Skip to Content
Serving Throughout Hampton Roads

The Most Common Winter Pests


The longer you wait the harder to control. Here at Universal Pest Control, we can’t stress enough how important it is to keep prevention as your first defense against any type of pest. The longer you wait the harder, longer, and more costly it is to eliminate the problem. Your health and safety of your family loved ones and your home or business is our top priority

During the winter months many people have the misconception all pests die during the winter months, but if that was the case, why are there so many in the spring and summer months? This means during the winter months, pests of all sorts must go somewhere, or most likely is the case, hibernate. The reality is, this is exactly what happens. Most pests and bugs find alternative homes in the winter and when winter is over, they come back in a flourish come spring and summer to reclaim their home or territory.

Universal Pest Control has been keeping your home and business safe and bug-free for over 30 years. This is why you can trust us to give you solid tried and true advice to keep your home or business pest-free this winter and, in the winters, to come. There are four important things to consider while keeping your home or business pest-free.

  1. The most common winter pests to watch out for
  2. How to deal with them
  3. How to prevent them
  4. Links to extra resources and expert tips to help you out

The Most Common Winter Pests

1) Mice

2) Rats

3) Cockroaches

4) Bed bugs

5) Ants

6) Pantry Pests


The winter months are notorious for mice creeping into the tiny cervices of your house or business. Here at Universal Pest Control, we get numerous calls each winter from homeowners and businesses alike who need to rid their homes and property of these tiny little rodents. During the spring and summer months, most mice tend to stay in the fields and find shelter in nature other than our homes and businesses. There is always plenty of food and shelter to be found, but during the winter months, food and shelter become scarce. Mice families grow quickly, so they are consistently looking for a space to help them grow and expand. They are always building on their nests, expanding them, or finding and creating new ones. With the construction of new homesites and the expansion of the human population many tiny pests, like mice are forced out of their homes and take habitation in ours.

winter mouse pest controlWhen mice infestation takes over, property damage is a likely scenario. They burrow and chew almost everything in sight leaving mouse dropping and urine deposits in their wake. These droppings and urine deposits can cause serious health risks to humans by contaminating our food and water supply as well. Thorough cleaning and sterilization of the living area, including washing linens and cookware, is very important.


Most people don’t realize it, but rats are nocturnal animals. Like mice, they breed quickly constantly needing to expand and build new homes. Like mice, rats during the warmer months usually tend to live in open fields and find shelter in nature, but for the same reason mice find shelter in our homes and business, so do rats. The human population is taking over these animals’ natural habitats and at times, there is no place else for them to go.

Rats and mice are very agile critters who are able to swim, climb, jump, and will eat almost everything they find. Their strong jaws can chew through almost anything. Challenging to deal with and challenging to get rid of, these rodents have usually already found and made of a home for themselves by the time you have come face to face with one. Where there is one, there is usually many. Rats, like mice, are dangerous animals to humans in that they also can spread illness and disease in their wake by contaminating local food and water supplies. Thorough cleaning sterilization of the living area, as well as linens and cookware, are also very important. 


The last bug anyone wants to see is a cockroach. They tend to love warm damp places and live off of bacteria found in bathrooms, kitchens, and basements, and sewer systems. The earliest cockroaches can be dated back to prehistoric times and because of that, you can tell they are the most adaptable of all insects and pests. The German Cockroach is the most common cockroach in our area of Ontario. In total there are over 4,000 different species of cockroaches in the world. Proof that they are adaptable and reliant creatures.

Cockroaches are scavengers by nature and can easily spread over 30 different types of bacteria in their wake. It has been found one of the common illnesses in humans is difficulty breathing as one of the causes of infection from exposure to the bacteria caused by cockroaches. Since cockroaches are tiny creatures gaining access into homes and business is easy by tiny cervices in floorboards and walls. They build homes in damp dirty floorboards near drains usually about 4” in most conditions. 

Bed Bugs

Most people believe Bed Bugs are microscopic in size. In truth, they can be seen with the human eye, though they are very small. Usually the size of an apple seed. Bug Bugs are pests that feed on human or animal blood. This is why just the name alone can make one’s skin crawl and you find them scratching at nothing. The most common places beg bug bites can be seen are the arms, legs, face, and neck. 

Their bites usually cause a raised lesion which is red and very itches, though it is not uncommon for the bite to be flat with red itchy irritation as well. The bed bug saliva is usually harmless to humans though an allergic reaction can occur in the form of large blood or fluid-filled welts where exposure has taken place. The good news is, bed bugs do not spread disease as in our earlier pests.

Like all insects, Bug Bugs like warm moist places to live, and they are attracted to the carbon dioxide given off by humans and our pets. If conditions are ample, a bed bug can live up to a year in a given residence. The perfect condition for beg bugs to live that long is a warm bed, literary. Beg bugs can be found in our mattresses and box springs so why not our pillows, dressers, side tables, curtains, our pet’s bedding, couches? Think basically anywhere soft and fertile breathing ground where humans and pets live. Getting rid of bed bugs is not an easy feat. In cases where bed bugs have infested a home or business, a professional is needed to get the job done. 


Carpenter ants and Pharaoh ants are by far our customer’s most problematic ants in the wintertime. Carpenter ants and Pharaoh ants are notorious for causing structural damage in homes and businesses alike. Figuring out which type of ant you have infesting your residence is key to eliminating the problem. This is because not every type of ant problem can be solved with the same solution.

 Since each type of ant is different, each solution has to be different as well. You wouldn’t treat sugar ants the same way you treat carpenter ants. Sugar ants search out sweet spots, while carpenter ants look for wood, hence the name carpenter ants.

Taking a picture of the type of ant you see invading your property increases the chance of identifying the species quickly and effectively. Once Universal Pest Control has a picture of the ant in question, we can take the appropriate steps to help eliminate the problem.

Pantry Pests

Moths, weevils, and tiny beetles are a pantry’s worst enemy. These tiny critters can take over an entire kitchen, home, or commercial no matter how often you clean and sterilize it. They are a harmless pest but are hard to get rid of and time-consuming at best. These pests do not bite or cause any damage to humans in any way like illness or disease, but they can contaminate dry food goods. The need to replace dry good food items over and over again just to have these pests contaminate them over and over again is tiresome and costly.

So How Do I Deal with These Winter Pests?

There are 2 best practices to deal with these winter pests.

1) Prevention:

Your best defense for your home or business for keeping insects and rodents at bay and in their own natural habitat is by prevention. Keeping winter pests at bay is a maintenance program at best. Every season put your best pest practices to the test inside and outside of your home. Call Universal Pest Control for our seasonal pest control care of your home or business. Our experts can tell you exactly what you need and when for all your pest control needs. Visit our blog for more tips and information

2) Get Professional Help

Our expert staff is continually trained and licensed using professional-grade products in pest elimination and control. With over 30 years of experience, Universal Pest Control has seen and done it all.  

Here at Universal Pest Control, we take great pride in providing you with the information you need in our Pest Library. Full of articles and information dedicated to helping you fight your pest infestations; we are always here to help. 

Please search our extensive library for more posts on pests and pest control. Don’t forget to follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram for all the latest tips and advice for every season. Call us today to find out how we can help you.

Share To: