Most Common Pests That Invade Your Home in Winter & How to Manage Them

Winter is well and truly on its way.

Aside from the short days and chilly weather, there’s one thing a colder climate will bring to every Australian household: an abundance of bothersome pests. As insects and mammals seek refuge from the chill each year, they end up in our homes and wreak havoc along the way.

Here’s everything you need to know about the most prevalent pests in Australia in winter, including what to do about them.

Rodents

Don’t be fooled by their innocent demeanour—these pesky little rodents pose a serious threat to your home and will become particularly prevalent in the winter months. Both rats and mice reproduce at an alarming rate, with a single female capable of producing dozens of offspring over her short lifespan of around one year.

There is a difference between rats and mice even though both of these fall under the ‘rodents’ category. Rats tend to be larger in size with a more pointy face. They also chew in round, large and rougher circles.

Problems caused by rodents:

During the winter, rodents will invade your home in search of warmth, spreading diseases, carrying fleas and wrecking your property in the process. Aside from causing structural damage as they scratch, gnaw, and chew their way through wood, rodents can strip the coating off electrical wires, ruining your appliances and creating a potential fire hazard. Roof rats are particularly troublesome, as they may remain undetected while they wreak havoc on your rafters. Rodents pose a significant health issue, too, because they can contaminate food sources, disperse bacteria, and spread deadly diseases like the dreaded rat-bite fever.

How to spot signs of rats and mice:

Rodents are rather elusive, so don’t expect to see them settling into your home. Look for signs of activity such as tracks, gnaw marks, and droppings. Tracks are easiest to spot in dusty areas, so you might struggle to find them if you keep a clean house (try laying down talcum powder if need be). Their five-toed footprints are much more evident in the attic or the crawl space under the house. Rodent droppings look like dark little pellets; if they’re soft, that means they’re fresh. Gnaw marks will appear at ground level on wooden doors and joists, stretching out an inch or so.

How to get rid of rats and mice:

One of the most important steps in rodent control would be to cut the grass short and to also cut the trees, preventing them from touching the house/roof. The number one reason for rodents to come into your house is for shelter, followed by food and water. Denying them shelter would be an effective step towards rodent control.

Keep your kitchen clean so as not to attract these bothersome pests. Food scraps and garbage heaps are a big no-no. Clean out your pet food bowls and if necessary putting a few traps around as well. When these have been done, and you still suspect rodent infestation, get in touch with the experts at Positive Pet Solutions for rodent control in Melbourne. 

German Cockroaches

These disease-ridden pests make an unwelcome presence in almost all Australian homes. Several different species may roam your property at any given time, although the German Cockroach is the most ubiquitous of them all.

Problems caused by cockroaches:

Cockroaches tend to congregate inside during the winter and multiply at incredible speeds. Meanwhile, they spread all sorts of nasty pathogens like salmonella and Hepatitis A, so it’s essential to get on top of the problem before it spirals out of control.

How to spot signs of cockroaches:

Cockroaches are nocturnal, so they’ll be in hiding and hard to spot during the day. At night, however, you’ll likely notice them scurrying under the fridge when you turn the lights on. Cockroach secretions smell rather unpleasant as well, which makes them easier to identify.

How to get rid of cockroaches:

Keeping a clean kitchen is the best form of cockroach control. Wash your dishes immediately after use and avoid leaving food scraps lying around. Take your garbage out regularly and block off any cracks and crevices they might squeeze through. And keep a can of insect spray handy for when you do spot them scurrying around.

Termites

Termites are a pest in Australia throughout the year, and the problem doesn’t go away come wintertime. In fact, it could be a hidden danger for homeowners. When the temperature drops, termites may not be as active but they aren’t dormant. They need food to survive, even in colder weather. Though the signs of termites may not be as visible because they are feeding at a slower rate, there is still possibility that you have an infestation. It pays to be on the lookout for these destructive insects.

Problems caused by termites:

If left unchecked, these tiny insects could cause tens of thousands of dollars’ worth of damage to your home. Termites are the most expensive pest in Australia, causing over $700 million of damage to Aussie homes each year. They are active all year round but tend to head indoors in higher numbers when the mercury starts to dip.

How to spot signs of termites:

Termites are too small to spot and don’t smell or make any noise, so you’ll need to search for signs of infestation. Keep an eye out for cracks in the walls, sagging floors or ceilings, damaged decks or garden posts, and missing roof tiles that allow them to crawl in.

On top of your periodic reviews, it’s worth getting an annual inspection from a pest control company, who will detect hollowed-out wood, identify frass (termite droppings), and spot foundation damage before it becomes a disaster.

How to get rid of termites:

Chemical solutions—baits, liquid pesticides, wood treatments—can be effective at killing termites. These can be dangerous and difficult to properly apply, however, so it’s best to get a professional involved. Positive Pest Solutions are your best bet for termite control in Melbourne.

Ants

During winter and in colder conditions, ants tend to remain relatively dormant and not cause too many problems. However, increased ant activity can occur due to poor hygiene or when they locate a food source in the home.

Problems caused by ants:

Ants can contaminate food, spread bacteria, or administer a nasty bite. And with a thousands-strong colony to deal with, it can be challenging to keep an infestation under control.

How to spot signs of ants:

Ants are the least subtle of Australia’s major household pests. Once they’ve made themselves at home, you’ll see them everywhere—and that’s half the issue.

How to get rid of ants:

Having a chemical barrier around the house would be the best way to prevent ants from entering the house. It is best to also keep them out of the wall cavity to prevent further complications.

Putting food away and maintaining a clean, hygienic environment is an effective way to prevent ants from entering your home. Conventional insecticides offer some protection, although you may need a professional pest control service to put down baits and spray the perimeter. Positive Pest Solutions provide comprehensive and cost-effective ant control in Melbourne.

At Positive Pest Solutions, we are proud to offer an extensive range of services that include rats & rodent control, ant pest control, as well as termite inspection and treatment. Get in touch with our friendly and reliable team today and book an appointment for an obligation-free quote. Find out what our past clients have to say about us. We offer competitive price with quality services. Our general pest treatment only starts from $89.

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