6 pests homeowners might see inside this winter in Ontario

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Published February 11, 2024 at 2:31 pm

You can run, but can you really hide?

As temperatures drop, it’s not just humans seeking shelter indoors to get warm and cozy—creepy crawlies and other furry creatures do too.

According to Orkin Canada, the country’s largest pest control provider, these six pests might attempt to enter homes this winter.


Rodents

These critters can get through the smallest of openings. In fact, rats can squeeze through a hole as small as a quarter while mice can slip through a space no larger than your pinky.

Risks: Rodents carry deadly diseases, contaminate food and cause damage by gnawing through electrical wiring and structures in your home.

What you should do: Check the exterior of your home for cracks or crevices and use a weather-resistant sealant reinforced with steel wool to prevent rodents from gnawing through. In addition, try to keep your home clean and regularly vacuum.


Cockroaches

Cockroaches thrive in warm conditions. Basements, bathrooms, greenhouses, kitchens and rooms with sewer pipes or plumbing are their preferred habitats

Risks: Household infestations and food contamination.

What you should do: Individuals are advised to clean and vacuum often. Store food in sealed containers. Keep cupboards dry. Seal crevices and openings. Repair leaks and cracks in plumbing. Use a dehumidifier to reduce moisture.


Spiders

Spiders typically enter homes through cracks and crevices. They will spin webs in dark, damp areas such as basements, garages, and room corners.

Risks: Household infestations.

What you should do: Seal cracks and crevices. Replace broken window and door screens. Maintain cleanliness of your home to deter insects. Ensure rooms are well ventilated and if you spot any spider webs remove them.


Flies

Flies look for warm places to hibernate for the winter.

Risks: Although flies don’t pose a danger to humans and don’t breed in places they invade, these insects are widely considered a nuisance because they hibernate in large numbers. Especially in the spring, the flies swarm and gather around windows.

What you should do: Seal cracks and crevices on the outer walls of your home. Regularly vacuum to eliminate flies and use an insect light trap to capture them.


Beetles

Asian Lady Beetles, also known as Ladybugs, and Stink Bugs are the two most common beetles that may seek shelter in your home during winter.

Risks: Ladybugs are a nuisance as they can emit a foul-smelling yellow liquid that may stain surfaces. They can gather in large numbers, leading to piles of dead beetles around windows and in light fixtures.

Stink bugs give off a foul odor when crushed or disturbed which can cause allergic reactions like rhinitis or conjunctivitis.

What you should do: Seal cracks and crevices. Repair damaged door and window screens. Inspect siding, utility pipes, and chimneys and trim outdoor vegetation.


Boxelder Bugs

During the summer, Boxelder bugs also called Maple bugs, feed on sap from seed pods. In the winter they migrate indoors seeking warmth in barns, sheds, or around window casements.

Risks: Boxelder bugs are a nuisance by themselves and dead bugs can also attract other insects like carpet beetles.

What you should do: Seal gaps around your home’s foundation. Fix door and window screens. Cover open vents and replace any female Boxelder trees you have with males. Also, regularly vacuum up any Boxelder bugs you find.


For more information on these pests and tips on how to protect your home you can visit Orkin’s website here. 

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