Unfortunately, some people think that they can relax in winter regarding pest control. However, it’s now, during these cold winter temperatures, that a home can be especially inviting to pests, such as insects and rodents. In fact, it’s during winter that many pests find ways to barge into a home for food and shelter from inclement weather.
People living in cluttered environments stand an even greater chance of insect and rodent invasions. If you have clutter in your home and are worried about an infestation, here’s what you should know about how a cluttered home can cause pest problems.
How Clutter Attracts Pests
It’s not hard to understand how having clutter can lead to pest issues. When you have accumulated clutter in storage places, such as a garage, attic or basement, you can provide a winter haven for insects and rodents.
Often, pests gravitate to cardboard boxes, paper stacks or bags filled with stuff such as old garments. This can occur without residents not even knowing what’s happening until they discover either these critters or their telltale tracks of damage.
Living with clutter can make cleaning harder, which also promotes pests. For example, dirty dishes left in the kitchen sink or filthy food containers remaining out in the open can be a food source for mice and rats.
When clutter is left unchecked for a long time period, a pest problem can continue to get worse. Furthermore, having a cluttered home can make it more challenging to check for pests.
Signs of An Infestation
If insects or rodents have set up housekeeping in your home, there will be signs. Some of these include:
- Dead insect carcasses, cast-off insect skins or body parts—These are commonly found on window sills, inside shelf crevices, or even between papers and books.
- Spider webs
- Insect droppings, such as the black pellets of roaches
- Mud tubes left from termites
- Holes or tunnels left in materials
- Rodent droppings
- Bags of food that are torn from a rodent’s teeth marks
- Rodent teeth marks left on items that been chewed
Insects That Are Drawn to Clutter
Some pests are more attracted to clutter than others are. These include:
- Bed bugs, which are exceptionally difficult to find, hide in items such as boxes. When you have a room with a lot of boxes, bed bugs can quickly multiply, causing a severe infestation.
- Spiders love clutter and commonly hide in homes cluttered with piles of magazines, newspapers, books and clothing.
- Moths are known for destroying clothing and are particularly drawn to wool.
- Mice cause significant damage, chewing through items and woodwork. They can harm a home’s internal structure. What’s more, they can even destroy your home’s insulation and spread toxic pathogens through their droppings and urine. Electrical wires can be extremely hazardous, causing a fire, when mice gnaw on them.
Considerations and Warnings
- Ants and other insects are easily attracted to sugar. Therefore, check your kitchen regularly to make sure there’s no sugary food left anywhere.
- Rodents will go for food near the ground that they can easily reach, so keep your floors clean.
- People who move into or out of apartments typically unload items such as old mattresses, sofas and other furniture next to dumpsters. Because large items are generally picked up irregularly, they can be an ideal hideout for rodents until the items are removed.
- Clutter around the perimeter of a house or building can also be a calling card for rodents. Thus, don’t let building materials, such as wood, bricks or stones build up, which can provide camping grounds for mice and rats.
- Check for spilled bird seed underneath feeders and make sure your garbage cans have tight, secure lids so that rodents don’t get inside to find food.
If you can’t successfully get rid of pests, don’t hesitate to let a professional pest control expert do the job. Miller Pest and Termite Control, serving the Des Moines area, has an excellent reputation for eliminating all types of insects and rodents. Please contact us for more information. Don’t leave your Runnells pest control program to just anyone!