As the old expression goes, “forewarned is forearmed.” As the weather changes from season to season, so does pest activity in and around your home. Certain types of pests become more prevalent during certain seasons and once you know what to look out for, you will know how best to protect your property from invading pests.
It is important to remember that not all pests in Canada are seasonal and many, including rodents, spiders, skunks, raccoons, and house centipedes, are active all year round so you always need to keep a firm grip on pest control.
As the weather warms up and the flowers begin to bloom, you could find yourself with a variety of unwanted houseguests. As with many animals, reproduction rates of insects increase in spring, and you will begin to see more moths, bees, ticks, and termites.
Warm, humid weather is perfect for pests and insects, and summer is the most biologically active time of year for pests. The plethora of species that peak in the summer includes ants, houseflies, mosquitoes, bed bugs, earwigs, cockroaches, millipedes, crickets, fleas, and wasps.
After the massive influx of pests in spring and summer, the cool fall weather brings some relief for homeowners. But this does not mean that you can let your guard down. You need to use the fall to prepare for the winter and seal up any possible pest entry points in your home. If you fail to do so, you may find some very unwelcome winter guests hibernating in your attic or basement. In fall your property could become home to more spiders, beetles, and bees. You may also see an increase in rodent activity. Pest control and removal can be a costly business in winter, and the best solution is to keep pests out in the fall.
Pests may become less active in winter but that does not mean that they don’t pose a problem. Being outdoors in the cold isn’t fun for anyone, and just like people want to be warm and snug, so do small animals, rodents and other household pests. They look for warm, sheltered places to overwinter, and will take advantage of gaps, cracks, and crevices in your walls or roof to find a way into your home and make it their own.
Once pests have moved in, it can be difficult to remove them and their offspring. Small animals only require a tiny space to crawl through, and then they are free to nest in your ceiling or basement. Before the start of the harsh Canadian winter, get a pest control expert to do a thorough inspection of your property and identify any pest entry points that need to be repaired and sealed. They can also ensure that chimney caps and vent caps are installed or repaired and that holes in your roof are sealed with quarter-inch wire mesh. Pests to look out for in the winter are rodents, cockroaches, fleas, and silverfish.
Signs that you may have a pest infestation
- Warning signs that you may have a rodent problem include droppings, urine odour, scampering noises in the walls and ceilings, and piles of shredded paper in dark corners. A fluttering sound in your walls or attic is an indication that bats have moved in.
- Spiders eat insects. If you suddenly have an influx of spiders in your home this is a sign that they have found a good supply of food. You might not see the other bugs but they will be there.
- Tapping in your walls is an indication that termites are hard at work. Termites also build tubes of mud on walls to protect their colony so be on the lookout for these along external walls. After termites swarm, or reproduce and find a new nest, they shed their wings. If you find a pile of discarded termite wings you need to call in the pest control experts immediately.
- If you notice perfectly round holes in your window frames, doors, and wooden outdoor furniture, or mysterious piles of sawdust on your deck, you could have a carpenter bee problem on your hands. Carpenter ants also leave piles of sawdust around as they burrow through your wood.