Winter Pest Habits in Georgia

Winter Pest Habits in Georgia

Here in Georgia, we typically experience mild winters. But when temperatures plunge, and it gets icy outside, these cold snaps can substantially impact the behavior of local pests. This, subsequently, can affect the pest habits you notice in and around your home. From typical overwintering pest encounters to rare pest behaviors, Bug House has your back. Below, we’ve compiled a few essential tips about the winter habits of Georgia pests. 

Georgia Climate: A Pest’s Best Friend

In our humid southern climate, pests are a year-round nuisance and threat. While other areas of the country see specific seasons as more pest-ridden than others, we typically deal with all the pests, all the time. In the northern US, colder temperatures naturally alleviate pest pressures, with pests either freezing to death or simply going dormant. In our case, Georgia weather doesn’t usually get cold enough to elicit freezing or dormancy of pests. However, more extreme winters affect the pest patterns we are accustomed to, so deviation from standard winter weather will have a noticeable impact.

How Do Pests Survive the Winter?

Bugs live in Georgia for many of the same reasons that we do: beautiful landscapes, beach access, and warm weather. Come winter, we retreat into our warm homes and bundle up. Bugs, on the other hand, don’t always have that luxury. Instead, they react to cold weather in different ways, from dying off for the season, migrating to warmer temperatures, or overwintering inside human structures.

Hibernating Pests

Hibernation includes freeze tolerance, a process by which pests create an antifreeze-like compound to prevent ice crystals from forming on their bodies. It can also include freeze avoidance, or pests avoiding the freeze by burying themselves in soil or rotting trees.

Migrating Pests

Migrating insects, such as the monarch butterfly, migrate south to warmer climates during the winter using their internal compass. However, sudden cold spells are quite dangerous for migrating insects, as they must have time to take the southbound trip.

Overwintering Pests

Overwintering pests utilize a form of migration to live through cold weather. But, instead of heading to a different region of the world, these pests migrate indoors. They rely on our indoor heating systems, and upon a sudden onset of cold weather, can cause problems to home and business owners.

Common Overwintering Pests in Georgia

In Georgia, we share our breathtaking outdoors with majestic wildlife. We should appreciate them from afar, as they serve crucial roles within our ecosystem. However, we don’t want them making their way into our homes. The most common pests that you can expect to find in and around your home during the winter are: 

How to Prevent Winter Pests

As we’ve said before, prevention is critical to a pest-free home. In the case of wildlife infestation, this statement could not be more accurate. The best way to avoid the headache of a winter wildlife infestation is to prevent the problem altogether. Many homeowners don’t even realize the things they’re doing–or not doing–that invite unwanted bugs, rodents, and animals into their homes. Let’s discuss the best ways to prevent an infestation in your home this winter!

    • Secure your trash containers: Winter wildlife is comprised of omnivores, which means these animals will eat just about anything. Unsecured household trash containers are basically a cornucopia for overwintering pests, offering many enticing food options. Deter unwanted pests by tightly securing trash can lids, avoiding overfilling containers, and washing bins regularly to dislodge errant food waste.
    • Seal access points to your home: Overwintering pests can enter your home through even the smallest openings. Now is the time to identify gaps, openings, and entry points into your home. Ensure your home’s attic, vents, windows, chimney, and crawl space are secure by sealing gaps and holes that pests can use to gain access. Minor repairs like caulking smaller openings, installing a chimney cap, and placing screens on vents can help avoid significant damage from pests. They may also help reduce your heating bill!
    • Keep trees and shrubs away from the house: When too close, tree branches give squirrels, raccoons, and other pests a natural bridge to your home. Prune shrubs to keep them at least 12 inches away from your house and trim branches that overhang your roof. Doing so will not only keep animals away but will also protect your property from damage caused by the plants themselves.
    • Don’t leave food sources around your home: Food left outdoors invites wildlife to approach. Avoid placing pet food outside or tossing scraps into the yard. Pick up fallen fruit and protect gardens with fences designed to keep out animals. The harder it is for pests to find food, the less likely they bother you or enter your home.

Bug House Has Your Back

When you start searching for a reliable team to manage pests in and around your home, call the experts at Bug House. Our experts are always ready to get to the bottom of your pest problems and help you kickstart an effective, long-term solution for your home. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation. We proudly serve Bug House customers throughout Georgia in Augusta, Carrollton, Columbus, Dublin, Eastman, Forsyth, Lake Oconee, Macon, Madison, McDonough, Milledgeville, Monroe, Sandersville, Savannah, St. Simons, Warner Robins, and Watkinsville.