Where Do Pests Go in the Winter?

Rodent in the snow-United Pest Solutions, serving Seattle WA talks about where pests go in the winter.

Rodent in the snow-United Pest Solutions, serving Seattle WA talks about where pests go in the winter.As temperatures drop and weather conditions become harsher, wildlife goes into survival mode. Some animals migrate, some hibernate, and others have unique traits that allow them to endure months of cold.

But, where do all the pests go during winter? Though it may seem like they simply die off, many insects actually have survival tactics that allow them to withstand freezing conditions. Here are what some common pests do during winter.

Ants

Ants are incredibly common during the summer, but it’s rare to see them once winter rolls in. That’s because ants use a special survival tactic called diapause, which is very similar to hibernation. During diapause, the ant’s body fills with a substance called glycerol that keeps them from freezing.

Ants prepare for diapause over the summer by eating in a surplus to gain fat, which allows them to survive when food is scarce. Then, as the cold sets in, the ants will begin to slow down and gradually become less productive. When temperatures are low enough, the ants will close off the colony and remain underground until warmer weather arrives.

Bed Bugs

Bed bugs are a common household pest that are incredibly resilient. Even the cold of winter isn’t enough to cause these pests to go into survival mode, because their bodies can withstand temperatures below 32 degrees Fahrenheit for a few days before dying.

Since bed bugs are so hardy, they are pretty much a year-round problem. Freezing temperatures aren’t enough to keep these pests away, and our homes make the perfect environment for them to thrive no matter the season.

Cockroaches

Cockroaches are known for their incredible ability to survive even the harshest of conditions. However, these pests are typically drawn to warmer climates with more humidity. Many types of cockroaches – such as the German cockroach or the American cockroach – will migrate to warmer spots when winter sets in.

Unfortunately, as cockroaches search for a warmer place to stay, they may end up inside homes, offices, or industrial buildings. Homes are more susceptible to a cockroach infestation over the winter, as they often provide the perfect mixture of warmth and moisture for these pests to flourish.

Fleas

Fleas are known for piggybacking on your pets, causing an itchy or painful reaction for anyone who’s bitten. While the cold weather certainly slows these pests down, fleas can still be an issue during the winter – especially if they can hitch a ride into your home.

Fleas thrive in warmer areas with a little bit of humidity. Around 75 degrees Fahrenheit is ideal for them, which makes your house the perfect spot for them when winter rolls around. Continuing to treat your pets and watch for these pests can help keep your home flea-free, no matter the season.

Mosquitoes

As bothersome as mosquitoes can be during the summer, they seem to disappear as soon as winter comes around. During the colder months, many mosquitoes do actually die off. So, how do they come back year after year?

Right before everything freezes over, female mosquitoes lay their eggs in still bodies of water. The eggs only need about half an inch of water to survive, and they are hardy enough to endure harsh winter weather. So, even though mosquitoes aren’t a bother during winter, they always make preparations to come back in the spring.

Pest Control During the Winter

Since so many pests seek a warm and cozy home for winter, it’s still important to keep your eye out for an infestation even when it’s cold out. If you’re struggling with pests during the winter, a local pest control company like United Pest Solutions may be able to help! From thorough inspections to quick extermination, our experts have been serving the Seattle metropolitan and Puget Sound area since 1960. Give us a call to keep your home pest-free, without the hassle!

Pests that Trigger Allergy Symptoms

Woman sneezing inside home. United Pest Solutions, serving Seattle WA talks about the pests that trigger allergy symptoms.

Woman sneezing inside home. United Pest Solutions, serving Seattle WA talks about the pests that trigger allergy symptoms.With the temperatures getting warmer and flowers starting to bloom, many people will start to experience the symptoms of seasonal allergies. But what if pollen isn’t the only cause of your sinus problems? Many people don’t know that common household pests such as cockroaches and rodents can also trigger allergy symptoms.

With May being National Asthma and Allergy Awareness Month, we at United Pest Solutions are sharing the pests that can cause allergies and what you can do to help prevent an infestation.

Cockroaches

Everyone knows cockroaches are disgusting and can spread diseases and bacteria, but few know they can trigger allergy symptoms. Cockroach droppings, shedded skin, saliva, and other body parts from cockroaches contain proteins that can cause allergic reactions and worsen asthma symptoms, especially in older adults and children. Symptoms may include congestion, coughing, ear infections, and rashes.

Rodents

Like cockroaches, mice and rats are also known to be nasty critters. They can spread diseases and viruses, including salmonellosis, hantavirus, and rat-bite fever. Rodents can also trigger allergy and asthma symptoms through their saliva, skin, urine, and dander–which can get into the air as these pests scurry around.

Top Pest Prevention Tips

Exposure to cockroaches and rodents can be dangerous. But because both of these pests are nocturnal, most homeowners don’t even know they have an infestation. We recommend the following tips for protecting your home against pests that trigger allergy and asthma symptoms.

  • Seal cracks and crevices around your home, paying attention to areas where utilities and pipes enter
  • Seal holes in screen doors and windows
  • Store food in airtight containers
  • Regularly throw out trash
  • Clean up crumbs and spills immediately
  • Eliminate areas of standing water

Are Pests Causing Your Allergies?

If you’re concerned about pest-related allergies in your Seattle area home, turn to United Pest Solutions to schedule an inspection from our experienced pest control team. We’ve been serving the greater Seattle area for more than 60 years. We treat pest problems and help prevent them from returning using safe and environmentally-friendly solutions.

Common Fall Pests in the Pacific Northwest

Rodent inside of home. United Pest Solutions, serving Seattle WA and Kirkland WA talks about common fall pests in the Pacific Northwest.

Fall in the Pacific Northwest is absolutely gorgeous. Trees are packed with vibrant colors and lawns are still green, but while you’re admiring all this beautiful change, many pests are looking for a warm safe place to call home.

In this article, we’ll talk about the most common pests you’re likely to encounter this fall.

Rodent outside. United Pest Solutions serving Seattle WA talks about common fall pests in the Pacific Northwest. Rodents

Rodents are one of the most common pests we see in the fall. Mice and rats will invade homes looking for a reliable source of food and warm shelter. Rodents are not only a nuisance, but they can cause property damage, trigger allergy symptoms, and spread diseases through their urine, saliva, and feces. Rodents are also known to chew on electrical wiring creating safety hazards.

House spider. United Pest Solutions serving Seattle WA talks about common fall pests in the Pacific Northwest.

Spiders

Autumn is also a time of year when people see an increase in spiders, however, it’s not because they’re trying to get warm. Spiders actually have an “antifreeze” type substance that allows them to withstand temperatures as low as -5°C. Spiders are more active this time of year because males are looking for females to mate with. They may also migrate indoors to follow their prey.

Stink bug on a window. United Pest Solutions serving Seattle WA talks about common fall pests in the Pacific Northwest.

Stink Bugs

Stink bugs are known for emitting a very foul odor when they’re squished or feel threatened. These pests don’t bite, but they can damage your plants. If you find one inside of your home, suck them up with a vacuum cleaner then toss it outside immediately.

 

Cockroach outside. United Pest Solutions serving Seattle WA talks about common fall pests in the Pacific Northwest.

Cockroaches

Cockroaches are one of the most disgusting pests on our list. They have been around for millions of years and are very adaptable, but they cannot survive extreme temperatures. They’re commonly found in pipes and drains. Cockroaches can trigger allergy symptoms and spread various diseases including Salmonellosis.

Experts in Pest Control

Given the fact these pests can squeeze through the smallest of openings, you’ll want to work with a professional, like United Pest Solutions when it comes to protecting your home against these pests. We’ve been providing environmentally-responsible pest control to homeowners in the Seattle and greater Eastside area of WA for over 60 years. Don’t let your home get overtaken by pests this fall, contact us instead!

7 Pest-Proofing Tips for Fall

Man cleaning leaves out of gutter. United Pest Solutions serving Seattle WA talks about 7 pest proofing tips for fall.

Man cleaning leaves out of gutter. United Pest Solutions serving Seattle WA talks about 7 pest proofing tips for fall.Stores are showcasing their seasonal items, pumpkin-spiced treats are being released, and Halloween costumes are starting to trickle into store shelves. All of these are signs that fall is approaching, whether you’re ready for it or not.

Although fall is commonly thought of as a time when pests disappear, that couldn’t further from the truth. In fact, fall is a time of year when we see a spike in pest problems. But don’t fret, United Pest Solutions is here. We’re sharing our favorite (and affordable) pest-proofing tips to help you get ready for the upcoming fall and winter seasons.

1. Declutter

Rodents and spiders like to nest in areas where they will go undetected and undisturbed. Garages, basements, crawl spaces, and sheds are prime locations for these pests. Cleanout your cluttered areas and use plastic bins with lids for storage.

2. Screen Openings

Walk around the outside of your home. See any small gaps or cracks insects or rodents could fit through? Remember, mice can fit through holes the size of a dime. We recommend you install screens on your vents, soffits, and chimney. For other cracks on your home, use steel wool to fill the hole and seal it with a silicone-based caulk. This is important for rat and mice prevention. Don’t forget those areas where your utilities meet your home!

3. Replace Weather Stripping

When was the last time you replaced your weather stripping? Proper, well intact weather stripping can go far in pest prevention. If your weather stripping is damaged or you can see light shine through when your door is closed, it’s time to replace it. Weather stripping is affordable and can be found in most hardware stores.

4. Eliminate Moisture

Like humans need water to live, so do pests. Dampness attracts various pests from ants and cockroaches to rats and mice. Repair leaky pipes, clear clogged drains, and clean out your gutters. A dehumidifier may also help in basements.

5. Maintain Landscaping

Did you know your shrubs, bushes, and plants may be attracting pests? Landscaping, overgrown weeds, and other types of vegetation serve as harborages for pests–they feel safe here. Trim any plants near your home to help discourage pests from hiding out there. Also, prune trees with overhanging branches. Squirrels and rodents are skilled climbers and often leap from branches to homes to gain access into attics.

6. Seal Your Garbage

It’s no surprise that raccoons are attracted to garbage, but rats, mice, wasps, cockroaches, and ants are also drawn in by those food odors. Make sure your trash cans have tight-fitting lids to help prevent pests.

7. Keep Clean

One of the biggest steps you can take to help make your home less appealing to pests is to keep a clean and organized home. Don’t leave out dirty dishes. Don’t let junk pile up. Instead, wipe countertops, store food in airtight containers, clean up spills, and vacuum and/or mop regularly.

Is Your Home Protected Against Pests?

We hope these tips help you as you work to protect your home against pests this fall. If you have any questions, know that we’re just a phone call away!

April Showers May Bring More Than Flowers

Umbrella with heavy rainfall. United Pest Solutions serving Seattle WA talks about why April showers may bring more than flowers.

Umbrella with heavy rainfall. United Pest Solutions serving Seattle WA talks about why April showers may bring more than flowers.It’s a well known saying, “April showers bring May flowers.” But, here in the Pacific Northwest, our rainy season may also bring something less desirable than colorful blooming flowers — pests! Heavy rainfall can cause large areas of standing water which pests like wasps and ants are attracted to. This is why we at United Pest Solutions have come up with some tasks you can do to help prevent a pest infestation this spring.

First, here are some common pests to look out for.

Ants

While ants are known to be on the hunt for crumbs of food, they’ll also enter homes in search of water. Most ants are simply a nuisance however, the Carpenter Ant is a wood-destroying pest. It can damage the integrity of your home as it excavates wood.

Cockroaches

Cockroaches can carry diseases and bacteria. They will infest your food and contaminate countertops, spreading diseases through their excrement. Cockroach infestations are a tough pest to deal with. It’s highly recommended you contact a professional to eliminate these pests as soon as possible.

Mosquitoes

Mosquitoes are known for spreading potentially harmful diseases including Zika and West Nile. Mosquitoes breed in stagnant water, including clogged gutters, birdbaths, play equipment, and more. It’s important to eliminate any sources of standing water to help prevent a mosquito infestation.

Rodents

Rats and mice will infest any home tidy or not. These rodents will not only cause damage to your home, but they also spread harmful diseases. Because of the dangers these pests pose, we recommend seeking professional help if you believe you have a rodent problem.

Flies

Like mosquitoes, flies also breed in stagnant water. While some flies are merely a nuisance, others can bite. In the past, flies have been linked to the spread of typhoid fever, food poisoning, and diarrhea.

Keeping Pests Away

  • Clean out gutters and downspouts
  • Repair water leaks and dripping faucets
  • Remove sources of standing water including, play equipment, tarps, discarded tires, and birdbaths
  • Regularly trim grass and shrubs
  • Seal cracks and openings on your foundation and siding
  • Keep woodpiles stored away from your home
  • Regularly throw out the trash and keep your outdoor garbage can tightly shut
  • Practice cleanliness around your home, especially the kitchen
  • Ensure screens on your windows and doors are intact and not broken

Professional Pest Control

Many pests, especially insects live in soil so when there is heavy rainfall affecting their habitat, they may seek shelter inside your home. Other pests like mosquitoes and flies breed in stagnant water. So if you have puddles of water near your home, don’t be surprised if you see a sudden increase of these flying pests.

Even if you take extra precautions and utilize these safeguards, you may still need to contact a professional pest control company. United Pest Solutions has been providing the Seattle WA and Everett WA area with environmentally responsible pest control since 1960. We serve both homeowners and businesses.

Pest-Proof Your Home for Winter in 6 Steps

Rodent outside next to snow. United Pest Solutions talks about how homeowners in Seattle WA can pest-proof their home for winter in 6 steps.

Rodent outside next to snow. United Pest Solutions talks about how homeowners in Seattle WA can pest-proof their home for winter in 6 steps.Winter is coming and just like us, some pests will want to move indoors where it’s warm. The most common winter invaders are spiders, rats, mice, and cockroaches. Having an infestation by these pests can be damaging to both your health and your home if not properly treated. Rats and mice are destructive. They can also contaminate food and bring ticks, fleas, and lice into your home. Cockroaches carry harmful diseases including Salmonella, and spiders can bite if they feel threatened — which can result in a serious reaction for some people. This is why it’s important to make sure these pests can’t gain access into your home. Read more to learn how to pest-proof your home for winter in 6 easy steps.

6 Steps to Pest-Proof Your Home for Winter

1.Inspect

Walk around the interior and exterior of your home looking for signs of rodents. Inspect wires, walls, and your home’s insulation for gnaw marks.

2. Seal Cracks and Holes

While inspecting your home you’ll also want to be on the lookout for any cracks in your foundation and gaps in windows and doors where pests can easily fit through. You can use caulking to seal small cracks and weather stripping for windows and doors. If you have a chimney or air vents that need covering, use mesh screens to help keep them out.

3. Trim Tree Branches and Shrubs

Keep your trees and shrubs well-trimmed away from your home. Roof rats are highly-skilled climbers and will scale across branches to gain access to your roof and into your home.

4. Store Your Food in Airtight Containers

Left out food attracts rodents and cockroaches. So use airtight containers to store your food. Also, throw out the trash regularly.

5. Store Your Firewood High and Away From Your Home

If you keep firewood on your property, we recommend you store it at least 2 feet off the ground and at least 20 feet away from your home. Rats and mice are attracted to woodpiles and debris.

6. Keep Storage Boxes Off the Floor

Rodents and spiders like to live in areas that are undisturbed. So use sealed boxes and store them off the floor and on shelves to help prevent pests.

Whether you’ve tried these methods or believe you already have a pest infestation, it’s important to contact a professional like United Pest Solutions before it spreads. We’ll inspect your home, diagnose the problem, and eliminate your pest problem for good!