As we approach Halloween, there are a few pests we get routine calls for. These are the same pests that plague homeowners all Fall: spiders, rodents, and bats. These pests are largely associated with the season not just because of the holiday season but because this is when they are the most active. The primary reason you may be seeing these pests in your home with alarming frequency is fairly obvious.
Colder weather means pests with lifespans that last longer than a year need a warm, dry place to survive the winter. Pests like bats and rodents spend a majority of the year outdoors but can’t weather the storm as temperatures drop. Spiders actually are likely to be in your home all year long but are more noticeable in cooler weather as they hunt.
Spiders in our region typically are one of two types and we call them web builders and hunters. Web builders make intricate webs in areas with low people traffic to catch prey. The common house spider is a “web builder” and usually spends its entire life in your home.
However, hunters tend to roam about in order to hunt their prey. Hunting spiders are often “furry” and larger and more “scary” than their web-building counterparts. One of the most common hunting spiders found in the Northeast is the Wolf Spider.
Vigilance is key:
- Move trash, woodpiles, rock piles, leaf litter, and thin heavy vegetation from around your home
- Spiders love undisturbed areas, especially where moisture and prey bugs may accumulate.
- Be aware of dark, damp spaces for signs of dead bugs that indicate spider activity.
We get calls for rodents because of many reasons but a popular one is droppings. Droppings are small and rice-shaped and typically found in areas where food is stored, such as the cabinets or pantry. They can also be found in the basement in less-traveled areas. Another major sign of rodent infestations is gnaw marks. They can look like scratches but with shreds of material left behind. Rodents chew in and out of your home but also forage for nest material like cardboard, newspaper, and fabric.
If you hear unusual scratching, clawing or scurrying sounds coming from the walls or attic, your home might be infested. Rodents are likely to make moves late at night when your family is asleep. If this is when you hear spooky sounds, rodents are likely the culprit. Finally, if you see a rodent then you can safely assume your home is infested. If a rodent is bold enough to come out when you’re awake and moving, then they are nesting in your home.
Prevention is your best weapon against rodents:
- Repair torn screens
- Seal cracks with high quality silicone or silicone-latex caulk
- Fill holes around utilities with copper mesh
- Install door sweeps on exterior entrances
Winged pests are a real pain
Sometimes called rats with wings, bats will gain entry to your attic through gaps in siding and keep quiet during the day. A bat infestation can be far more than a nuisance because some species are actually endangered and protected by state law. If you do have bats, you may need to bring in a special pest control company that specializes in “exclusion” methods that can be costly.
Blocking them from entering can prevent them in the first place:
- Start by screening attic vents and openings around chimneys—this has the added benefit of preventing squirrels from gaining access as well
- Repair siding gaps paying particular attention to the roof and soffit areas
- Creatures That Go “Bump” In The Night… Could There Be Pests In Your Attic?
- Reminder – The Importance Of Fall Pest Control Treatments
- How That Mouse Got In Your House
Tricks are for kids this season, don’t get duped. Our team at Graduate Pest Solutions specializes in prevention. Call us at 413-566-8222 or contact us with any questions or if you are experiencing a pest problem. We have the knowledge and service necessary to help keep your home and workplace pest-free!