Keep Winter Pests at Bay with These Tactics

by Blake Herzog

Now that we’re in our best time of year weatherwise, it may seem like the critters and vermin of the desert would have less reason to invade your home to seek cover. But insects in particular are cold-blooded and do have the instinct to escape the cold. As desert dwellers, they get cold about as easily as we do.

We need to keep our guard up year-round against these pests before they sneak inside to wreak havoc on our walls and our health. Watch for spiders and roaches around and inside your home in the winter. Termites thrive in our hot, dry summers but can be even more active in winter because our seasonal temperatures also hit a sweet spot for the species.

Scorpions are much less active or in hibernation during winter but could still be riding out the winter in your home. Some pigeons migrate to warmer locations in the winter, but many others are just fine with our winter temps and have no reason to take off for January and February.

Guarding against pests is a year-round process in Arizona, and these are some of the most effective defenses you can mount.

  • Take out the trash — This especially applies to any food scraps or waste. These should be placed in a secure outdoor trash can every day or two so pests won’t pick up on their scent and storm inside. Rinse food debris off of recyclables.
  • Seal all cracks and crevices — These are the most common points of entry for pests to get into your house, so you need to get as many of them sealed off as you can. Inspect for any new ones every few months.
  • Declutter — Pests love to take shelter, and every unattended stack of books, cluster of decorative objects, and other clutter zones provide ideal hiding spots.
  • Watch yourself, kids, and pets — We can get so involved in looking for pests inside of walls, in the corners, and around the sinks, we may sometimes miss ticks or other small insects on the clothes we wear or in our animals’ fur.