Florida is known for lots of things. Warm weather. Sandy beaches. The flocks of snowbirds that come to visit each year. We’re not talking about actual birds, of course. Our snowbirds are retirees and vacationers who seek some respite from the colder weather in their home states. Florida is estimated to entertain thousands of temporary residents every year.
Because Florida is such a long state, it’s common for temperatures to stay fairly mild and even warm throughout the winter months the farther south you go. Of course, areas such as Jacksonville can experience cold snaps when temperatures can sometimes fall below 50 degrees.
For those parts of the state where temperatures do dip into lower numbers, residents and businesses alike may experience infestations from pests that are seeking a warm place to hide. This behavior, called overwintering, can be a costly and unpleasant experience for homeowners and businesses. Let’s look at some common overwintering pests that may pose a danger to you, your home, or your business.
Cockroaches are a common home invader during the winter for two main reasons. For one, because cockroaches are cold-blooded creatures, they can’t regulate their body temperatures. This drives them to hunt for a warmer environment when the temperature drops to an uncomfortable level for them. That warmer environment? Your house.
Another big contributor to increased cockroaches in your home can be hosting holiday parties. It’s not that these insects love the company and hate being left out; rather, as you invite more people into your home, you’re also increasing the amount of potential food sources for them. Whether it’s spilled drinks, grease splatters from your cooking, or crumbs on the floor and under the fridge, roaches aren’t picky and won’t refrain from feeding on all of it.
The Risks of Cockroaches in Your Home
Cockroaches aren’t just disgusting from an appearance perspective. They’re also common carriers of disease and harmful bacteria. In addition, the presence of cockroaches in your home can aggravate asthma symptoms in you or your loved ones. Because roaches breed so quickly and are experts at hiding, you may not even know you have an issue until it’s too late; seeing one cockroach is a great indicator that there are plenty more.
How to Avoid Cockroaches this Winter
Regularly cleaning your kitchen is one of the best ways to keep cockroaches disinterested in your space. Avoid leaving out food sources, and take care of any moisture issues you might find. Check under cabinets and sinks for leaks and get them fixed fast.
Rodents: Rats and Mice
Rodents are always on the lookout for sources of food and water, but winter brings a particular urgency to their needs. The worst thing about rodents is that they don’t hibernate. When they get into your home or business, they’ll continue to wreak havoc throughout the season.
Why Rodents Are a Problem
Along with the prospect of property damage, rodents are especially adept at spreading disease. They’ve been known to be carriers of parasites and bacteria. Due to the nature of their teeth (which never stop growing), rodents must continually chew on things to keep them filed down. That includes wood, insulation, and wiring in your home.
How to Keep Rodents Out
The best way to keep rodents under control is a pest control program that focuses on exclusion. That means seeking out ways to limit their entry into your home or business. Sealing up cracks, checking for holes near your attic or basement, and—much like invasive insects—eliminating sources of food and moisture will go a long way toward keeping rats and mice from residing in your home this winter.
Silverfish aren’t dangerous to your health, but these cold-blooded creatures are driven to find a nice and warm, damp place to hide during the winter months. They love moisture, so you’ll frequently find them in places such as under kitchen sinks and in bathrooms. These creepy critters are fast crawlers, so you’ll likely see them scrambling around near sinks and showers.
Why They’re a Problem
Silverfish can’t hurt you, but they will chew on anything that stems from starches. They love feasting on documents, photographs, and even the pages of your favorite book! If there’s one positive thing about silverfish, it’s that they can help you uncover issues in your home related to moisture. The presence of silverfish may indicate a leak or a potential mold problem in the future, so it’s best to take care of them quickly and fix the underlying cause.
You don’t commonly think of ticks as a winter pest, but that’s probably because you tend to stick around inside if the weather is chilly. Ticks aren’t technically an overwintering pest, but they can find their way into your home if you bring outdoor plants inside for the winter. In warmer environments, they’ll even hitch a ride on your pets—making year-round flea and tick prevention an absolute must if you’re a pet owner.
Why Ticks Are a Problem
Ticks are known carriers of diseases such as Rocky Mountain spotted fever and Lyme disease, serious conditions that can greatly endanger your health. Some ticks can even cause an allergic reaction to red meat.
How to Keep Ticks Away
In addition to regular flea and tick prevention for your pets, you can keep ticks at bay by making the environment outside of your home as unappealing as possible. Regularly cut grassy areas, and limit the amount of foliage around your home. Ticks are often introduced onto people’s properties by wildlife, so ensuring your property remains free of garbage and debris can help remove the temptation for these animals to pay you a visit.
When in Doubt, Regular Pest Control Can Help
One of the most effective ways to keep your Florida home free of overwintering pests is to partner with a seasoned, experienced pest control company. At McCall Service, we’ve helped our friends and neighbors protect their homes and businesses for decades. Our pest services include more than just removal. We’ll point out ways to prevent pests from showing up on your Florida doorstep in the first place. To get started, schedule your initial appointment with a Florida pest control professional today.