Winter Is Coming: Watch For These Six Critters


Winter is on it’s way, and with it comes critters seeking warmth inside your home. The cold inspires all types of critters to take up residence, including: mice, rats, raccoons, cockroaches, and spiders. However, you can stay one step ahead of these unwelcome winter visitors by knowing the signs, being proactive, and taking precautions.


Common house mice can fit in a hole the size of a dime. They like warm, dark places like basements, attic rooms, and storage areas – especially if there is any clutter. If you needed more reason to get organized, try imagining a nest of mice in those old Christmas boxes — yikes! In addition, keep firewood at least 20 feet away from the house, as mice often use the dry wood as a nest.

These critters can also chew through drywall and electrical wires. The best way to prevent them is to organize clutter and caulk holes in walls and pipes. If you think there are already mice in your home, check for gnaw marks, droppings, and damaged food as evidence.


The Norway Rat is often another unwelcome winter critter. Like mice they gnaw their way inside, however their teeth are stronger and can chew through things like plastic or old lead pipes.
Caulk any holes. Rats can fit through a hole about the size of a quarter. They nest like mice do, in clutter and piles of firewood. Evidence that they are in your home include gnaw marks, droppings, damaged food and grease marks from their oily fur.


No one likes roaches, but like any critter, they come into your home seeking food and warmth. The American cockroach and the German cockroach are the most common and can usually be found invading structures throughout the Southeast. The larger American roach usually gains access to homes and businesses from the outdoors while the smaller German roach has the ability to “hitchhike” from one location to another. Call Knox to protect your home or office from these pesky invaders.


These pests like to make webs anywhere and everywhere they aren’t being disturbed. Check old shoes and clothes for cobwebs before putting them on, as they might hold sneaky insects. Also check old boxes and corners of any crawl space. Know how to recognize the brown recluse spider, as their bites can be dangerous. They can be identified by the violin shape on the back of the thorax.


The classic winter critter. The biggest deterrent for these critters is denying their access to food such as animal-proof trash can lids or keeping trash cans in a locked shed. Other prevention tactics include covering up any access points — check your roof for loose shingles, broken vent covers, and busted windows. If a raccoon does become trapped in your attic or basement, be sure to proceed with caution as they can be a common carrier of rabies.


The sound of scampering coming from the attic is usually an indicator that one if not a family of squirrels might be inside your home. But like the critters before, finding possible points of entry and covering them up is the best prevention tactic. It also helps to cut back branches that hang over the house.

Critters are a pain.

But being proactive often will keep unwelcome holiday house guests from taking up residence. And if they do manage to get inside, Knox Pest Control is only a phone call away.


The Zika Virus Part 2: How To Protect Your Home

zika mosquito graphic Protecting your home is always of upmost importance to us at Knox. Here are a few ways you can keep mosquitoes, the carriers of the Zika virus, away from your home.

Avoid Standing Water

Mosquitos like to lay their eggs in stagnant water, like buckets left outside and full of rainwater, animal food bowls, flower pots, vases, etc. After it rains, look around outside your home and empty out anything with standing water to help prevent mosquito eggs.

Protect Yourself From Bites

The mosquitos carrying the virus like to bite during the daytime, so if you know you will be in an area that may have mosquitos take bite preventative measures. Wear long sleeves and pants if possible, and use insect repellent on exposed skin. Treat your clothes with the repellent before putting them on, even down to your boots and socks.

Keep Doors Closed

Keeping the front porch door open while talking to the neighbors gives mosquitoes a point of entry to your home. Use screens on doors and windows you want to leave open, or avoid having doors open for extended periods of time.

But these are all just basic preventative measures. If you really want to protect your family, don’t just play defense.

Play Offense

Take the fight to your backyard by getting your home and property professionally treated.

Head to our website to schedule a service today.

NOTHING HAPPENS UNTIL A SALE IS MADE from Columbus and the Valley



This is a sales success story — one I can’t wait to tell. It needs be told because the sales transaction is at the epicenter of what keeps our world on its axis. That spark, sizzling on dry tinder, catches up and a nice little fire just happens right in front of your face. The sales guy knows exactly what to say. He’s sharp. He’s got kind eyes and gets a meaningful conversation underway without delay. His time is valuable and he acknowledges that ours is, too.

This was a perfectly executed three-minute cold call. During my career I’ve made so many of those kinds of calls and they are mighty difficult — unless you’re Rod Spain. Rod is an account executive at Knox Pest Control, a new Columbus and the Valley advertiser.

Rod had just a few moments to get me and I’m not an easy get. Ask Jill or anyone else at 214 10th Street. I apparently have a sold case of Resting Bitch Face. That, and a sharp dismissal of a different, much less well-executed cold call have been witnessed by most of my office mates. Sometimes it is abrupt, but I figure that’s better than dancing around when the thing isn’t going to go anywhere anyway.

Then came Rod.

He said just the right things. I’ll admit I provided moist, dark soil on which a seed could land, but he was smart to recognize a glimmer of need in my eyes. In an instant, he was back in my office, sitting in a chair opposite my desk and my chair. In short order, he determined that I am related by marriage to my brother-in-law, Marshall Myers, and I felt like we made a professional connection. He has a great gift and the cool thing is that gift springs from his goodness. I like to be around people who have a light that comes from somewhere down deep. Those people are rare.

We have commercial real estate in downtown Columbus and it is my responsibility to keep it running by handling leases, rent payments and arranging for repairs and maintenance on buildings and landscapes. Termite inspections and treatments are part of that, and Rod Spain sells termite services for a local company. Not only did I get a fair price for the services that would be rendered, we were able to do business with a locally-owned company and we got to meet Rod Spain.

Once we signed the agreement, Rod gave us a clear outline of his timeline for the services they’d provide. He communicated with me often and Knox showed up on time and got it done. I left that sales experience with a sense that good business was done and I got a bonus by an inspiring salesman.

We’re in the middle of a financial transaction that involves a piece of property we own in Phenix City and we need a termite letter on that property as a part of the transaction. Guess who I called? Yep.

Rod doesn’t handle Phenix City accounts, so he passed me off to the right guy. The right guy didn’t call me, and several days later I reached back out to Rod, because I know him to be laser focused on my experience as a customer of Knox Pest Control. “I will make sure this gets done,” he said. I reminded him of my extremely short deadline and he came by our office today with the results of his inspection, less than 24 hours after he made his commitment to get the job done.

Turns out we have a small issue that needs attention and Rod has made another promise to get it done within our time constraints. Rod, I hope you get the chance to read this. Your commitment to excellence in your chosen profession and the stellar representation of your employer have secured my future loyalty to Knox Pest Control.

Nothing happens until a sale is made.

By Mike Venable.

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