Winter means spending a lot of times indoors sipping hot chocolate and snuggling under comfortable blankets. The colder weather is also a welcome respite for several varieties of insects. Many of these survive the frigid temperatures by seeking shelter inside warm structures, including your home.
Learn about a few insects you might notice inside your home this winter, as well as how to get rid of them and how to prevent any more from getting in.
Indian meal moths, flour beetles, and rice weevils are a few of the many pantry pests that you can find lurking in your cereal boxes this winter. The insects hitch a ride inside your grocery bag anytime throughout the year, including the winter. Look for the presence of insects, fecal matter, or chewed cardboard packaging.
If you notice the signs of a pantry bug infestation, follow these tips to get rid of them:
- Remove any damaged or infested food and throw it away. Take the garbage outside immediately.
- Remove the rest of the food from the pantry and check for signs of an infestation.
- Grab the hose attachment of your vacuum and clean every inch inside the pantry.
- Wipe down every surface inside the pantry with a soapy dishcloth.
- Check your grocery bags for signs of pantry pests before you put any items in the pantry.
Storing food in sealed containers also helps prevent the bugs from infesting your food.
Silverfish get their name from their shiny gray appearance, which makes them appear silver, and the scales that cover the adult insect’s body. Silverfish have two antennae at the top of their head and three appendages at the end of their abdomen, and they are most active at night. The silverfish’s nocturnal nature can make them hard to see, but if you find one scurrying around your floor at night, you likely have a nest somewhere inside your home.
Check underneath the kitchen sink, in the basement, in the bathroom, and anywhere else that is dark, warm, and humid. Silverfish don’t transmit any diseases that are harmful to humans, but they will cause damage and eat anything that is rich in starch. This includes paper, glue, sugar, and human hair.
Contact a professional to help you eliminate the silverfish infestation. Because they are nocturnal and will nest in dark, hard-to-reach areas, it can be tricky to locate the silverfish nest and eliminate all the insects.
Prevent a silverfish infestation by controlling your home’s relative humidity, sealing any cracks, and repairing damage to the foundation and window frames. Vacuum your rugs several times a week to remove any silverfish eggs and larvae.
Colder temperatures drive insects into your home. Those insects, in turn, attract spiders or draw out the spiders that were already living inside your home. Most spiders in your home during winter are either web-building spiders or hunting spiders and are completely harmless, although they may be annoying.
Spiders will flock to the food source in your home, which is why you will often find them hanging out in other areas where insects nest and feed, including your pantry.
Eliminating other insects in your home will make it less attractive to spiders. Setting spider traps and vacuuming up any webs can also kill the spiders and their food source. Professional intervention is the best option if the infestation is severe.
One species of spiders that might find their way into your home during winter is dangerous: the brown recluse. Otherwise known as the fiddleback spider, the brown recluse is one uniform color, has six eyes, doesn’t have any striping or bands, and gets its name because of the violin-like marking on its back.
Brown recluses prefer quiet, dark places that are away from human activity. If you notice a single brown recluse or a nest, contact a professional pest control agent.
Warmth and readily-available food sources inside your home will attract ants. Several varieties of ants can be found in any Illinois home during winter, and an established colony can be difficult to eradicate.
Exclusion is the best solution to preventing an ant infestation during winter. Move your wood pile several feet away from the house, rake your leaves, and remove any stumps or large branches. This will remove potential hiding spots. Keep your counters and floors clean, clean pet food off the floor, and cover any food on your counters.
A professional exterminator can determine how the ants got into your home and get rid of the nuisance colony.
Spiders, ants, and pantry pests are a few of the insects you could find making themselves at home in your house this winter. If you have any questions or want to know how to prevent an infestation before it starts, contact the professionals at American Pest Control Inc.