Are there Fall and Winter Pests?
Living in California means we get to enjoy great weather nearly all year long. The colder months basically just bring a slight dip in temperature and occasional cloudy skies. We might get lucky if we see a bit of rain. Unfortunately, pests enjoy and take advantage of California’s ideal weather conditions too! Without extreme weather, pests in California can remain active all year long. The only pests that may slow down during the colder months are stinging insects and arthropods. Other than that, you’re likely to see other types of pests through the fall and into the winter. Here is a list of the most common pests you’ll see during the colder months:
- Roof Rats and Norway Rats– These are the two most common rat species in California. Rats can carry many diseases. They can spread disease through their urine and droppings. They are active at night, so you are not likely to see them, but signs of rats around your home include: rat droppings; burrows or nests (made of shredded paper or cloth, or under rubble, wood, thick bushes); smudges along walls, beams, rafters or pipes; and scurrying or scratching noises after dark.
- Skunks- the striped skunk is the one most likely to invade your home. Skunks are also active at night and invade homes in search for food. Rabies is very common among skunks, so aside from being sprayed you also want to avoid being bitten or having your pets bitten by skunks. Skunks use burrows made by other animals as shelter, but if burrows are not readily available they will make their home under buildings, porches, and sheds. If you notice a constant skunk smell, you may have a skunk living around your home.
- German cockroaches– As much as we detest these nasty pests, they just won’t go away. German cockroaches are the most common type of roach you will see in your home. Since California doesn’t have freezing weather to slow them down, they will be active all year long. They are capable of squeezing through the smallest of holes and can fit in the tiniest cracks in your kitchen. They can hide, virtually anywhere. As long as they have a dark, warm place and they have access to food and water, they can be seen all year long.
- Ants– We often think of ants invading our summer picnics and barbecues. While it’s true that ants are more prolific during the summer, the mild weather here, allows them to be active all year long. In fact, the colder months may make your home more inviting as they search for food and a warm place to live. The most common ants to invade California homes are the Odorous House Ant and the Argentine Ant.
The best thing to do is to prevent these pests from coming in. Make sure your are not inviting pests to your home by leaving food or water. Seal any entryways and fix leaks. If you do get an invasion, act quickly to prevent it from growing into an infestation. Call your pest professional if you need any help.