Winter Pest Control in Northern Virginia

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Why is Pest Control in Winter So Important? 

Pest Control is a battle that needs to be fought in every season in order to be effective at keeping you pest free. Just because it’s cold outside, doesn’t mean your pest problems have vanished. Our technicians are trained to find bugs and rodents in their many hiding spots and focus on securing your home with thorough inspections and targeted treatments.

Preventative control is also essential in the home during this time as winter pest control also sets the tone for when the weather warms up again. A good, thorough treatment in the winter will drastically improve the ability to quickly control the pests that emerge in the spring.

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What Happens to Pests During the Cold Months?

Insects appear to vanish during the colder months, but just because we cannot see them, doesn’t mean they’re not there. Pests are annoyingly durable and, as such, they have found different ways to not only cope but survive the inevitable cold each year.

Insects are ectothermic creatures, meaning that they are warm blooded and particularly susceptible to the cold. As such, they seek shelter underground, in trees, etc. during the winter months in order to stay warm enough to survive. While hiding in their shelters, most insects will enter a state of extraordinarily deep sleep in which their metabolic processes slow to a stop. This process is known as diapause and it is essentially the insect version of hibernation. During diapause, some insects can reduce the water concentration levels in their own bodies and dilute present water by introducing more sugars into their cells in order to drastically lower the freezing rate of their bodies, thereby allowing them to survive the frigid temperatures. Other insects are able to fight the freezing temperatures through the natural production of glycerol cryoptectants, which are like a biological anti-freeze. Meanwhile, their bodies survive off of a system of stored energy, which can last up to a year for some insects, and, when the warmer weather eventually begins to return, the diapause will wear off and insects will begin to awaken.

Some pests do not engage in diapause however, and instead, they engage in migratory behavior. Insects East of the Rocky Mountains tend to travel to Mexico for the winter while their fellow bugs to the West of the mountain range will make their way to California and surrounding areas to wait out the cold. Probably the most famous insect that is known to take part in such migration is the monarch butterfly, who travels south between August and October each year.

When pests, don’t hibernate or migrate… they’re often making their way into homes…

Unwelcome Wintertime Guests

During the fall, pest activity actually tends to spike as insects and rodents are on the search for a new place to call home. Some insects will find there way into houses in order to to hibernate, while others, like spiders, will remain somewhat active. As other insects make their way inside, spider activity also increases and, once they find a quiet spot, they  begin spinning webs under shelter for the coming cold months.

The worst and most problematic wintertime pests are not typically insects however, but rodents. Both mice and rats can fit through extremely tiny holes. Rats can fit into holes the size of a quarter, adult mice can fit through holes the size of a dime, adolescent mice can even fit through holes that are as small as the circumference of a pen, and when all else fails, rodents chew their way in! Their teeth are incredibly powerful and grow at a surprisingly rapid rate. In fact, if rats do not chew on things for roughly 28 minutes a day to grind down their teeth, they will be at risk of having their teeth grow to the point where they cannot even close their mouths. Their bite pressure is also 24,000 psi (for reference, a wolf’s bite has a pressure of only 1,400 psi) which means that rats can even chew through metal! Due to this, rodents are not only problematic pests, they’re dangerous. In fact, recent reports regarding rodent infestations have found that both rats and mice have caused electrical fires in homes by chewing through wiring.

So, while it seems like the cold weather is keeping pests at bay, it has no effect on those that have already made their way inside your home.

How is Winter Pest Control Different?

Winter pest control is rooted in preventative treatments. Our technicians take a very targeted approach through both thorough inspection and careful applications to best fit your pest control needs.

During this time, we rarely spray outside as our eco-friendly products freeze before the active ingredient can bond with the surface. Instead we focus on using a granular repellant that is specially equipped for working in winter weather as it is water activated – thereby working in tandem with the snow as opposed to being thwarted by it. We also place a precedence on interior inspections of both homes (specifically basements) and garages as these are key targets for rodents and other pests to inhabit during the frigid weather. Attic inspections are also encouraged when possible (attic inspections can only be completed if there is a finished floor in the attic).

Even if you’re lucky enough to not be plagued by pests joining you for the holiday season, winter treatments are still very important. Solid preventative treatments in the winter will drastically decrease your risk of an infestation come spring. In fact, some customers fondly refer to our winter service as their “pre-spring treatment.”

Prevention and Protection

At Green Pest Services, we are dedicated to solving your pest problems. This is why we do not provide temporary fixes, we provide long-term solutions. Pest control is a battle that needs to be fought in every season, and a good treatment in the winter will drastically improve our ability to more quickly control the pests that emerge in the spring.

Winter is actually one of the best times to get your home inspected and treated for insects and spiders. Call us today to get your home secure and protected from these pesky pests.

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“I have been using Green Pest Services for 4 years and am very happy with their service. They treat inside and outside of my house quarterly and re-treat as needed at no additional cost. I also like that their products are environmentally friendly. I highly recommend Green Pest Services to others!!!” -Linda

– Linda
Chantilly, VA

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Your Pest Control

Critters and insects don’t belong in your home, no matter how much you love nature. But that doesn’t mean your pest control technician has to wipe out half the neighborhood as a response. With our knowledge and experience, you’ll get a quicker, healthier result than many other pest control companies can provide. And with our prevention methods, you won’t be seeing pests in your home.

So if you want those ants out of your kitchen, those mice out of your closet, those bed bugs out of your sofa, we are your Alexandria pest control experts. We will keep you and your home safe from both pests and chemicals. Give us a call today to set up an appointment.