South Texas winters don’t always introduce extreme temperature changes. Nonetheless, we all keep an eye out to prepare for drastic cold fronts, and so do annoying bugs and pests. Some pests go into hibernation during cooler months, so winter is commonly considered natural pest control. However, many winter pests in Texas find shelter with us in our food-stocked, warm homes.
Below are descriptions of the most common winter pests and signs of their presence in your home, even if you have not actually seen the critters.
If you notice any of these common pests in your home or suspect an infestation, contact Apple Pest Control right away! Serving Bexar County and the surrounding areas since 1984, you can depend on us to fix your pest problems. We’ll make your home comfy again this winter, so you can cozy up by the fire at with ease.
Mice and Rats
As temperatures lower with the arrival of winter, you won’t be the only one seeking shelter in your home from the cold weather. Mice and rats also seek shelter indoors to find lodging and food when possible. They can make their way inside by finding a dime-sized hole, or larger, and quickly make themselves at home.
Signs you may have new, rodent roommates are:
- Rips, tears and bite marks on food containers, wood furnishings and wires (fire hazard!)
- Evidence of nesting
Mice are fairly small – 12-20 centimeters in length, including their long, hairy tails. They can be white, brown or grey in color and have large, floppy ears.
Rats typically have a larger, stocky gray/brown body. Their tails are shorter than their body and hairless, appearing scaly. Additionally, their eyes and ears are small for their body size. They are also usually dirty enough to leave greasy marks anywhere they have been.
Some Texas termite populations decrease in winter, but most survive thanks to the warmth of the building they inhabit. Disturbingly, termite damage may go unnoticed until they have eaten completely through your walls.
Termites look very similar to flying ants. Unlike flying ants, termites have straight antennae and a thick-waisted body segment. Their body is usually black or tan-colored, with wings that match in size and color.
Signs of termites in your home:
- Small holes or mud tunnels in drywall
- Damage anywhere with bare wood (attic, crawl space, basement)
- Bubbling or staining on the ceiling (it will look like water damage)
- Small, brownish tubes dangling from your ceiling (drop tubes)
One of the trickiest pests to remove once infested, adult bed bugs can survive more than one year without feeding. This makes them perfectly equipped for life during winter months. These blood-feeding insects often choose to feed on people but may opt for household pets and even small mice.
Bed bugs are wingless and rust-colored. Barely visible to the naked eye, they are the size of a lemon seed and clear if they have not recently eaten, and turn bright red after feeding.
Signs of bed bugs in your home:
- You wake up with bumps, welts and red spots on your skin
- If seen, they move fast and congregate in groups while hiding
- Found in bedrooms, on couches and any area where people and animals sleep or spend a lot of time
If you suspect bed bugs in your home, contact us immediately for treatment. They are immune to many pesticides and very difficult to remove from your home, even if you remove the infested furniture.
Excellent at hiding and reproducing, cockroaches find their way into your home in many ways. They can hitch a ride on something brought in from outside (like wood for a cozy fire), or squeeze in through any gap they can find. This includes damaged or missing window and door screens, chimneys and other gaps or cracks in your home’s exterior structure. They live in walls, behind cabinets and appliances, cracks and other crevices. They prefer to reproduce in warm areas. They often come out at night to find food, contaminating our own food and water sources in the process.
If you see roaches in your home and suspect an infestation, contact us as soon as possible. These resilient bugs acclimate very quickly and are very hardy. Studies show they have an extreme ability to evolve. This makes them resistant to many insecticide baits and sprays and one of the most abundant winter pests.
Contact Apple Pest Control
It is important to address pest problems as soon as you suspect them to prevent long-term, expensive damage. For massive invasions, or if you just want some peace of mind, call Apple Pest Control! Together we will form a plan to make your Texas winter home a place of relaxation again. We will inspect your house, recognize any pest or insect presence and fulfill your winter pest control needs to reclaim your home!