With winter weather around the corner, Canadians will start heading indoors to escape the cold. Just like humans, pests also look to seek refuge indoors as resources, such as food and water, become harder to find outside when the weather gets colder.
In order to prevent a potential pest infestation from occurring on your property throughout the winter, we have put together a comprehensive list of the top 6 pests expected to trend in the winter of 2022. This list will provide an in-depth look at the impact that pests will have on your home or business, along with also providing easy to use preventative tips.
What Is The Reason For Potentially Increased Pest Activity In The Winter Of 2022?
The winter of 2021 was unseasonably warm, going against the natural cycle normally expected within Canada. With short cold spells across the country producing an increased amount of precipitation (snow and rain). From increased moisture sources created from melted snow to warmer winter conditions not controlling the pest populations leading to ideal conditions to occur.
Going into the 2022 fall and winter time, this growth in pest populations that survived throughout the previous winter and experienced robust growth in spring and summer time may result in high number of pests starting to look for shelter to escape the cold weather. This may result in a potential increase in pest sightings throughout the winter season.
It is important to note that a lot of the current predictions about the expected wave of pest activity in the winter of 2022 are anecdotal/based on expected conditions.
Top 6 Pests Expected To Trend In The Winter 2022
Why Are Rodents Predicted To Be Trending This Winter?
The reduction of pandemic related restrictions created opportunities for many commercial businesses, especially food service businesses, to return back to regular operations.
This created increased food sources and lower competition for rodent populations who moved back to pre-pandemic migration patterns. These conditions also allowed for a growth in rodent populations. As colder weather starts to set in, these populations will look to establish colonies close to commercial areas with easy access to food. This will potentially result in an increased number of rodent sightings within commercial properties.
What Makes Rodents Dangerous?
Some rodent species, such as mice and rats, can carry and transmit Hantavirus, a rare respiratory disease, in their saliva, urine, and droppings. This disease can be fatal in humans and there is no known cure.
Mice can also transmit diseases like tularemia, lymphocytic chorio-meningitis, and murine typhus, while rats can transmit bubonic plague, Weil’s disease, toxoplasmosis, and trichinosis.
Rats and mice both contaminate food and water with their droppings, urine, and saliva, making it inconsumable, they can also introduce parasites, such as fleas, mites, lice and ticks into your home or business. Rodents can also cause major structural damage to your home or business when they burrow through walls and gnaw through electrical wiring, creating a serious fire hazard and expensive repairs.
What Are Steps To Prevent Rodents?
- Clean up any liquid spills and food crumbs right away.
- Remove food sources in easily accessible areas, including bird feeders, outdoor pet feeding areas.
- Make sure trash cans are covered tightly.
- If garbage bins are stored outdoor, make sure it is stored a distance away from building.
- Trim back vegetation around your property.
- Seal any cracks or holes in wall with caulk or foam.
- Screen vents and ensure door seal/sweeps are well fitted and tight.
- Eliminate clutter and junk from yard, clutter provides breeding and harbourage.
- If items are to be stored in the yard, stack it at least 40 to 45 cm off the ground.
Why Are Wildlife Predicted To Be Trending This Winter?
The mild 2021 winter resulted in fewer wildlife species being naturally controlled. This resulted in an increase in the wildlife population who continued to feed and breed throughout the spring and summer time. As winter weather approaches, these pests will look for warm shelter to escape the colder weather and aggressively look for food.
What Makes Wildlife Dangerous?
Urban wildlife such as raccoons and skunks can become a major nuisance for any property owner. From causing structural damage to contaminating food, these pests can create serious issues for you and your loved ones.
These pests can bring a variety of ectoparasites such as ticks, fleas, mites and lice onto your property. Wildlife can also cause severe health issues, transmitting potentially deadly pathogens, and can become aggressive towards humans and pets.
What Are Steps To Prevent Wildlife?
- Use tamper-resistant outdoor garbage cans.
- Trim back overhanging trees and shrubs.
- Secure gaps under decks and porches.
- Install screens over vents and chimneys.
- Use sensor motion lights or noise deterrents.
- Use over counter repellents.
Why Are Pest Birds Predicted To Be Trending This Winter?
Not all bird species fly south for the winter, some species overwinter in warm spaces within buildings or attics. The milder 2021 winter allowed more pest bird populations to survive and thrive on insect populations. As we head into the winter, certain bird species that may have thrived throughout the spring and summer, will be looking for a shelter to escape the expected cold winter weather.
What Makes Pest Birds Dangerous?
Pest birds can carry parasites like fleas, mites, and ticks, and transmit diseases to humans. Pigeon droppings may often contain fungal diseases, such as histoplasmosis and cryptococcosis, which may be fatal to individuals with compromised immune systems.
Many bird species can be noisy and can damage buildings and equipment. Not only are pest bird droppings unsightly, they can stick to buildings and the uric acid in the droppings can, potentially erode the structures. Pest birds can also create drainage issues and fire hazards by nesting in the small crevices, drains, and gutters of buildings. Many invasive bird species may also be aggressive and territorial towards humans or other native bird populations.
What Are Steps To Prevent Pest Birds?
- Clean out roof eaves for any debris.
- Fix any broken or deficient drainage systems.
- Cover outdoor garbage containers tightly.
- Eliminate any notable sources of food.
- Exclusion, eliminate potential harbourage spots by deterrents and repellents.
Why Are Crawling Insects Predicted To Be Trending This Winter?
The milder 2021 winter resulted in more crawling insects surviving into the spring and summer time. As we start heading into the fall and winter time, these pests will look for shelter in homes and businesses to escape the 2022 winter, which is expected to be significantly colder and harsher.
What Makes Crawling Insects Dangerous?
These insects may not necessarily cause structural damage, but they can be unsightly to many individuals. Certain crawling insects may bite or sting, but this is only done when defending themselves or if they are trapped in a confined spaces (i.e. inside shoes, in clothing, etc.). It is important to note that these bites or stings may not be dangerous.
What Are Steps To Prevent Crawling Insects?
- Seal potential entry points to keep insects out- cracks and crevices, worn out or torn window and door screens and vents, gaps under doors and around windows, fitting doors seals and sweeps.
- Reduce the level of outdoor lighting within the immediate vicinity of the structure or using yellow light bulbs instead of bright white ones.
- Keep your home clean and sanitary.
- Professional treatment of exterior perimeter along wall will prevent entry.
Why Are Cockroaches Predicted To Be Trending This Winter?
The 2021 winter created increased precipitation throughout Canada. Once the snow melted, the water created increased moisture sources that allowed outdoor cockroaches to thrive throughout the spring and summer months. As we head into the colder months, outdoor cockroaches will start to look for indoor shelter to escape the winter weather.
What Makes Cockroaches Dangerous?
Cockroaches create an unsanitary situation and can pose various health threats to humans. Eating food contaminated by cockroaches may cause food poisoning, meanwhile cockroach droppings can also negatively affect the health of humans, particularly for people with asthma.
These pests can also spread harmful bacteria, including coliform, salmonella, staphylococcus, and streptococcus, by transferring particles commonly found in your garbage and sewers to your kitchen countertops.
What Are Steps To Prevent Cockroaches?
- Clean and vacuum the home regularly.
- Store food in tightly-sealed containers.
- Make sure cupboards remain dry.
- Use a dehumidifier to reduce moisture.
- Seal crevices and openings in walls and floors.
Why Are Spiders Predicted To Be Trending This Winter?
The milder 2021 winter resulted in more precipitation and fewer insect populations being controlled. This resulted in increased food sources for spider populations. Once these thriving spider populations reproduce, there is likely to be an increase in spiders heading into the winter.
What Makes Spiders Dangerous?
Spiders are predators and so they will bite, though venom of most is not dangerous and some can hardly puncture the human skin. In rare instances, some species of spiders will bite humans. Spider bites typically occur when the spider’s life is threatened, such as when someone is putting on a shoe or piece of clothing with a spider trapped inside. Though most spider bites are not potential harmful, the resulting bite can develop into secondary infestations if scratched or aggravated.
Aside from physical harm, spiders can cause psychological distress to individuals with arachnophobia. The sight of spiders can also affect the aesthetic of a home or building, as webs and crawling pests are unsightly. Though more of a nuisance than a hazard, the presence of spiders often strikes people as intolerable and worthy of eradication.
What Are Steps To Prevent Spiders?
- Keep windows and doors closed and properly sealed.
- Caulk any gaps in foundational walls.
- Keep your residence clean and free from insects (spider’s food source).
- Remove clutter to get rid of any hiding spaces for spiders.
- Practice proper landscape management; trim and cut back vegetation that can harbour spiders.
We hope these pest predictions will get you prepared for the winter pest season. If you are dealing with a pest infestation, remember that local your Orkin Canada branch is always available to assist you. Contact your local Orkin Canada branch today to get started!
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