Springtime heads off the hustle and bustle of Cape Cod. Seasonal shops begin to reopen, weekend bridge traffic starts to build up, and the beaches, albeit still windy, become more walkable. The warmer months are the busiest for both people and pests - but any year-round Cape Codder knows that time doesn't just stop in the winter. Pests are quite busy, in fact, scrambling to survive the cold, taking cover in businesses and homes. The most common winter wayfarers on Cape Cod include rodents, cockroaches, spiders, and bed bugs.
Rodents. Mice are extremely common for the Cape, and in recent years, rat activity has also been on the rise. Rodents are drawn to your home by the warmth and almost guaranteed food, water, and nesting opportunities. They are most likely to hide out in attics, basements, and crawlspaces, where they can go undetected until there is a major problem. Because rodents reproduce at alarming rates and spread diseases, it is important to handle an infestation early on. Be on the lookout for droppings, evidence of chewing, greasy-looking rub marks, nesting materials, and of course strange sounds or live mice.
Cockroaches. Roaches are generally wary of humans and prefer to stay hidden. They can survive the winter outdoors by hiding in dead or decaying trees and stumps, leaf litter or yard waste, or piles of firewood. When these options are unavailable or exhausted, roaches will take advantage of small openings in foundations, walls and rafters, or chimneys to gain access to a home. Once inside, they will hide in basements, kitchen cabinets and pantries, pipes and drains, and underneath appliances, Be watchful of droppings, smear marks, eggs, shed skin, or an unusual musty odor.
Spiders. Much like humans, spiders seek the comfort of home when the cold rolls in. The majority of spiders in our region of the country are relatively harmless and may even clue you in to a problem with insects in your home. Most common spiders to find inside are wolf spiders, daddy long legs, and the aptly-named house spider- none of which are poisonous to people or pets. Harmless or not, you probably don't want them living for free under your roof. Keep an eye out for webs, harborage areas (spiders like it dark and damp), or collections of insects that spiders may prey on.
Bed Bugs. The mere mention of bed bugs is enough to make your skin crawl. They are difficult to eliminate, can be reintroduced at any time, and worst of all, they feed on human blood. Bed bugs are skilled hitchhikers, traveling from place to place on clothing, in luggage, even on public transportation. Signs of a bed bug problem include bites on skin, blood stains on bedding. dark spots (bed bug waste) on bedding, mattresses, or walls, and the smell of blood or a musty odor. Knowing how to identify a bed bug and where to look for them can help you catch a problem before it gets out of control.
Pests don't rest for the winter, and neither does the Burgess Pest team. From Pad Protection Plans and Home Sealer and Sanitizer Service + insulation cleanouts, to free resources like our seasonal pest guides, we've got you covered all year long.