Some people think of winter as the time of year when insects and rodents are no longer a concern. But as any home or business owner who has had a cold-weather pest invasion will tell you, bugs don’t go away altogether once temperatures drop. In fact, most can be found seeking shelter and warmth while the outside elements become more threatening to their survival.

Here are a few of the most commonly found wintertime pests and how to avoid them.

German Cockroaches

These roaches are totally dependent upon humans to create shelter and food. They thrive in homes during the winter, so be sure to clean up food crumbs and inspect any paper bags or boxes you bring into the house.


Mice and rats look for warm places to live during the winter. Mice can enter through an opening as small as a dime and rats only need an opening the size of a quarter. Both can be found nesting in boxes in storerooms and garages or among the insulation in the sub-floor of crawl spaces. To prevent rodent infestations, seal all small entry points into your home and crawl space and keep storage containers and boxes off the floor in your garage and basement.

Brown Recluse Spiders

Simply keeping living and storage spaces clean is a great way to deter spiders from living in your home. Because they prefer dark areas, remember to vacuum out closets and boxes before you remove stored items such as holiday decorations.

Cluster Flies and Wasps

These semi-hibernating insects are called “over wintering” pests. They can crawl into attics, soffits and around windows and doors to try to stay warm. To help deter their entry, seal off any cracks or holes in those areas.

Bed Bugs

Be careful when traveling and staying in hotels so you do not bring bed bugs back home. Inspect your bed areas and headboards in your hotel room for signs of these pests. Even the best hotels can be infested, so look for bug exoskeletons (shells) on the mattress and small, dark dots of blood or fecal matter on the sheets before bedding down for the night.

Carpenter Ants, Common Ants and Miscellaneous Insects

Carpenter ants can survive in the walls of your house during the winter months. If you see these very large black ants, you may need a professional inspection. Know that even common ants and other insects can also be brought in on firewood, so always inspect your logs before bringing them inside.

If you’re concerned about winter pests in your home or place of work, our pest professionals can help. Call us for a free inspection.