Knoxville Pest Control in the Winter:
What’s the Point?
I have been providing homes with pest control in Knoxville for over 15 years. During these years winter comes every time and I get the same questions. Why do I need pest control in the winter in the Knoxville area when it is 10 degrees and snowing? There are several reasons and some misconceptions.
Winter does not kill the bugs off
Customers tell me all the time how they wish for a cold winter to kill all the bugs. I just smile and say yes because I love winter but the logic doesn’t work. Some pests overwinter in our homes, some are less active, and some are more active. If the weather did them in then frankly, I would not have a job come spring. We generally do see less insects in the winter months but this has more to do with their life cycles than freezing to death. Much like hibernating bears, many insects have a time of year to mate and a time of year to hunker down and wait till spring. That is when we get the most calls but a little prevention goes a long way in pest control.
Pests food changes
Some insects change what they feed on and do not desire your kitchen as much in the winter. We have seasonal foods much like the pests. These can be due to what fruits and vegetables are in season or what holiday traditions you have. I myself am an eggnog fiend. But Mayfields only makes it in the winter so I get it when I can.
Overwintering and uninvited guests
Many pests use our homes to get away from the cold. They sneak into cracks and crevices around siding and utility accesses. Some even move in for the winter like that cousin you have, You know the one, the one who overstays his welcome and you didn’t really want him there in the first place. The food supply outside has also become scarce and the pests know you just baked those delicious Christmas cookies. To make matters worse, the spiders might find more to catch in a web to eat inside rather than outside. We also tend to spend more time inside gaining our “winter weight”. This could lead to a little less sanitation than normal, especially when no one wants to put pants on to take the trash out in the snow. It is a feast for pests. Most pest that invade our home like it warm rather than cold and if your home is the only warm spot, guess where they are going to be.
Ok, so even with all that, we still generally see less than in the summer so why would you ever pay for something you don’t need? The answer is prevention. Pest Control is not about killing the pests, it’s about fixing what the real problem is. What caused this in the first place? Fix that, then kill the pests and everyone will be happy. Prevention requires ongoing small treatments rather than large dumping of chemicals when you have a problem. Why not prevent it and reduce your exposure to the pests and the treatment? A treatment in the summer could kill millions of pests. In the winter, a treatment may only kill 1000 pests but that is 1000 that will not be making babies come spring time. The result is 100,000 less to start the season with. Some of my most successful victories over massive ant problems have been won in the winter. It is a “kick them when they are down” mentality. The bottom line is that the next season, the ants are no where near the problem they were the previous season. Not only is the customer happy but it ends up being much less work and the amount of product needed to maintain it is less. All of this results in less cost for the customer.
Rats and Mice
Rodents are one of the pests that actually get worse in the winter. They are looking for food and shelter and your house is the perfect provider. Now is a good time to seal holes allowing them rent free access. Rats and Mice can often be more of a health hazard than the gross factor of the insects with their little presents they leave you in the form of feces and urine. See a previous blog all about these nasty pests called Tip of the Week: How did that get into my house.
If you don’t like the weather, wait 10 minutes
The last thing to consider is how long the products last. The bulk of the effect of treatments is spread out over time to continually protect your home. It may be cold and snowing today when I treat but at least here in Tennessee, it could be sunny and 80 degrees tomorrow. No matter what the weather does, the treatment is designed to be there lying in wait for whatever intruder gets a sweet tooth for your Christmas cookies. So a treatment may not be necessary today, but next week, or next month, when the pests start to emerge on a warm day, I am already there waiting to prevent them because the products are still working.
Nipping a problem in the bud often results in you not even knowing there was a problem looming. Before you knew it, it was already taken care of. No mess, no fuss.
If you have a problem with pests it is always better to call someone who knows how to fix it safely. Running to Walmart for a can of raid is not your best option and certainly not the safest. Call Phoenix Pest Control today for a free diagnostic inspection and find out how we can safely remove the dangers to your health and even the “icky” factors. Happy Thanksgiving and save some turkey for me.