As we enter the winter months and anticipate the holiday season, there are many things to look forward to: cozy nights by the fire, holiday decorations, warm sweaters…but pests aren’t on the list. For residents of Lancaster and York counties, winter bugs like ground beetles, stink bugs, ladybugs, boxelder beetles, and grain beetles can become a major nuisance in the winter. Other common winter pests in Central PA include mice, centipedes, silverfish, cockroaches, and spiders.
But how do these bugs and other pests survive the cold — and where do they go? Let’s take a look at some of the most common winter pests in Central PA and how they manage to make it through the season.
Cold temperatures outside can motivate mice and other critters to head indoors. It doesn’t take much to unwittingly invite a mouse or two into your home. But mice reproduce quickly.
Before you know it, those two little mice that entered your home at the start of temperatures dropping are an infestation. So what are the best ways to get rid of them?
Q. How do you control mice? We see them running all over the place and my wife is extremely afraid of them…
A. We prefer to use baits for maintenance once control is taken. Usually some bait in the basement and attic is sufficient to control mice on a regular basis. One thing I should mention: some of the popular “pellet baits” on the market can allow mice to transport and store the bait (and not necessarily eat it). This is also a safety hazard to children or pets. We prefer to use products that do not allow people or pets access to the bait itself. To get control, we like to investigate each situation and determine the best way to go about it. Bait is not always the answer if they have already found a food source that they like. mice will stick to what they trust, even if it means staying with your bird seed in the garage, the nuggets of dog food that fall under the refrigerator, or some other product that you have stored that one would not normally consider being mice food such as cake mix or candy. One thing I should mention: some of the poplar “pellet baits” on the market can allow mice to transport and store the bait (and not necessarily eat it). This is also a safety hazard to children or pets. We prefer to use products that do not allow people or pets access to the bait itself.
If you are seeing or hearing mice run around right now, chances are they did not just show up…they have probably been there for a while, you just finally found out. Since they are primarily active at night, there is little detection except for their droppings. However, when there is more mice, sometimes there is a competition for food sources, and mice will be forced to run around in the day when the other mice are resting.
The problem with the common house mouse is that they have an instinct to gnaw, and many unknown causes of house fires are attributed to mice and rats chewing on wires. Recently, we were called to a college that had an entire building shut down because of rodents chewing on main wires.
Mice are looking to get inside Lancaster & York houses and businesses in the late fall and winter, due to extreme weather conditions. Basements, attics, and garages are usually the first entry points. After arriving, they will look for food sources. Once they find a source, they will nest somewhere within 10-15 feet. Finding the nest can be difficult, and require professional help. Over 60% of the time we are called in to a mice situation, the homeowner or business owner had tried everything on the market to resolve it themselves. If you are frustrated and concerned with a mouse in the house issue, it may be time to call for help.