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What To Do If You Find Pests In Your Portland Home This Winter

a boxelder bug on a wall

A East-coast winter is truly something special. And Portland homeowners know how to make the most of the holiday season. However, pest control in the colder months isn’t exactly a winter wonderland. Most people don’t even worry about it. “The cold kills the bugs, doesn’t it?” Well, yes. Most of them. But the ones who are smart enough to find shelter somewhere warm might just survive the first frost, and the cold outside makes your home even more attractive to them.

Aggressive Invasions

Most pests won’t just roll over and die as the weather turns cold. Any pest worth his or her salt might make a desperate run at survival by invading your house. Even if they had previously been uninterested in your home, and your house had been an enjoyable, pest-free environment all year long, that could change quickly in the winter. Here is just a small sample of the kinds of bugs that will be more aggressive about entering your house as the temperature drops:

  • Boxelder bugs: these black and orange bugs love to feed on mold, fungi, and carpets. You’ll want to watch out because if you see a few of them, it can mean an infestation numbering in the thousands.
  • Stink bugs: these pests don’t just emit an overwhelming odor when they die. They also emit an odor when disturbed, so getting rid of them is a risky proposition.
  • Springtails: these tiny pests look like silver shrimp, shrunken down to the size of dirt. Their only threat to humans is that they’ll invade your home with tens of thousands of their closest friends, creating an unpleasant surprise in your basement or under your sinks.
  • Spiders: with natural anti-freeze, spiders can survive the winter outside. However, most of their food supply is either dead or hiding in the wintertime, forcing them to hunt indoors for the pests that will invade your home.

Pest Problems

Along with these kinds of pests, there are hundreds more who’ll need shelter during the winter. And they aren’t just a nuisance. Most pests bring danger, damage, disease, or all of the above onto your property. For instance:

  • Fleas and rodents spread bacteria that can cause severe illness for you and your family.
  • Black widow spider bites almost always require immediate medical attention.
  • Stink bugs will disrupt your daily life by filling your home with overwhelming odors.
  • Raccoons nesting in your warm attic can be a threat to anyone who stumbles too close to a nursing mother.

The list of pest issues goes on and on. Simply put, safeguarding your home needs to be a priority as winter rolls in.

Preventative Measures

Since most pests who will overwinter in your home are very difficult to get rid of, your focus needs to be on prevention. By sticking with the following guidelines for DIY winter pest control, you can limit your chances of incurring an infestation:

  • Begin practicing preventative actions in the fall before the pests get the jump on the cold weather.
  • Declutter your low-traffic areas like the basements and crawl spaces so that pests have fewer hiding spots.
  • Seal cracks and crevices around the exterior of your house with caulking to prevent easy access.
  • Monitor your screens for holes, tears, or separations from the frame and repair as needed.
  • Make sure firewood is stored at least 20 feet from your house (and preferably off the ground).

While these tips can be effective, you don’t want to risk being shacked up with a bunch of bugs while you’re trying to enjoy the holidays. The most effective way to deal with a pest problem, especially in the winter, is with professional assistance: Big Blue Bug Solutions.