Brown winged insect on snow

What Pests Can You Expect To Deal With In The Winter?

With winter just around the corner, you might be wondering whether pests really disappear in the winter. While some do go dormant when temperatures drop, others look for warm places to survive the cold, like the inside of your home.

Unlike other animals, we humans have the luxury of heating systems and clothing to keep us warm through the cold winter months. By contrast, most animals have to rely on particular evolutionary traits, such as growing more fur, hibernating, or burrowing down into the ground. While some pests might give you less trouble in the winter, others find ways to take advantage of the shelter we provide.

If you thought that winter eliminates all pest problems, then you are unfortunately mistaken. In this article, we discuss the different pests you can expect to deal with in winter, and what you can do about them.

Are there pests that are more common in the winter?

Out of all pests, rodents such as rats and mice tend to be a more common issue in the winter. They are warm-blooded animals that can survive the winter if they have shelter. In the wild, this might mean an underground burrow, but in cities and towns, this more often than not means the inside of houses and buildings.

Insect pests such as flies, mosquitoes, and spiders are usually considered summer pests and are usually less of an issue in winter. This is because insects are cold-blooded and rely on the temperature in their environment to survive. So when temperatures begin to drop, insects tend to be less bothersome, and can eventually die once it gets too cold for them to survive.

While most insects go dormant below a certain temperature, you should not rule them out as a potential winter-time pest. Read below to discover more about the pests you might expect to find inside and around your home this winter.

Pests you can expect to deal with in the winter


Brown rodent on gray rock
[Image source: Pexels]

Rodents can be a big nuisance in the winter. They want to find warm spaces to protect themselves from low temperatures, such as inside the walls of your house. Urban areas can be particularly infested with rodents as there are many places for them to hide out and reproduce.

The problem with rodents is that it can be difficult to detect that you have a problem until it is too late. Make sure to always look out for traces of activity, such as chew marks on food, walls, and boxes, or the small black droppings of rats and mice.

Although rodents can cause issues for you year-round, they are more likely to come to your house from the outside during winter. The best prevention of a rodent pest infestation is having an inspection early in the winter, so you can deal with the pests before they multiply out of control.


Rats are mid-sized rodents that can cause problems in your home by chewing up the insulation in your walls or even by chewing through electrical wiring. Luckily, rats can easily be prevented from getting into your home during the cold winter months.

Rats need plenty of food, water, and shelter from their environment. If you can take away two of the three options, you take away a rat’s incentive to stay. You can do this by making sure you keep all of your food containers closed and inaccessible, and by making sure you have no leaky faucets. Keep in mind that if you have pets, you might want to make sure there is no food left in their bowls at the end of the day.

If even that is not enough to keep the rats away, you can try to eliminate all three factors, or at least reduce them as much as possible. Make sure that your garden is tidy and ensure no rats are inadvertently being fed by cleaning up spilled food or crumbs. Walk around the perimeter of your house and check for (and fill) any cracks, holes, and other openings through which a rat could enter.

Brown and white mouse on ground
[Image source: Pexels]


Every house, especially if it is old, has small openings and cracks that mice can easily crawl through. This makes it harder to prevent them from getting inside your home. When it really starts to get cold, they will look for a warm spot as quickly as possible.

Not only does your house offer warmth, but it probably also offers enough food for mice, especially around the holiday season. Make sure to clean up after big meals so you can avoid inadvertently feeding the little rodents.

Mice are small, so they often hide in the craziest places! Kitchen cupboards, between the boxes in the attic, or somewhere between the walls—nothing is impossible! Like rats, mice like to live inside buildings and can do a lot of damage. They can chew through bags of food, contaminating the contents while providing themselves with a feast.

Deal with mice as with rats: keep your home clean and free of food and water, and try to fill any cracks that you find.


As mentioned above, insects are cold-blooded pests and so overall their activity decreases during the cold winter months. However, they can be a year-round issue in more temperate and tropical areas. Regardless, they can still be a nuisance during the winter inside your warm home.

Bed bugs

As the name suggests, bedbugs are capable of adapting to indoor environments and tend to live near where we sleep. Although they are not known for spreading disease, their bites can leave red welts and cause itchiness and loss of sleep. Because they live inside, they can be just as much of a pest problem in winter as any other time of year.

It can be difficult to tell when bed bugs have infested an area because they are hard to see and their bites can be mistaken for that of other insects. They are small and red-brown in color, and you can also look out for their shed skins and small droppings. During the day they hide in a wide variety of places such as carpets, mattresses, sofas, seams, and even furniture.

If you think you might have bed bugs, you want to treat them as soon as possible. Although there are many products you can try yourself, you might consider hiring an exterminator to prevent the infestation from spreading.

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Cockroaches are popular residents of pipes and sewers, so when these places become chilly or even freeze, they move indoors to escape the cold. Cockroaches not only pose a health risk but they are a big nuisance inside the home.

The best advice to keep cockroaches out of the house is to ensure that your home is clean. Do not leave any food out overnight, and declutter your spaces to take away their hiding spaces. Frequently vacuum your floors and carpets.


Termites can pose a problem throughout the year since they feed on the wood inside your home. Although the temperature affects the rhythm of their activity, the interior of homes tends to be warm enough for their survival, which is why they continue to devour wood relentlessly.

One of the biggest problems with termites is that it is hard to detect their presence until damage has been done. If you suspect termite activity, it is essential to address it as soon as possible. Because they cause damage to the wood that supports the structural integrity of your home, it is essential to leave termite control in the hands of a professional and experienced team.

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Like other insects, spiders can live in your home year-round but tend to go dormant outside during the winter. Although you might think that spiders make their way inside your home, the truth is that most house spiders were born inside.

Most spiders found in the US are not dangerous. In fact, although they can certainly be a pest, they also provide a natural defense against flying insects such as flies and mosquitos, so think twice before eliminating spiders from your home.

Close up view of mosquito
[Image source: Pexels]


Like most insects, mosquitos go dormant during the winter in areas where temperatures drop to near freezing or colder. Because of their cold-bloodedness, their activity decreases during this time even if they do not die or go dormant. However, they can be a year-round pest in tropical and more temperate areas.

Dealing with winter pests

So, you now have a better idea of which pests could be an issue for you this winter. Rodents such as rats and mice might be trying to find ways inside your home, so make sure to take away all incentives (food and water) and close up cracks and holes through which they might enter.

You should notice a decrease in insect activity during the winter, but you might be surprised at the insect pests that already reside inside your home. Keep an eye out for insect activity, particularly from termites and bed bugs, as winter can be a good time to exterminate them if necessary.

Whatever pest you might face this winter, hopefully, you are more prepared. Comment below if you have had any of these winter pests, or other ones!

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Check out our exterminator search tool where you will receive free quotes from thoroughly vetted exterminators in your local area!

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