When it comes to winter, there are few places in the world better to be than Tucson. While the rest of the country is shoveling snow or battling ice storms, Southern Arizonans are making tee times at their local golf course, hiking one of our beautiful trails, or barbecuing in the backyard. When it comes to pest management, spring and summer are certainly peak times for activity. That said, winter months in the desert present some unique challenges of which we need to be aware.
Over the holidays, the desert climate lends itself to warm days, but because of the limited vegetation and lack of humidity, the evenings can see temperatures drop significantly. In turn, insects, rodents, and reptiles begin making significant changes to their habits that can make the area in and around homes vulnerable to invasion. Once the sun goes down, the evening climate can be just as extreme as our summer days with temperatures often dropping below freezing. Naturally, this leaves insects, spiders, reptiles, and rodents looking for alternative shelters to stay warm. Often, the place they find is inside our homes leaving us with new pest-control challenges.
PESTS AREN’T THE ONLY ONES CHANGING HABITS
Pests take the majority of the responsibility for cases we’ve seen, but they aren’t the only ones changing their habits making our homes more vulnerable. The change in temperature and holiday season presents many inviting circumstances for pests to take advantage of. Here are just are a few of the top risks you’ll face:
Whether you’re firing up the backyard firepit or live in one of the many Tucson homes with an indoor fireplace, the wood you’re using undoubtedly came from a nearby forest. Firewood is one of the easiest ways for pests to get inside. Fallen timber is a very common home for many insects such as ants, and termites.When storing firewood, be sure to fully inspect it and store outdoors to whatever extent possible. Also, be aware that wood piles can provide great cover for reptiles, rodents, and spiders, especially black widows and scorpions.
GUESTS IN THE HOME
It’s no secret how great of a place Arizona can be this time of year. This means, many of us will be hosting family and friends from out of town. Invited guests can unknowingly bring uninvited creatures into your home. So, to control against rodent intrusion, be sure to wash linens regularly and keep floors and countertops clean of debris and crumbs. This isn’t an accusation about the cleanliness of your dear Aunt Sue. Rather, it’s an indictment on the pests that like to travel and then wreak habit once they arrive.
Not to mention, this means significantly more foot traffic in and out of the home. It only takes a moment for a mouse or insect to make it’s way in and they often do unnoticed. Be sure to keep the doors closed as much as possible.
OPEN WINDOWS AND DOORS
On that note, by mid-October, many of us in Tucson have turned off the air conditioner and opened the windows to let in the fresh air. If you enjoy a nice Southern Arizona breeze in your house, be sure to install a storm gate or screen door. Also, inspect the outside of windows to ensure there are no rips or tares in the protective screens. Be aware of some of the gaps and crevices in doorways and install the necessary weather-stripping to seal it off.
STAYING PEST-FREE YEAR AROUND
These are just a few of the risks we face when it comes to dealing with pests over the winter. Many pests that were content being outside, are now seeking refuge from the cold. Snakes, mice, and small rodents will look for anyway they can to infiltrate your home to escape the frigid night time temperature and use your home to stay warm.
In short, most of us don’t mind a few “snow birds” when they head into town for the winter, but pests are never welcome. Even after every pest-control measure has been taken, your home can still be susceptible to any number of pest invasions. That’s why we recommend scheduling regular service with a reputable pest management company.
As temperatures drop, now is a great time to receive your free consultation with DSR Pest Management. A member of our expert team can discuss some of the vulnerabilities your home may be exposed to, recommend preventative measures you can take, and schedule regular service and inspection to help ensure your home remains pest-free.
We’re here to help year around and keep your home pest-free. Happy Holidays!