- Posted by gordonb
- On January 4, 2022
- 0 Comments
When the temperatures begin to drop, you’re not the only one looking to get in out of the cold. All manner of critters that have been living nearby in the warmer months will now start to look for a place to hunker down for the winter, and your toasty home is the perfect choice.
But you don’t have to just let them move in. If you try to think like they do, you can quickly locate their nests and evict them, or have a trained professional like Critter Control of the Triad do it for you. So here are just a few places you can look for animals in your home over the winter.
1. Behind the walls: Okay, you probably shouldn’t tear off the sheetrock and look behind the walls, but there are other ways to determine if there are pests behind your walls. House mice will often chew a small hole to slip through. They can squeeze their bodies down to the size of a nickel, so it doesn’ have to be as large and perfectly rounded as the mouse holes you see in cartoons. Once they are inside the wall, they will cause damage like chewed wires and animal waste, which you can detect when you have electrical problems and if there is a stench.
Overwintering bugs are the other main pest you may find behind the walls. These will not cause as much damage, but it can be unsettling to know that literally thousands of ladybugs or stink bugs are living behind your walls over the winter. You can spot these on a warm day in the winter, when, especially ladybugs, will all of a sudden emerge and smarm just outside your home. The spot they are swarming is probably their entrance, and you can bet right inside that wall, there are thousands of them “overwintering.” Other times, bugs, looking tired and slow, will wander out one or two at a time inside your home. Note where you see them, because the nearest wall may be where they are staying.
2. The attic: A wide variety of animals find their way into attics in the winter, but all of them go there because they have the ability to climb or fly to higher places than other critters. These climbing and flying creatures include: raccoons, squirrels, rats, mice, pigeons, starlings, sparrows and bats. There are many others as well, mostly species of bat, rodent or bird.
You can spot them in the attic by using your senses. If you go up into the attic and smell animal waste, you know there is something nesting there. People often will hear rustling and squeaking from above and detect pests. You may even simply spot them visually. Many of these species may be defensive if they’ve made their nests in this spot and have young. Be very careful trying to move or eliminate them.
3. Exterior openings and corners: Animals do not have to be inside the structure to gain some warmth, since heat literally radiates off the home. Common exterior places to find pests in the winter include the bathroom vents, chimneys, gutters, porch rafters and dryer vents.
The animals likely to be found in these openings are rodents (especially roof rats and squirrels) and birds. While three species of birds (pigeons, house sparrows and European starlings) are considered pests and can be disposed of, keep in mind that all others are protected by federal laws and international treaties, so there are legal considerations if you find a bird’s nest in your chimney or dryer vent.
4. Crawl space: Probably the most well-trafficked place in your home for pests over the winter is the crawl space. You will find all sorts of rodents, insects, raccoons, snakes, foxes, spiders and many other types of animals, especially small mammals and bugs, living under there. It is generally out of sight, so for many homeowners, it is out of their mind. But if you are wondering whether there are animals spending the winter with you, the first place to check may be the crawl space. Be careful though, because if you crawl in with a flashlight, any animals living there may feel cornered and get aggressive.
5. Garages and sheds: While not as likely to have pests, because garages see far more activity than a crawl space, these storage spaces can still attract pests too. Mice, insects and snakes are common critters to find in a garage or shed. Since there are often boxes and piles of rarely used items (toys, tools, etc), some pests may find this a good place to lie low. Homeowners use yard tools less in the winter too, so you may not even notice there were pests present until the spring.
Have you spotted pests in any of these areas of your home? Don’t risk a confrontation; call Critter Control of the Triad at (336) 370-0445 and we can help rid your home of pests.