Common Winter Pests and Where to Find Them

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People tend to stay inside more when it gets cold. Insect and animal invaders as well as bacteria also move inside during the winter months to escape the cold and find food. The types of winter pests that can prove to be a problem depend on where you live.

People tend to stay inside more when it gets cold. Insect and animal invaders as well as bacteria also move inside during the winter months to escape the cold and find food. The types of winter pests that can prove to be a problem depend on where you live.

A home or apartment owner needs to be observant about pest invaders as soon as the weather starts turning cold. The sooner that you find a pest and deal with it the less likely you are to sustain financial loss, damage to your home, and the potential for catching a disease.

The home owner must look in every nook and cranny to be certain that the common winter pests have not taken up residence in the home. The majority of winter pests are small. Some winter pests are microscopic. The attic, paper stored in the attic, crawl spaces, kitchen cabinets, the bathrooms, and the heating ducts are common places to find winter pests. 

Winter pests can be segregated into insects, animals, and microbes. Each has a preferred habitat.


All insects do not die during the winter. Some insects can live in the cold regardless of how cold it gets. 

1) Roaches

The German cockroach is the most common winter insect pest. There are other species of roaches that can be as problematic.

Roaches prefer warm and moist conditions. The kitchen provides an ideal home for roaches due to the access to water and food. Bathrooms are the second most common winter home for roaches.

Roaches can come into the home on shoes, through the tiniest crack under a door, or along the piping that enters the home from the outside.

2) Ants

Ants live and breed all year long. Ants may not build a mound in your living room but any open dirt in a basement or crawl space provides a home for ants. Ants need moisture and food so you are most likely to see the first evidence of ants in the kitchen. 

3) Spiders

The majority of spiders do not hibernate. Spiders prefer dark spaces. Closets, the attic, a crawl space, and the underside of cabinets are perfect breeding areas for spiders. A garage is also ideal for spiders.

Most spiders are not poisonous. The spiders are actually good in that they eat other insects. The Brown Recluse and the Black Widow are the most common poisonous spiders and their bite can cause serious permanent injury and even death. 

4) Wasps

Wasps, hornets, and yellow jackets prefer a warm environment so they move inside when it gets cold. These insects usually build a nest in the attic, garage, or in an enclosed porch. A sting by any of these flying winter pests can be painful. The danger is acute for people who are allergic to the acid in the insect’s sting.

5) Fleas and ticks

The family pet can be a breeding ground for winter pests. Fleas and ticks can stay on your pet throughout the winter and can become a part of your bed and almost any area of your home.

Pet dander can accumulate more in the home during the winter if the pet stays inside most of the time. Pet dander can cause allergic reactions that range from sneezing to allergic shock.


Large and small animals have a tendency to find a safe haven from winter cold in a warm human home. The animals that invade the home depend on the area you live in and your proximity to a forest and the animal’s natural habitat. 

1) Rats and Mice

Rats and mice are frequent house guests. The rodents tend to move inside during the winter. The animals prefer hidden dark spaces like attics, ducts, and the inside of cabinets. Most home owners first spy a rodent invader when the rodent ventures into the kitchen searching for food.

Rats and mice are not just a pest. The animals carry rabies and are immune. The rodents can bring a plague of fleas and ticks into you home. The rodents can also gnaw through electrical cables and internet cables causing a power outage or loss of service that can present a fire hazard. 

2) Raccoons and rabbits

Raccoons and rabbits are intelligent and curious. The animals build their own home for the winter but they can venture into human abodes looking for food and a warm spot while foraging.

The home owner can usually spot a rabbit or raccoon invader by seeing the animal’s droppings near a door or on an enclosed porch. The animal’s sharp teeth can penetrate most woods, plastic, screens, and even concrete. Raccoons can carry rabies.

3) Large animals

Deer, bears, bobcats, moose, elk, wolves, and foxes have been known to gain access to homes in the winter. A fox invasion looks similar to a rabbit invasion. The larger animals are strong enough to breakdown a door or break through a window. A persistent large animal is best dealt with by an animal control specialist.

Microbes and bacteria

Microbes and bacteria are always abundant in any human environment. Molds are also a problem. The wind can bring any microscopic winter pests into your home. The pest can come into your house for the winter on your clothes, in your hair, and on your shoes.

Microscopic winter pests prefer moist environments. The ductwork in the bathroom and kitchen, under the kitchen sink, and any damp area in the garage or crawl space is an ideal home for mold.

Microscopic winter pests can be very dangerous. Most bacteria and microbes do not cause disease because people have adapted to their presence. Some bacteria can produce extremely serious disease that can lead to death.

Some people are very allergic to molds. The reaction to molds can be deadly if not treated immediately. 

Stay warm and call Alliance Pest Services for all your pest problems.

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