Common Winter Pest Problems In New Jersey
The Farmer’s Almanac, an annual periodical that has been predicting long range weather forecasts since 1818, says New Jersey and the Northeast are in store for a seasonably cold, wet, and white winter. While that may be great news to some and not so great news to others, let’s face it, no matter which side you fall on, winter in New Jersey is not without its challenges. And one of those challenges is pests.
Expect mice infestations
Rodent problems are already an issue in Short Hills, Chatham, Clarksburg, and communities throughout New Jersey and will only continue to increase as we move into November and the winter months that follow. House mice and deer mice, while a year-round pest issue, pose an even greater problem during the coldest times. That’s because mice are not fans of enduring the weather in the out-of-doors and will seek shelter that provides warmth, security, and food. In other words, your home provides all a mouse could desire during the cold, snowy season.
So, how do you know if you have a mouse infestation? In addition to spotting a live mouse in the house, look for these signs of a mouse infestation:
- Mouse droppings located anywhere in the house – from the attic to the basement
- Noises coming from the walls and ceiling (especially during the nighttime hours)
- Gnaw and/or chew marks on cardboard boxes, clothes, and other items often kept in storage. Also, in the pantry, chew marks on dog food bags and other foodstuffs.
Where there’s moisture and/or food, you’re likely to find cockroaches
Excessive moisture attracts many pests including gross roaches. In fact, it’s very common to find cockroaches anywhere moisture is prone to accumulate including around pipes and under appliances. Cockroaches are also inclined to make their way inside and specifically into the kitchen in search of food. Crumbs on the floor and food not properly stored in airtight containers make a great meal for these bugs.
Spiders in the attic and the basement
Folklore says that spiders spinning larger than typical webs and entering homes in great numbers is a sign of a hard winter. Whether that is true or not, spiders are a very common problem during the winter and really throughout the year. The thing is, you may not realize your home is filled with spiders because these arachnids are elusive and often hideout in areas you seldom visit, like attics and basements. You may notice a web in the corner of the room or find evidence of spiders when you’re hauling out your Christmas decorations. Or, if the spider population is large, you may see them in rooms where your family spends a lot of time.
Stink bugs crawling out of the walls
An overwintering pest, stink bugs hang out inside while they wait for spring. The good news about these pests is that when they seek shelter for the winter they go into a semi-hibernated state. They will not reproduce while in your home. The bad news, you still have unwanted bugs in your home and, on a warm sunny day, they may become active.
Fleas jumping around the living room
You may be thinking that fleas are not a winter problem and we wish we could agree. Unfortunately, fleas, though they’re better suited to temps in the 70’s, don’t necessarily die when winter arrives. According to Petmd.com's article on if fleas survive winter, fleas typically overwinter on hosts or in protected areas such as carpeting. It is also important to note, dogs and cats are not the only four-legged creature that could introduce these pests to your home. Rodents could be a potential source for flea infestations.
How to prevent winter pest problems
Now for some encouragement! There are preventative measures you can implement in and around your home to help you keep pests out during the winter and all year-round. Here are a few of our favorite tips.
- Seal any and all openings that would allow a pest to sneak through. Keep in mind, mice need only a small gap to slip through and insects even smaller openings. Cracks in the foundation, windows not sealed properly, gaps under doors are all potentially entry points. The best advice we can offer on this point, is to start at the top and work your way down the house. Pests will not just enter at ground level.
- Correcting moisture issues is another must-do in the prevention of infestations. Fix leaky pipes and appliances, run dehumidifiers in rooms where moisture is likely to be a problem, and make sure fans in bathrooms are working efficiently.
- Eliminate food and water sources by storing food in containers that are not penetrable by bugs or rodents, sweep or vacuum up crumbs and clean up spills as soon as they occur, do not leave pet food outside, and don’t let dirty dishes pile up in the sink.
- Keep outdoor lighting to a minimum or install lighting that does not attract spiders and other bugs.
- Talk to your veterinarian about a flea treatment for your pet(s), wash pet bedding often, and vacuum areas where pets hang out the most. Also, if you’re able, keep pets off beds.
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Home Protection Program
Service consists of the elimination of your current pest or rodent problem, complemented by both interior and exterior year-round protection of your home, which is inclusive of three seasonal visits. The program covers your entire property including attics, mailboxes, playsets, sheds, and fences.
Pests targeted with Arrow’s Home Protection Plan services include ants (excluding carpenter ants, pharaoh ants and acrobatic), bees, boxelder bugs, carpenter bees, carpet beetles, centipedes, cicada killers, clover mites, crickets, digger bees, earwigs, fabric & paper pests, fleas (inside only), ground beetles, hornets, mice, pillbugs, millipedes, rats, roaches, silverfish, sowbugs, spiders, springtails, stored product pests, and wasp.
*If you have a pool house that requires service, pricing would increase based upon the size of the structure.
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