A lot of our customers will ask us from time to time if pest control is really necessary during the winter months. Our answer is a predictable yes. However, it’s not because of the reasons some people might think. Winter Rat Control in Houston, among other pest control, it still very important.
When the weather cools down many of our common pests go into a state of dormancy. Almost like a grizzly bear would go into hibernation, insects slow their metabolism and go into a state of “insect diapause” similar to hibernation or suspended animation. They do this to fortify their bodies from the cold so they can survive until the outside temperature is warm enough for them to resume normal activity. When the environment warms up they are able to resume normal activities just as they did before the cold temperatures.
This information is very important to us here in south Texas. As anyone who’s lived here for a while can tell you, we very rarely have what most of the country would consider a typical winter. Our winters consist of a series of cold snaps intermingled with mild to even warm weather. We usually get a cold front that will drop temps into the range of insect dormancy but this cold weather will often last only a few days. At that point the southern breeze returns, filling the air with warmth and humidity. This warm up triggers ant colonies, roaches, and spiders alike to return to their usual summer time activities which mean invading your home to search for shelter and resources.
There are also a number of insects that will invade the home as it starts to cool down in order to survive colder temperatures. One of the best examples of this is paper wasps. Paper wasp queens abandon the nest at the onset of winter and colder temperatures in search of a warm place to overwinter. They often seek refuge inside eaves, in gaps around windows, it attics, and in chimneys. Lady Bugs, although not nearly as formidable and scary, often overwinter in similar areas. The biggest problem with these unwanted winter pests is that when the inevitable warm up occurs, these pests wake up and search for ways to leave the house. Often times they become confused as to how to exit and end up flying into the interior of the home instead of outside. We have had customers that have had this happen multiple times throughout the winter season due to the roller coaster of high and low temperatures we often experience. Each time it warms up there will be more sleepy wasps flying inside their house looking for a place to escape.
Another reason pest control is still very much necessary is that this is the time we see the most rodents and wild animals entering homes to get out of cold weather extremes. It is important to have a pest control professional monitoring areas like the attic, basements (yes there are actually basements in Houston), and your garage for rodent activity. Winter rat control in Houston is an ongoing process. Because the temperatures fluctuate so much in our fall and winter months, rats and other rodents may seek refuge several times in a season, sometimes in a week! The best bet for these pests is sealing their entry points but bait and traps can also be deployed for rat control, mice control, and other pest control in the mean time.
For all these reasons we can see that being proactive and continuing pest control management all year long is really the best bet for maintaining a pest free home.