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Several Active Winter Pests and Our Solutions

Homes and other indoor environments face different pest problems at different times of the year. Pest problems won’t stop because of the weather. In winter, some pests choose to hibernate, while others stay active. In winter, for families, pest problems mainly start inside the house. During the winter months, many mice and rats tend to move indoors. But the pests active in the winter are not just them. Here, we’ve listed some of the most common winter pest types in the northern hemisphere:

1. Roof Rats and Norway Rats
2. German Cockroaches
3. Brown Recluse Spiders
4. Ladybugs and Boxelder Bugs
5. Carpet Beetles

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1. Roof Rats and Norway Rats

The roof rats are one of the most common rodents in the United States and many other places. Basements, attics and piles of undisturbed stuff are often their best hiding places. Firstly, their harms begin with their contamination of food and the spread of many types of disease. They are the carriers of plague, rat bite fever, jaundice, vaccinia virus, etc. Secondly, they often bite through drywall, causing structural damage to the house. They may also chew power lines, causing the problems such as power failure, short circuits and even fires. Norway rats can even bite through water pipes in order to get the water source. Therefore, there is a considerable economic losses caused by rats every year.

An opening as small as a dime is enough to let a rat into a house, while Norway rats need just half an inch. Therefore, in order to prevent them from entering houses, barbed wire or caulking agent can be used to seal off all possible paths of the house in the first place. Also, since they tend to hide in cluster, then eliminating any food and water sources and keeping the environment tidy is also effective to keep them out of the house. All mice tend to store their food. Therefore, bait can be used after finding out how they carry food. Also, they tend to be more nocturnal, so night can be chosen to pinpoint their location in the home.

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2. German Cockroaches

German cockroaches are the most common species in cockroach family. They are close to us because they have easier access to food and water in our houses. That’s why the kitchens and bedrooms are often the places where they are spotted.

The danger of cockroaches lies in that they can contaminate the food of people or pets they come into contact with by spreading bacteria and pathogens. The bacteria and viruses transmitted by cockroaches include poliovirus, adenovirus, dysentery bacillus, Escherichia coli, yersinia pestis and dozens of others. They can cause asthma and allergy in sensitive people through their saliva, feces, and fallen body parts. They are easily blown into the air by human activity at home. According to statistics, cockroach allergens are found in more than 60% of American families. People will easily develop coughing, nasal congestion, rashes, and body infections due to cockroach allergies.

To learn more about cockroaches and how to solve the cockroach problem, please go to our blog How to Safely Kill Cockroaches.

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3. Brown Recluse Spiders

Also known as violin spiders, brown recluse spiders are a large family that includes more than 100 venomous spider species. They tend to weave webs in undisturbed locations such as closets, attics and basements. Not only that, they’re dangerous because they are often found in unorganized clothes, shoes, and other items in your home. They will attack people when they feel threatened. Since they tend to inject venom when attacking, a bite from them requires immediate medical attention.

To avoid the potential presence of brown recluse spiders at home, infrequently used clothes and shoes should be stored in wardrobes and boxes to avoid becoming their habitats. In addition, brown recluse spiders can also enter a house through the trees that touch the house. Therefore, it is necessary to trim the trees near the house at a regular basis to keep them away.

In addition, we can also use insecticides against brown cluster spiders. For instance, pyrethroids like deltamethrin, cypermethrin, bifenthrin are effective in killing spiders. Our pyrethroid-containing pest control products are excellent choices against a wide range of pests including the brown cluster spiders.

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4. Ladybugs and Boxelder Bugs

There are more than 5000 kinds of ladybugs. They are considered beneficial overwintering insects. They have a dome-shaped body with hard shells covering the inner wings. They’re listed here not because they’re pests. In fact, they are beneficial insects. They eat aphids, mites and mealybugs that harm plants and crops in gardens and fields.

Problems mainly appear in the fall and winter. When it gets cold, they need to find warm places to live. They tend to enter the home through the window or other paths. When they gather excessively within the family environment, it will bring some troubles to people’s life. Ladybugs are not poisonous. But they can also bite people. While no venom is injected, it does leave marks and cause a mild itching on the skin. The Asian lady beetles contains two proteins that people can be allergic to. They are similar to the proteins found in German cockroaches. Sensitive crowds may experience sneezing, a running nose or even breathing problems as a result. For dogs, there will be side effects if they eat ladybugs. According to a report, when a dog bites a ladybug, the lymphatic fluid within its body can cause damage similar to chemical burns. Common symptoms include behavioral changes, drooling, drowsiness, vomiting, etc.

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Boxelder bugs are quite similar to ladybugs. They get their name from their preference for eating the leaves of maple trees and boxelder trees with seeds. Their bodies are about half an inch long and in elongated oval shape. Each boxelder bug has a pair of antennae, six legs and a bright red back with markings in the color orange.

Compared with ladybugs, boxelder bugs cause problems for different reasons. Not only do they feed on trees, they can also be aggressive towards people. Boxelder bugs have mouthparts that can pierce into human skin. Their bite will cause mild irritation and leave a red spot quite similar to a mosquito bite. When dealing with boxelder bugs, it is not advisable to crush them directly. Otherwise, it will produce a very strong pungent smell and leave a reddish stain.

For a boxelder bug infestation, pyrethroids such as permethrin and cypermethrin can handle the problem very well.

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5. Carpet Beetles

Carpet beetles do not, as their name suggests, eat carpets. They got their name because in the early days, carpets were made of natural fibers like wool. Most carpets today are made of synthetic materials. When carpet beetles enter a home, they will feed on wool, leather, or silk products, or anything else made from natural fibers. Not only that, any home with a furry pet is likely to be their favorite place.

There are three kinds of carpet beetles: common carpet beetles, varied carpet beetles and furniture carpet beetles. They range in size from 0.1 to 0.2 inches. The colors and patterns on their wings can vary from one species to another. They do not directly pose any harm or danger to people or pets. The trouble they cause is mainly in items such as clothes, furniture and carpets in the house.

Carpet beetles are sometimes mistaken for bed bugs. They usually enter a house in search of food through the openings in the foundation of a house, cracks in doors and windows, air vents, etc. For a carpet beetle infestation, what you should do is to clean, vacuum, or sweep everything that have been touched by them once they are noticed. They can also be treated with insecticides. For instance, pyrethroids like bifenthrin, deltamethrin, and permethrin can effectively exterminate carpet beetles.

Our Solutions

Both the prevention and treatment measures are required for each of the abovementioned pest problems.

In terms of prevention, the first thing to do is to seal the house so that they do not have any chance to enter the house. Next, keep the environment clean and neat in order not to give them any food source or a place to hide. This will prevent them from being attracted to the house. Even they are already in a house, they can be quickly found and quickly disposed of. Also, keeping a pet can sometimes be a good way to deal with certain pest problem. As we all know, owning a cat is an effective way to avoid the infestation of mice and rats.

When the above preventive measures fail, some further approaches will be needed to address a specific problem. In terms of the treatment methods, compared with the complex and time-consuming organic methods, to choose the appropriate pesticide products will make the work easier. For years, Safe-killer has been providing multiple types of pest killing and control products for all environments. The safe use of indoor insecticide products in the home environment requires the consideration of the balance of efficacy and safety. That is why our products use a variety of the most popular active ingredients like Pyrethroids, Imidacloprid, and Indoxacarb to achieve the best treatment of common pest problems.

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