Monday, January 8, 2024

Two Winter Pests That Invade Your Home

New Year's has come and gone, and several parts of the USA already have snow on the ground. For all practical purposes, winter is here. And while you’re rummaging through your closet wondering where you left your pair of winter gloves, various types of pests are trying to get out of the cold.

A quick note: Rats and mice are common trespassers during winter months, and they can definitely wreak havoc on a home, but they aren’t the focus of this article. 
Instead, we’ll be focused on insect pests, specifically ants and cockroaches.

Ants are notorious for being persistent invaders during every season. Many ants retreat into their burrows and enter a dormant state during cold periods, but not all of them. Some ant species, such as the stink ant (also known as the odorous house ant), can move indoors to escape the cold. When ants feel cold weather, they respond by instinctively searching out warm places. Though this is traditionally an ant burrow, almost any species of ant is happy to substitute a climate-controlled home. Whether it’s food or warmth, ants will seek it out and can enter homes through minuscule cracks and openings. Though ants do not pose an immediate health risk, their presence can be a nuisance, and some ant species can cause damage to property. Plus, an ant colony definitely produces a distinct smell!

Do you already have ant problems? Take a look at the EcoSmart® Ant & Roach Killer Spray. It uses natural and essential oils to kill ants on contact. These oils also do a great job of taking care of lingering smells after you’ve taken care of the colony.

During the winter, ants largely only enter human homes for warmth and consider the food that they find a natural bonus. However, cockroaches are a completely different story. They are attracted to not only warmth, but also moisture, food, and refuse. This tendency only increases in winter. Different types of cockroaches prefer different environments. Here’s a quick breakdown of common cockroach species found in residential homes across America.

German Cockroach
This is one of the most common species of cockroach, and it's what likely comes to mind when you visualize a cockroach. It’s found across the entire world, and the only factor that limits its population growth is cold weather. This aversion to cold weather means that cockroaches are naturally attracted to human homes and dwellings. And they’ve made it work. German cockroaches are usually found in kitchens, bathrooms, or food storage areas, even in areas as far north as Nunavut, Canada. If you spot one, know that it cannot fly away. Though German cockroaches have wings, they can only glide short distances.

Brown-Banded Cockroach
This species is smaller than the German cockroach, though it’s not a noticeable difference to the naked eye. Also like the German cockroach, the brown-banded cockroach prefers warmth. A noticeable difference is the brown-banded cockroach’s' inclination to settle in high elevations. It’s not uncommon to find them in upper cabinets, on top of refrigerators, and in attics.

Oriental Cockroach
This bug is also referred to as the black cockroach due to its dark coloration. This type of cockroach prefers moist environments and tends to settle in basements, crawl spaces, around leaky water pipes, in bathrooms, and in places with fungal infections. All cockroaches can spread disease, but oriental cockroaches are among the worst. Take extra care to exterminate them if you notice these bugs in your home.

Thankfully, all species of cockroach can be controlled similarly. 

There are simple steps you can take, such as sealing entry points with caulk or weather stripping, keeping a clean environment, working with a plumber to seal leaky pipes, and making sure your food is secured -- including the food that’s thrown in your trash can and any pet food you use for your furry friends. If you’re dealing with an infestation, try using Avenger® Roach Tablets. Just drop them where cockroaches gather then check back in a day. Cockroaches are drawn to these tablets and will die once they ingest them.

By: Robin @ ARBICO Organics

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