worry about pests. Most things slow down in the colder months and quite often hibernate. However many seek out warmth and shelter and this means they often come into our homes.
Flies and Cockroaches
In the UK spiders are no threat to humans but many people really do not like them and kill them on site. This is a shame because spiders are a natural form of pest control for many of the insects that invade your home. Flies and cockroaches would normally find somewhere sheltered and wait out the winter. With our homes being so much warmer than anything found naturally they come inside and flourish. Transmitting many infectious diseases and being generally dirty these guests are very unwelcome indeed. If you spot any signs of an infestation or the insects themselves, you’d better seek professional assistance instead of dealing with the problem on your own.
As the insects and spiders come in to our homes so the rodents will surely follow. While very cute in the pet shop, mice can, and given the opportunity will, very quickly multiply. With enough food supply mice can have a litter once a month. Pretty soon you have a problem on a biblical scale. Mice don’t have great table manners and do their toilet as they are eating. As you would imagine this is not particularly good for us.
They chew holes in woodwork, make nests in your cavities and pretty soon drive you nuts. On a more serious note they can also eat through wiring, shorting out your electricity supply and possibly start a fire. There are many humane traps available for catching mice. But you do need to think where you are going to release them. If you do it too close to your house they will come straight back in, and be very wary of future capture. Poison and lethal traps are of course a more effective way of dealing with mice, but if they are not handled carefully you might harm yourself. If you have a severe mice problem in your property, always rely on the services of a professional mice exterminator.
It has been said that there is a rat within 6 feet of any human, with estimates of 60 million in the UK currently. That’s one rat per person. There are two species of rat found in Britain, the Black Rat and the slightly larger Brown Rat and like mice both rapidly increase in number given the right circumstances. They are also dirty eaters and carry a lot of infectious diseases.
Weil’s disease is most commonly associated with rats and is particularly debilitating. Some patients being ill for several months and very weak for some time after. Salmonella, Tuberculosis, Cryptosporidiosis and E.coli can all be linked to rats, spread via urine and faeces. If you have a rat problem it is highly recommended that you call a professional rat controller. Rats will avoid contact with humans but are aggressive when cornered and a bite from a rat can have serious repercussions for your health. It is just not worth running the risk.
Wasps and Hornets
Although not strictly seen as winter pests queen wasps and hornets come into our homes to hibernate as it gets colder. Come the spring time they will build a new nest to start the next generation. If they have found a good spot in your loft for instance, with access outside, you will soon have a colony. It is important to inspect your soffits and roof vents for damage to prevent them entering.