Common Winter Season Pest Problems In The Portland Area
Do you ever notice how wildlife starts to behave in the winter? Have you noticed how common pests around your home seem to behave differently during different seasons? Pests, in general, have specific missions within each season or cycle of life and the winter season happens to be one where they look for shelter and warmth.
Homeowners typically see ant activity in the spring and autumn months. Ants are in a constant state of preparation, searching for food to feed their colonies as well as storing food for the prolonged winter months. However, not all ants operate this way. Some ants actually eat more during the autumn months so that they can put on fat to sustain them during the winter when they restlessly hibernate. As the atmospheric temperature shifts, the ants’ body temperature drops causing them to move less and go without food during the winter months making stored fat essential for survival.
Though they are typically more active in the spring and summer months you could still see them during the winter. This may be because the ants are hibernating somewhere within your home. Homes provide shelter, warmth and a reliable food and water source making it the perfect place to wait out the winter season. If you see activity in the winter, calling your local ant pest control specialist is your best bet in finding out where they are nesting so they can be eliminated before the next busy spring season.
Raccoons like to hunker down for the winter season. They can easily go without food and water for a couple of weeks before they have to emerge and forage for food. This means it may not always be easy to indicate if a raccoon has made your home into its dwelling quarters. Hearing any noises coming from an attic, wall space, or underneath your home is a sign that something is inside your home but since they can go longer periods without food and water those sounds may not be heard often allowing early warning signs to be easily dismissed. If you hear any noise within your home it’s always better to find out where the noise is coming from right away.
If a raccoon does make your home a place of dwelling it can cause a lot of damage that could prove costly. It’s also important to note that raccoons can be aggressive. They will do anything to protect themselves and their young and because they have such sharp claws they can do excessive damage. Calling your local pest control company is always the best option when dealing with raccoons as they can safely trap them and relocate them without any harm to the animal.
Now here is a pest that you do not want to see in your home or anywhere around your home for that matter. Rodents always look for warm, dry places to nest and wait out the winter months. Unfortunately, these pests carry diseases harmful to humans that are spread through contact with their urine and feces. When rodents busy themselves around your home they leave a trail of oils from their fur along with their urine and feces placing you and anyone at home at risk of contact.
Outside of carrying disease, rodents can wreak havoc on the structural integrity of your home. Rodents love to chew and they will chew on just about anything including electrical wiring, wooden support beams and sheetrock. Not only does this place your home at risk of damage but the cost in repair can be exceedingly high. If you notice rodent droppings, chewing or scratching noises or chewed through spaces in or outside of your home call your local rodent pest control company as soon as possible.
Opossums are nocturnal animals that live within dens in the wild. However, it’s very common for them to get into the walls or crawlspace of your home where they will nest, take care of their young or simply enjoy as their shelter. Since they are nocturnal it’s more common to hear any activity within your home during the nighttime hours. Scratching, clawing, hissing or growling are all sounds that can be heard during the night. Removing possums is best left to professional pest specialists as they can safely remove them and their young returning them to the wild.
Now here is a critter that you wouldn’t expect to see inside your home. Squirrels are very active creatures. They are most often seen scurrying about the yard space of your home or along the top of fences gathering and storing food or playing with other squirrels in the neighborhood. As cute as they can be, squirrels that find their way inside your home can be quite a nightmare. Their activity is sure to be heard if they have made their way inside. Not only are they active they are also known to live together during the winter months to beat the cold which is almost always the reason they look for shelter inside your home. Attic spaces are the most common spaces squirrels can be found but anywhere warm and dry makes a great shelter if they have access.
When it comes to common winter season pests in the Portland area the best way to avoid them becoming a problem for you is to make sure they do not have a reason to come inside your home. For some pests, like ants, this can seem impossible but the more time you put into doing winter maintenance the less likely you are to see these pests.