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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.