Fall has fallen here in the South, and cooler weather has come with it. While we typically think of spring and summer as prime time for pests, autumn has its own fair share of pest-related challenges.
Fear not. We’ve got you covered with what to be on the lookout for while you’re enjoying sweater weather and everything pumpkin spiced.
A Chill In the Air
You know it’s fall when you’ve got red cheeks raking leaves. Time spent outside warrants a warm cup of cocoa or apple cider. Nights are best spent snuggled under blankets or cozily wrapped in extra socks and flannels. Down South, it doesn’t take much to send us scurrying for warmth.
Well, wouldn’t you know, the cold affects pests too! Just like a Southerner when the thermometer dips below 50, insects and rodents want to get warm. And they don’t have the luxury of layering up, throwing logs on the fire, or escaping to a getaway on a tropical beach.
For pests, the warmest place is usually your house.
The Fearsome Threesome of Fall Pests
When it comes to cold-weather home invaders in the Southeast, the three worst offenders are cockroaches, rodents, and spiders.
Cockroaches thrive in heat and humidity–hence their prevalence in the Southeast. During fall and winter, they are drawn indoors in search of these favored conditions. Once inside a heated home, the pesky palmetto bugs can survive a season that would otherwise be too cold.
Rodents like to hunker down for the colder months, burrowed into somewhere warm where they can make a nest. They also take this opportunity to start reproducing. Before you know it, a mouse or rat den inside your home can explode into a huge population of squeaking, scurrying scavengers.
For their part, spiders are mostly capable of resisting the worst the cold weather has to offer. They are able to survive the lower temperatures without too much of an issue. However, the lack of other insects out of doors finds their cobwebs collecting dust. Spiders follow their food sources, setting up shop indoors.
As football fans know, you don’t want to neglect your defense. Fortunately, we’re not talking about hiring a new couch or drafting a freshman class full of beefy linebackers. When it comes to fall pests, there are a few simple things anyone can do in the time it takes to watch the halftime show.
The first thing you’re going to want to do is to check the seals in and around your home. In a hot, humid climate like ours, a turn toward cold weather can cause caulking and sealants to become loose—and that isn’t accounting for the regular wear and tear of time.
Next, you’re going to want to do a similar check around your doors and windows. Where present, make sure screens are secure and free of holes. While you’re checking this, make sure no vegetation or branches are encroaching on your home!
Finally, make sure you’re always practicing proper food storage. It’s the most gluttonous time of the year, but don’t let your feasting be an invitation for pests! Be sure food is put away properly and all crumbs are accounted for once you’ve done all your holiday (and regular!) baking.
If Things Go South…
There’s a lot going on this time of year. Sometimes things slip between the cracks—here’s hoping those things aren’t pests!
But in the event that the things slipping through are of the four-, six-, or eight-legged variety, you’re going to need professional help. For all of your fall pest solutions, you can depend on the local, trusted experts at Terminix.