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!

10 Tips to Keep Your Backyard BBQ Pest Free

Charcoal grill outside of home. United Pest Solutions, serving Seattle WA offers tips to keep your BBQ pest-free.

United Pest Solutions provides expert advice on keeping your BBQ pest free in Seattle WA

[2021 Update]

It’s officially summer and one of the highlights during these warm months are backyard BBQs. To ensure your BBQ isn’t ruined by ants, flies, or wasps, follow these helpful tips from United Pest Solutions.

Make Necessary Repairs

Inspect your home, looking for any signs of cracks or holes in window screens or doors. This will keep summer pests outside. Also, remind guests to close doors tightly behind them when entering and exiting your home.

Carry Mosquito Repellent

Mosquitoes are most active at night. If your BBQ is in the evening, have an EPA-approved repellent with DEET or picaridin on hand to ward off mosquitoes.

Remove Standing Water

Remove or drain any sources of stagnant water in your yard including bird baths, garden ponds, and wading pools. Mosquitoes and wasps are especially attracted to standing water. In fact, mosquitoes only need about a bottle cap full of water to breed.

Avoid Perfumes

Yellowjackets and other stinging insects are attracted to sweet-smelling fragrances that can come from perfumes, hair products, candles and food so consider skipping scented bath products if you know you’ll be spending a lot of time outside.

Keep Food Covered

Keep food and drinks covered or keep them in sealed coolers to help deter ants, flies, and wasps.

Clean Up Spills

Pick up trash and crumbs immediately and wipe up any spills. Ants and flies are especially attracted to leftover food.

Serve Indoors and Eat Outdoors

Serving food and drinks indoors and using the outdoor space for eating and entertaining keeps the majority of food inside, therefore keeping pests away.

Pest Removal Solutions

We hope these tips help but if these measures still don’t work, you can count on your local pest professionals at United Pest Solutions. We’ve been providing high-quality pest control services in the greater Seattle WA area since 1960. To schedule a personalized quote, contact us today!

Keep Mosquitoes From Ruining Your Summer

Up close image of mosquito. United Pest Solutions serving Seattle WA and Kirkland WA talks about how to keep mosquitoes from ruining your summer.

Up close image of mosquito. United Pest Solutions serving Seattle WA and Kirkland WA talks about how to keep mosquitoes from ruining your summer.Summer is here and as the weather gets warmer, the mosquitoes will come out. Although these small insects are more active at night, they won’t miss an opportunity to ruin your outdoor gathering. Mosquitoes not only leave itchy bites, but they can also spread harmful diseases like Zika and West Nile Virus. For tips on treating and preventing mosquitoes, keep reading.

What are Mosquitoes Attracted to?

Mosquitoes are attracted to:

  • Stagnant Water: mosquitoes need stagnant water to complete their life cycle. Even a teaspoon is enough.
  • Carbon dioxide: mosquitoes have very poor vision, so they rely on your carbon dioxide to locate you, especially if they’re trying to lay eggs. They need a blood meal before they can reproduce.
  • Body heat: in addition to carbon dioxide, mosquitoes will also sense a person’s body heat when searching for a victim
  • Sugar: adult mosquitoes feed on nectar, honeydew, and other sugary substances so don’t be surprised if you see them swarming your soda or desserts.

*Fun Fact: only female mosquitoes bite. The male mosquitoes feed on nectar.

How Can I Stop Getting Bitten by Mosquitoes?

Be proactive!

  • Eliminate all sources of stagnant water to prevent breeding grounds
    • Empty out small plastic swimming pools after use
    • Change birdbath water weekly
    • Clean out gutters and downspouts
    • Dump water out of old tires, trash cans, wheelbarrows, etc.
  • Ensure window screens and door screens aren’t damaged
  • Keep doors and windows closed
  • Apply a repellent that contains DEET or picaridin
  • Wear long-sleeved shirts and pants
  • Wear light-colored clothing
  • Sleep under a mosquito bed net
  • Turn on your air conditioner or fan

How do you make mosquito bites go away faster?

Don’t scratch mosquito bites this can lead to an infection. Rather, apply an antihistamine or anti-itch cream to the affected area to help alleviate the itchiness. You can also take an oral antihistamine such as Allegra or Benadryl. Applying ice to the bite can also be helpful for mosquito bites.

Professional Mosquito Exterminators

Even if you’re being proactive at deterring mosquitoes, your neighbors might not be. So if you’re still battling these small nuisance pests on your property, contact a professional like United Pest Solutions for safe and effective mosquito control. We’ll customize a treatment plan that will fit your needs and budget. Don’t let these pests ruin your summer, contact us!

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.