When it’s cold and gray outside, you and your family like to bundle up in blankets and stay cozy on the couch. Unfortunately, pests would like to do the same! As the weather cools, pests who normally thrive outside of the home with plenty of access to shelter and food, begin to search for new shelter.

What kinds of pests should you be on the lookout for this winter?

Small rodents, specifically mice

Mice, rats, raccoons, and possums are some of the most notorious wintertime pests. Mice are the most common, because they can sneak into your home through tiny gaps and cracks.

Mice carry harmful bacteria that can cause serious health problems, and they breed quickly, meaning an infestation may take very little time to form. Here are some signs that you may have a mice infestation.

  • Small droppings
  • Musky odor
  • Gnaw marks and holes
  • Noises like chewing and scurrying

Termites are harmful pests that can damage the wood structure of your home. Keep an eye out all year round for these wood-eating pests. Signs of infestation include:

  • Droppings — small, beige colored pellets that could fall from the ceiling or wood furniture.
  • Mud tubes on exterior or interior walls
  • Seeing termites near your home indicates they may be in your home

Although they’re a year round pest, you may see more cockroaches when the seasons change  They are one of the most common pests in North Carolina and they’re one of the hardest to get rid of. They carry E. coli and salmonella bacteria and can contaminate your food. Signs that there may be a cockroach infestation in your house are:

  • Seeing one or more cockroaches during the daytime
  • Coffee ground-like droppings
  • Cockroach eggs
  • Unpleasant odors
Bed bugs

Although they don’t pose an immediate health threat or damage your home, bed bugs bite.  And an infestation must be treated by professionals. One female bed bug can produce up to 500 healthy eggs in her lifetime, laying between 2-5 eggs every single day. At that rate, infestations happen quickly and are hard to eradicate without proper treatment. Look out for these signs of bed bug infestation:

  • Small brown and black stains on mattresses/linens
  • Bed bugs in the cracks of couches, seams of mattresses, etc.
  • Shed Exoskeletons
  • Bites in clusters or rows
Stink bugs

Stink bugs do not harm humans or damage your property, but they will release an unpleasant odor if disturbed. They are common winter pests but are hard to notice as an infestation. The signs of a stink bug infestation may be:

  • Congregation of stink bugs in sunny areas
  • An unpleasant odor in your home

Keep an eye out for these critters as temperatures creep lower, and remember to reach out to the team at May Exterminating if you encounter unwanted pests in your home this winter.