bigstock House CentipedeFall is arguably the most beautiful time of year. With it comes changing leaves, the start of the holiday season and yes, pests. It’s important to remember that the change in weather from summer to fall can send many pests running right into your home. According to Missy Henriksen, Vice President of Public Affairs for the National Pest Management Association, "when the weather cools, our warm homes are just as enticing to pests as they are to us." In fact, you may not realize it now but fall is one of the most important seasons for pest control services for this very reason. That’s why we’ve put together this list of pests to look out for this fall.

Crickets

Crickets love to take shelter in your home during rainy or chilly weather, which is why fall is the perfect time for them to come indoors. While crickets are relatively harmless to the structural integrity of your home, they can cause damage to some of your items with their fecal matter and are sure to bother you with nonstop chirping, especially at nighttime. For example, camel crickets can arguably cause the most damage through the spread of their staining feces. These crickets love to make their way into basements and crawl spaces where there’s more moisture and can also be indicative of a moisture issue in your home. Unlike camel crickets, house crickets can breed indoors and love to chirp. These crickets are known for their incessant song and are much easier to detect than other species for that reason.

Centipedes

If there’s one critter that is sure to be unwelcome in your home, it’s a centipede. One important thing to note is that while these insects are usually fairly harmless to humans. Many centipede species are venomous but don’t have the jaw strength or size to penetrate human skin. Centipedes typically prefer to make their homes in dark, moist places. For that reason, if you’re seeing a large number of centipedes in your home, especially in the basement,  you may have an underlying moisture problem.

Spiders

Spiders may be popping up in Halloween stores, but they’re also more likely to show up in your home as well. The colder weather can send these creepy creatures inside your home to seek warmth and shelter for the cold months ahead. While almost everyone has a fear of spiders, fall is a particularly bad time for these pesky, fear-inspiring pests.

Let’s face it. Some spiders are actually beneficial and can help keep other pests at bay. That being said, others are not-so-good to have around. Black widow spiders, for example are spiders that you don’t want in your home. These spiders have an extremely painful bite that may require hospitalization and can result in death in some rare cases. Black widow spiders build their webs near ground level in areas with a lot of coverage such as a cluttered garage or a woodpile.

Brown Recluse spiders are another example of a venomous spider that you’ll want to get rid of right away. If bitten, this spider’s venom can cause necrosis of the skin, severe pain, and hospitalization. In the fall, they are often found in leaf piles but inside your home, these spiders prefer dark, undisturbed locations to build their webs. But by far the scariest thing about this spider is that it hunts in the nighttime.

Rodents

Of all the pests out there, rodents are quite possibly the king of them all. That’s because, above all others, they have the potential to do the most damage to your home and pose the largest threat to your family’s health.  With the temperatures gradually changing, these furry little creatures begin looking for a warm place to call home for the winter. Roof rats, Norway rats, and house mice can all invade your home while the weather begins to cool. These critters usually live in wooded areas, farms or near any building that is surrounded by trees and shrubbery. For that reason, they’re found in the suburbs of Northern Virginia as well. Rats and mice usually find harborage in many areas around the home, especially in stacked firewood, stones and bricks, and piles of leaves or other debris around your property. It’s thought that a hole the size of a dime is even large enough for a rodent to squeeze through. Once they’re in the general vicinity of your home, it’s only a matter of time until they find their way in through a small crack, chimney, door or window.

All three types of rodent listed above are known as commensal rodent species. This means that their existence relies directly on living in close contact with humans. In other words, each of these three species obtains its food, water, and/or shelter from the humans with which they live. The problem with these critters is that while they each eat only a few ounces of food daily, they can easily contaminate much more. The droppings and hairs left behind these rodent species can often carry deadly diseases along with it such as Salmonella and Hantavirus, making these pests particularly dangerous to the health of you and your family. They’ll find their way into your pantry or cupboard and surely munch on everything in sight. Rodents can also cause severe structural damage to your home and can even chew through important wires and cables within your walls.

While these creatures listed above may cause trouble throughout the fall season, it’s important to keep an eye out for other pesky critters as well. Virtually all pests are more likely to be found indoors as the weather cools. For example, roaches and stinkbugs are more likely to be found indoors as the seasons change as they seek shelter from the cold. Oftentimes, wasps can persist throughout the fall season as the queens seek shelter for the winter months in order to store energy for the next spring season. Imagine your fright when you find a queen wasp hiding out in your guest bedroom!

You can avoid infestations this fall by following a few simple guidelines.

  • Clean up leaf litter and clutter around your home so pests cannot live anywhere near the exterior of your home. Remember that the closer they are to the outside of your home, the more likely they are to find their way inside.
  • Make sure all doors, windows, and cracks are sealed properly with weather stripping and caulk if necessary.
  • Seal all food properly in glass containers that rodents will not be able to penetrate.
  • Eliminate moisture in your basement and around your home so some pests are less likely to be attracted to your humble abode. By eliminating moisture, you’ll also be protecting your home from other damages.

Our team understands that even with helpful tips like these, sometimes unwanted pests can be persistent, especially if they have found their way into your home already. If you’re concerned about a pest control issue in your home, contact the professionals at Eagle Pest Services by calling 1-888-616-8739 or visit our website to schedule an inspection today. Our staff will work alongside your family to keep your home pest-free all winter long.