10 Common Pest Problems During the Winter

10 Common Pest Problems During the Winter

pest problems in iowa

When temperatures begin to drop, certain critters tend to head straight for our homes and businesses. Have you had this problem? If so - you are not alone! With an abundance of places for critters to hide out and make a home for themselves, it can be difficult to detect them and remove them. Let's take a look at ten common pests that may be hiding in your Des Moines home throughout the cooler months.


10 Common Pest Problems During the Winter

 1. German Cockroaches

The German cockroach is an indoor species that is commonly found in your home or business throughout the winter months. They prefer areas that have a lot of moisture, such as kitchens or bathrooms. They are most active at night when they are looking for food and water, and during the day they are hiding within your walls in cracks or crevices.


Characteristics of German Cockroaches:

  • Brown in color
  • 5/8 inches in length
  • two black stripes behind their head

    2. Spiders

    As the weather cools down it is common to find pests such as spiders in your home or business spiders are typically found in areas such as basements, attics, closets or crawlspaces.  

    Characteristics of  Spiders:

    • Light to dark brown
    • Eight legs
    • 1/4 - 1/2 inches
    • No antenna
    • Round

      3. Mice

      One of the most common critters to find in your Des Moines home during the winter are mice. They may seem little and cute at first until you realize they are making your home theirs as well. Not only can they infest your home quickly, but they are also a major health hazard. The most common time for mice to come out is at night, since they are nocturnal. They eat people food, fit through holes as small as ¼ inches and can even jump as high as a foot.

      Characteristics of Mice:

      • 2-3 inches in length
      • Weighing less than 1 ounce
      • Grey or light brown in color
      • Small head, black eyes, large ears

      4. Bats

      Another common pest homeowners tend to find in their attics or basements throughout the winter are bats. Through the cooler months, bats are looking for a warm and safe place to nest. Some ways you know bats have entered your home and are living inside are fecal droppings, brown or black stains by entry points such as windows and scratching noises.

      Characteristics of Bats:

      • Brown,black or tan in color
      • Largest bats have a wingspan of five feet and weigh 2.2 pounds
      • Smallest bats have a wingspan of 6 inches and weigh .07 ounces

        5. Raccoons

        Though raccoons are more commonly found in your home or business throughout the spring, the winter months are also a time for them to appear as well. Raccoons enjoy hiding in your attics or chimneys.

        Characteristics of Raccoons:

        • Gray and black in color
        • 24 to 38 inches
        • 4 to 23 pounds

          6. Firewood Pests

          We all know how amazing it can be in the winter to have our wood burning fireplace going and creating a cozy and comfortable space in our homes. until that wood brings in an abundance of unwanted winter pests. These pests may include ants, termites, beetles and more.

          How to Keep Firewood Pests Out:

          • Keep firewood at least three feet from your home or business
          • Store firewood off the ground
          • Stack firewood away from any trees
          • Never keep firewood indoors

            7. Bed Bugs

            Over the years, bed bugs have become more and more prevalent in American homes, especially throughout the winter. Bed bugs are most often brought into homes from items such as furniture and clothing from traveling, etc. As a homeowner, it is crucial to thoroughly check items you buy on Amazon, Craigslist, Ebay, or even local places such as Goodwill.

            Characteristics of Bed Bugs:

            • 1/8 inches long
            • Brown
            • Oval bodies
            • Sometimes mistaken for ticks

              8. Rats

              Along with mice, rats are also common pests homeowners tend to find throughout the winter months. The most common rats people discover in Iowa  are the Norway rats. Like mice, rats bring with them various diseases and cause damage to your home. 

              Characteristics of Norway Rats:

              • Brown fur
              • 16 inches long
              • 7 to 18 ounces
              • Small ears

                9. Carpenter Ants

                Finding carpenter ants in your home or business throughout the year is never a good sign, especially through the cooler months. For a typical homeowner it is okay to see a few carpenter ants here and there in your home during the summer, however, if you find them in the winter you could be in trouble. Carpenter ants can be very destructive to your home and tend to create colonies quickly.

                Characteristics of Carpenter Ants:

                • Dark bodies
                • Narrow waists
                • Elbowed antennas
                • Front wings longer than back wings

                  10. Cluster Fly

                  For many homeowners, it is not uncommon to find a few flies in your home or business throughout the spring, summer and fall. But in the winter? If you begin to see flies around your Des Moines home they are most likely cluster flies. These specific pests are seeking shelter through the cooler months, and your attic, basement or walls are the perfect place to nest.

                  Characteristics of Cluster Flies:

                  • Black/silvery black
                  • Overlapped wings
                  • Slow moving/sluggish
                  • Grouped/clustered by windows or attics

                    Take Back Control of Your Des Moines Home in the Winter Time!

                    Whether we like to admit it or not, pesky critters like to make their way into our homes or businesses at all times of the year, especially during the winter season. Have you seen or heard any of these ten pests in your home recently? Have no fear- take care of the problem with Preferred Pest Control! As the leading Des Moines pest control, we can take care of the problem in no time. Schedule an appointment online or call us at (515) 276-7277 today!