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How to Avoid Common Winter Pests

Dec 19, 2016

Winter brings relief from many pest problems, but it also forces some pests to seek a winter home… and sometimes that can be inside your house. While you’re planning your holiday guest list, make sure the following common winter pests aren’t invited.

A mouse seeking shelter from the chilly D.C. winter in a suburban home.


Mice, rats and other rodents seek shelter from the chilly Washington., D.C., winters and may look for ways into your home through holes, cracks and crevices.

Rodent control isn’t just about keeping gross pests out of your home, it’s about saving your house from structural damage, too. Not just a nuisance, rodents bring disease-causing bacteria with them, contaminating food sources and kitchen surfaces. Their gnawing can cause structural damage when they target wood, piping insulation and electrical wires.

Signs of rodent activity in your home include droppings, strange noises coming from the walls and ceiling, gnaw marks on wires and pipes and grease tracks along walls and floorboards.

Rodent control can be as easy as storing food in airtight containers, using heavy-duty bins with lids for garbage, sealing cracks and holes around the home, keeping your kitchen clean of food debris and eliminating sources of moisture.

How to get rid of mice in your home


While cockroaches are another bacteria-spreading pest, they’re also known for triggering allergies and exacerbating asthma symptoms. The main species you’ll find in the D.C. area are the German, American and oriental cockroaches. Roaches generally look for warm, moist spaces.

Signs of a roach problem include spotting them in your home (dead or alive), running across droppings or seeing egg cases. An infestation happens quickly! Contact a pest control professional immediately if you notice any signs of a roach problem.

Deter roaches by keeping counters, floors and other kitchen surfaces clean and free of crumbs. Vacuum floors and dispose of garbage regularly. When cleaning, pay close attention to kitchens and bathrooms, especially under appliances and sinks.

How to get rid of roaches


Spiders move indoors during the cooler months to find secure areas to build their webs. If you can slide a piece of paper under your door, spiders can get in. While they do bite, most house spiders are harmless, and will only bite if they feel threatened. Seek medical attention if a spider bite ever causes severe swelling or lesions.

You won’t know you have spiders unless you see them or their webs. Look for webs around windows, ceiling corners or beneath fixtures. Eliminate entry points, including gaps around windows and doors, to keep spiders out. Sweep away webs when you find them. Keep trees and shrubs trimmed away from the house.


Just like rodents, raccoons and squirrels look for a warm home for the winter, often entering through chimneys or attics. Raccoons can carry rabies, and any wildlife can cause damage to insulation, wiring or items stored in the attic. You’ll likely hear wildlife in the walls or ceilings.

To prevent wildlife from entering the home, store trashcans and recycling bins in sealed areas if possible. Be sure to use tight lids. Inspect the outside of your home for access points, and fix or seal them as you find them. Install a mesh cover or cap over your chimney and other openings that could allow wildlife entry. Keep tree branches trimmed away from your home.

Wildlife removal isn’t a DIY job. Contact a pest control professional if you suspect a wildlife problem in your home.

Winter pest control

If you’re wondering how to keep mice away, along with any winter pests, contact CroppMetcalfe for a free estimate and diagnosis. Our certified pest control professionals, who have an average of 15 years of field experience, will help find the best pest control solution for your needs.



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