Fall Pest Control: What to Know as the Seasons ChangeReading time: 7 minutes
Autumn is a busy time for pest control. Changes to the weather and temperatures outside cause pests to behave differently, requiring modifications to your elimination and deterrence strategies.
Here’s what to know about fall pest control, identifying pests in your home, and the most effective ways to get rid of them.
Why Fall Pest Control Is a Good Idea
Most of us want pests controlled outside the home in the summer. It allows you to enjoy outdoor spaces and keeps your family safe from mosquitoes, ticks, and other insect annoyances. But you might not be as diligent during the fall because the activity is less or you’ve always heard that it’s unnecessary.
But, the best thing you can do for your home and property is keep up with pest control that helps you keep pests from getting inside and keeps up a protective shield around your home. Now, you indicate to any pests that they aren’t welcome, regardless of the time of year. You also avoid the potential dangers and damage caused by pests, which could be expensive if you don’t notice them over the winter.
Whether you choose a professional service, want some tips for minimizing pests on your own, or combine both, you’re doing the best thing for your property in the long term.
Seasonal Pest Behavior & the Impact of Fall Weather
When temperatures outside drop, rodents and insects start looking for warm places to nest once winter sets in. Often, this means they come toward homes and other structures. They can detect even the smallest openings in places you’d never thought to look, and if they enter your home, they can easily set up camp. That’s why you want to be just as proactive during the autumn as you are for summer and spring pest control.
Fall Hot Spots in Your Home You Shouldn’t Ignore
Thorough pest prevention in the fall not only creates barriers against insects and rodents wintering in your home – you also stop spring infestations from happening when the weather warms back up.
When pests come indoors, they tend to find small openings that lead them directly to warmth. These areas tend to be similar across many homes, including places like:
- Laundry rooms – Check behind your washer and dryer, sink, storage boxes, and clothes baskets in your laundry area.
- Garages – Dark, undisturbed corners of your garage are likely to house spiders, some of which may be venomous.
- Chimneys – Chimneys are ideal bat habitats during the fall. While beneficial to the environment, bats carry zoonotic diseases that can spread to humans, and you don’t want them around your home.
- Attics – Heat rises in the fall, making your attic the perfect temperature for rodents and mice looking for places to nest.
- Kitchens – Food and garbage in kitchen areas attract pests of all kinds, including rats, mice, raccoons, cockroaches, and other harmful insects.
- Bathrooms – Check under bathroom cabinets where plumbing fixtures may leak and provide pests warmth or water.
- Outdoor HVAC equipment – Before covering your outdoor HVAC condenser for the winter, check for any insects or nuisance animals that have gotten in. Clean the unit and seal it well for the winter.
- Basements – Like garages and attics, basements don’t get much traffic and are easy for pests to get into. Insects and rodents alike can find cozy spots to nest here without problem.
- Carpets – Fleas can burrow in your carpets in the fall, laying eggs that don’t hatch until later. Although it’s less likely, pests can even be a problem if you don’t have animals.
How to Identify Seasonal Pests
Knowing what kind of problems you’re most at risk of during the fall is essential to your prevention strategy.
Below, you’ll find some of the most common pests and ways to identify them.
Field mice and other outdoor rodents that generally don’t live indoors are attracted to houses in the fall when the weather gets too cold for their burrows to keep them warm enough. Rodents reproduce quickly, and by the time you identify the problem, you may have an infestation on your hands.
How to identify: While you may never see rodents in your home, they leave some telltale signs that can help you identify them. Look for chewed boxes, torn food packages, and small, dark pellets in your drawers or cabinets. If you notice any signs of rats or mice, contact a pest control professional immediately.
Most spiders are harmless and may help keep other insects out of the area with their webs. During the fall, you may notice more webs around the outside of your home and in areas that don’t get a lot of human traffic, so be aware of this if you don’t want these arachnids making your home their winter vacation spot.
It is worth mentioning black widows when we talk about spiders. Black widows are one of the only venomous spiders in Canada, but they are still pretty active in the early fall, so it’s good to keep an eye out just in case.
How to identify: Black widows are shiny and black with oversized abdomens and tall, arched legs. These spiders have a red hourglass shape on their underside, although it’s not recommended that you try to look.
While ant activity tends to slow down during the fall and winter, that doesn’t mean these insects aren’t seeking shelter in your home. There are many ant species in Western Canada, so you need to be diligent should you spot ants in your home during the autumn. The wetter weather and colder temperatures since these pests are searching for a new safe place, and you don’t want your home to become their oasis (there are plenty of DIY ant control methods if you worry).
How to Identify: Ants are always looking for food sources, so you can bet they’ll find a way into your home because you store food there. If you notice more than one ant, it’s a sign that one has left a pheromone trail leading other workers to your spaces. Once you see a full line coming into your home, it’s a sign that you need to treat and seal your home against the creatures.
Tips to Make the Outside of Your Home Inhospitable to Pests
Which pest control methods are most effective also change with the seasons. That’s because what worked in the summer might not work in the fall.
Seal small openings around doors, windows, and your home's foundation. Creating a barrier between pests and your home prevents them from being able to get in, leaving them to die off outside as temperatures continue to plummet.
Other tips for outdoor pest control you can do on your own include:
- Keep food and garbage tightly sealed – Food and trash attract pests of every kind. Your counters should be free from food debris, and any food that you have stored should be kept in hard, airtight containers that rodents or insects can’t chew through.
- Clean up leaf litter as soon as possible – Leaf litter is the perfect hideout for unwanted pests. After raking your yard, bag your leaves or blow them out of the way.
- Cut back vegetation and foliage near your house – Check your yard for foliage that has grown close to your house so you can cut it back before the winter. Long tree branches too close to your windows or roof make it easier for ants, squirrels, and other pests to invade your home.
- Clean and maintain outdoor furniture – During the summer, pests like spiders and wasps can build their nests and webs underneath patio furniture. Then, when you bring your chairs and tables inside for the season, you unknowingly introduce these pests into your home.
- Call for professional pest control services – Professional fall pest control can help you keep your home insect and rodent-free so you and your family can enjoy the upcoming holidays with peace of mind.
Buzz Boss Is Your Pest Control Partner in Every Season
When fall pests threaten to make winter unbearable, Buzz Boss is here to help. As a top provider of professional pest control services in Western Canada, our experts can identify your pest problems and develop effective, environmentally safe solutions to eliminate them.
Contact us today to learn more about fall pest control or schedule a time for our technicians to come to your home by calling 1-844-744-2899. You can also book online, and our team will get back to you as soon as possible to discuss your autumn pest prevention needs.