When the cold season sets in, we’re here to remind you not to let your pest control guard down. While it may seem pest activity has lessened, there are places to check and routines to continue. Maintaining your efforts against winter pests will help ease the chances of a pest inundation in spring. We explore the various areas in and around your home and garden to monitor and treat.
Weathering winter pests: top pests and where to find them
This edition of our winter pests guide is a continuation of our autumn and winter pest guide. We covered common pests in the garden and corrective treatment. And as we all know pests never truly rest, we continue to bring you guides to stay one step ahead of invasions. We have created a list of the likely pests found in the home and the garden during winter.
Inside homes and buildings
Pests will go wherever there are easily accessible spaces and resources for them, from homes to warehouses, offices to shops and more.
In areas that receive winter rainfall, they invade indoor spaces taking refuge from flooded nests and forage for crumbs and morsels. You’ll likely find them in the kitchen, living room and dining room.
These pests enjoy sources of water and food. Make sure to inspect areas like rubbish receptacles, leaky taps and pipes, and gutters where leaves collect. They can be found in kitchens, cellars and garages.
When it’s cold, unopened windows or nooks and crannies of patios are prime places for spiders to take up residence to spin a web. Look out for jumping spiders that may burrow away behind curtains and between cushions on furniture.
Rats and mice
Rodents are known to enter buildings for food, water and shelter. You will mostly see them just after dusk or just before dawn. Think roof rats, as well as attics and garages.
To maintain your home for winter, be sure to:
- Repair and seal doors, screens, cracks and crevices
- Waterproof leaking pipes and sinks
- Seal food containers and pest-proof pantry storage
- Clean food preparation surfaces and keep the sink clear of dishes
- Remove rubbish from the home and secure lids
- Regularly sweep and vacuum spaces
- Remove clutter and tidy spaces with firewood, cardboard and papers
In the garden
Gardens undergo a number of pests, ranging from diseases to insects and more. These are the top contenders for pests to look out for in winter.
The winter cold may cause fungal problems that can rot parts of bulbs. When you notice leaves getting brown blistered patches use Efekto Funginex, a fungicide. Also stay wary of powdery mildew, black spot and plant rust.
When leaves fall from prunus trees (peach, cherry, plum, and almond), immediately control the shot hole which may disfigure the leaves with Efekto Virikop, a copper treatment that stops fungus spores from developing.
These sap-sucking insects are unfortunately a common overwintering pest. Their feeding activities can cause plant health deterioration, distorted growth and excrete honeydew, where sooty moulds can grow. Some aphids also transmit plant viruses.
Red spider mite
Although this pest is not as active in winter, it is an overwintering pest. The first signs appear as small, light coloured dots on leaves. Leaves will fade and develop a bronze sheen, eventually turning yellow or red and falling off.
Usually found on the undersides of leaves and leaf joints. These pests appear like scales with their covering (either hard or soft). After they feed on the sap in leaves, they produce a sugary honeydew that attracts fungal organisms which produce sooty black mould.
Slugs and snails
Depending on your region, rain receiving areas can determine snail and slug activity. They tend to be most active during the night, in damp weather and on cloudy or foggy days. Their method of movement requires mucus and humid conditions are a prime condition for them to thrive.
When keeping your garden void of pests, be sure to
- Continually treat weeds as needed to control them before spring.
- Avoid putting diseased plant cuttings and refuse in compost piles. Rather bag them and dispose of them in the trash.
- Keep your garden as neat as possible and avoid clutter, leaf and refuse piles where pests can take shelter.
- Clear water run-off areas of foreign material to avoid water pooling. This is important for flood control and also decreases the chances of pests making use of leaf litter and water sources.
Take on winter pests with Efekto
For more expert advice on treatment and solutions for winter pests, contact us.