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Cold Weather Pest Control: Is It Necessary?

Many people wonder whether pest control is necessary when the weather turns cold. We don't see insects buzzing around in the winter, so do we really need to treat our homes and businesses for them? Exterminators will tell you that contrary to popular belief, many pests become more active in the fall and winter. Treating your home and the area around it is even more important during those months.


In southwest Missouri, our winters aren’t usually cold enough or lengthy enough to do much damage to the insect population. We may see temperatures dip for three to four days and while we humans are shivering, our cold spells aren't long enough to destroy the bugs in our area. Some insects even have a type of antifreeze in their systems that allows them to endure extreme cold for short periods of time. As a result, pest control in Joplin and Carthage is a year-round endeavor.


At Homefront Pest Protection, we're equipped with application materials and techniques that target the pests specific to our area and our weather. We can effectively and safely treat your home or business for the pests we know are active during the fall and winter seasons.


The best preparation and protection involves partnership between the exterminator and the homeowner. Together, we can keep your home or business pest free this season.  With that in mind, here are our top four tips for protecting your home from fall and winter pests.


Tip #1: Prepare screens, doors, and windows.


Insects living outdoors are eager to make their way inside for the winter, so sealing any entrance to your home will increase your effectiveness in keeping these pests out. If you can see sunlight through the cracks between your doors or windows and their frames, there’s room for a bug to squeeze through. Be sure to check around your garage door, too. Most garage doors have a rubber seal along the bottom that will shrink over time, creating enough space for bugs to get inside.


This is also a good time of year to inspect your foundation and repair any cracks or holes. Mice can fit through a hole with the diameter of a dime. If there's enough room for their noses, they can squeeze the rest of their bodies through.


Tip #2: Change exterior light bulbs from fluorescent or incandescent to yellow bug lights.


If you're finding lots of dead bugs inside your front door, it's probably because your exterior lights are attracting them. Once inside, they cross our application materials, which kill them, but no one likes to see dead bugs everywhere. Switching to yellow bug lights around the exterior of your home will reduce the number of bugs that make their way to your front door.


Tip #3: Keep an eye out for brown recluse.


Brown recluse spiders tend to mate in April through June, which is why we usually see more of them in the spring, but they never go away. Brown recluse are one of our most common and dangerous pests, and although they may be hiding in the fall, they're still here.


Spiders are dry heat creatures. They don't like the cold or the humidity. When we crank up our thermostats in the fall, we create their ideal environment. They find good hiding places and hunker down for the winter.  Then, in the late spring when we cool our homes down, brown recluse come out of hiding searching for a more suitable environment.


Maintaining scheduled pest control through the fall and winter months is important, because we spray our application materials in and around the places spiders are most likely to hide. When they venture out, they crawl through our application spray and are exterminated. We also recommend leaving out glue traps that have dead spiders on them, rather than throwing them away. Spiders eat other spiders, so a dead brown recluse on a glue trap will serve as bait for other spiders in that area.  


Tip #4: Remove leaves from the outside perimeter of your home and clear everything away from the foundation.


After the leaves have fallen, it’s a good idea to remove dead leaves and all other debris from the foundation of your home. Pests like to live in leaf piles, especially ants and snakes. It helps to mow around your foundation, too, blowing any debris way from the house.


Even better, weed-eat the grass around your home down to the dirt about a shoe-width out from the foundation. This creates a "kill-zone" where your Homefront Pest Protection technician can spray application materials that will kill any bug that tries to sneak in. Insects look for good hiding places and if they can’t find one, they move along. Clearing debris and grass around your foundation gives bugs fewer places to hide near your home.


At Homefront Pest Protection, we provide thorough and effective pest control year-round. As longtime residents of southwest Missouri and experienced exterminators, we know which  pests to look for and when to expect them. We’re committed to helping our customers protect their homes and businesses from fall and winter pests, and we’re ready to address any other pest control concerns you have, too. Give us a call, and let's put together a plan that fits your needs.


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