Common Winter Pests (And How to Prevent Them)

Staying inside a warm, cozy home is always a nice way to escape the cold, Canadian winter. However, you're not the only one who would rather relax inside the house instead of being outside facing the elements. Here, you'll learn some of the most common winter pests in Canada and how to prevent them.

Mice

House mice tend to live in dark, uninhabited parts of your house like the basement, attic, or in between walls. Mice can damage your home by chewing through wiring, drywall, and furniture. Plus, they frequently carry infectious diseases that can cause you and your family to become sick. If you see small droppings, bite marks, or holes in your walls, you might have mice living as uninvited house guests.

The best way to prevent mice is to keep your home clean and clutter-free. Mice love going through your food leftovers, so make sure you don't leave any accidental snacks out to attract the tiny rodents. If you find any cracks or holes in your walls, seal them as soon as possible.

Bed Bugs

Bed bugs are world travellers that are just as excited as you are to sleep in your bed after a long vacation. As Canadians fly to warmer climates during the winter, they often unknowingly bring unwanted pests back home. Bed bugs can sneak through the airport on your luggage, clothing, and even your body.

To prevent bringing bed bugs back into your home, make sure to inspect hotel beds for the unwanted critters. To be safe, check for dark blood spots, which could be a sign bed bugs are on the loose. When you get back home after your vacation, make sure to thoroughly sanitize your belongings before bringing them back into your house.

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Cockroaches

Cockroaches are resilient insects that can withstand harsh conditions such as being underwater for 30 minutes, a month of starvation, and even a week without its head! They're also able to survive icy temperatures, so you should always be on the lookout, even during winter.

Despite being impressively hardy, cockroaches can spread disease, including dangerous bacterial infections. To prevent a cockroach infestation, make sure to regularly take out your trash and keep leftover food tightly sealed. Keep your house clean and seal up any cracks in your walls, especially in kitchens and bathrooms.

Ants

With fewer opportunities to find food outside during the winter, ants venture inside Canadian homes to find something to eat. Ants can reproduce rapidly, quickly turning a tiny annoyance into a much bigger problem. Depending on the species, ants can eat your food, cause structural damage to your home, or even bite humans.

To keep your house ant-free this winter, make sure to put away leftover food and keep your home clean and tidy. If you do find yourself with an ant infestation, try setting out ant traps, which carry poison back to the anthill.

Why Prevention is Important

For most risks threatening the safety of your home, having home insurance is the best way to protect your house and its inhabitants. However, many home insurance policies don't cover rodent and insect infestation and the resulting damage because it is considered home maintenance and the homeowner could have prevented the problem. As such, take special care this winter to keep unwanted pests out of your home.

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