Winter Pests

OK, so it’s winter now. Many of the pests that bother us during the hot months are not roachbothering us this time of year. However, we still have some. If you get up during the night and run into a cockroach, or a mice comes into your house and sets up shop in your pantry, you won’t care if it’s winter. These are some of the things we should be concerned with (thanks to National Pest Management Association).

House Mice

The house mouse is the most commonly encountered rodent in the United States. House mice usually nest in dark, secluded areas like attics and basements. This rodent can cause serious property damage by chewing through drywall and also wires that can then spark an electrical fire. House mice are also known to contaminate food and spread diseases, including Salmonella and tapeworms.

Quick tips:
•Mice can fit through an opening as small as a dime. Seal cracks and holes on the outside of the home with caulk and steel wool.
•Keep areas clear and store boxes off of the floor because mice like to hide in clutter.
•Regularly inspect the home for signs of mice, such as droppings, gnaw marks and damaged food.

German Cockroaches

The German cockroach is the most common species of cockroach found throughout the world. German cockroaches prefer to live in small areas close to food and moisture, so human homes make the perfect habitat. This type of cockroach often hitchhikes indoors via grocery bags, boxes and secondhand appliances, and is commonly found in kitchens and bathrooms. German cockroaches can contaminate food sources and spread bacteria and human pathogens. Moreover, cockroach allergens are know to  trigger allergies and exacerbate asthma symptoms, especially in children.

Quick tips:
•Keep counters and floors clean and free of crumbs.
•Vacuum frequently and dispose of garbage regularly.
•Pay attention to kitchens and bathrooms, especially under appliances and sinks.

Brown Recluse Spiders

Brown recluse spiders prefer to spin webs in undisturbed places, such as closets, attics, crawl spaces and basements. Like other types of spiders, the brown recluse is frequently found inside cardboard boxes, along window moldings and in seldom-used clothing and shoes. These spiders can bite and inject venom if disturbed, making them dangerous to humans.

Quick tips:
•Keep trees and shrubs trimmed away from the home and cut back limbs overhanging the roof. This will help reduce the chance of spiders finding a way inside.
•Store clothing and shoes inside plastic containers. Pay special attention to shoes, baseball mitts and gloves that aren’t used as frequently as other items, as spiders like to hide inside them.
•If you suspect you have a spider bite, seek prompt medical attention.


We have plenty of raccoons in this part of Florida. If they attack your trash can in the middle of the night, you’ll probably think you have a burgler. This type of wild animal occasionally enters homes through attics or chimneys in search of a denning site. Raccoons are a major host of rabies in the United States.

Quick tips:
•Store trashcans and recycling bins in sealed areas such as a locked shed or outhouse. If trashcans are kept outdoors, use animal-proof lids.
•Inspect the outside of your home for access points, such as broken vent covers. Repair any loose siding or shingles.
•Install a mesh cover or cap over chimneys and other exposed openings to prevent entry. Also, keep tree branches trimmed back from the house.

McDonald Pest Control provides pest control services and lawn care in the Clearwater and Tampa Bay area. For more information, go to our web site

or call (727) 734-0963

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