With the onset of autumn and the arrival of winter looming rodents usually become the…
There is a big misconception people have over pests and the need for pest control during the colder months of the year. Do not let your guard down and think because the temperatures are cooler, pests will now disappear and there would be no need for pest control during winter. This is far from the truth, and here are a few brief examples of why pest control is vital through the winter period.
Rodents, including rats and mice, are active year-round. Notably, in the summer months, they are often seen outdoors, as well as indoors constantly in search of food and water and further breed all year round, and thus need to seek shelter to breed. When the weather turns cooler and winter sets in, rodents do venture out to find suitable warmth and shelter in areas such as buildings, residential blocks, warehouse or even homes, where they will scavenge for food, water and shelter.
One will commonly hear rats in one’s ceilings during the nights when they are most active, more so in the winter months than summer months, as they have found a warmer spot in one’s roof, which may be your ceiling insulation or near your geyser to provide added warmth and shelter, and if left untreated, a breeding site. These vermin also reproduce rapidly, with a rat capable of maturing in three months. Read more about rodents, their control and the species most commonly encountered in South Africa here.
The most commonly found cockroach that one encounters in buildings, offices, retail stores, restaurants and even homes is the German cockroach (Blatella germanica). These cockroaches breed all year round and breed prolifically in ideal breeding conditions. In the summer months, the warmer it is, the quicker they multiply, but even in winter they will still breed and may not multiply as prolifically if not in the same ideal temperature range.
German cockroaches can on average hatch as a nymph cockroach and mature to an adult cockroach in around 100 days. Read more about cockroaches and their breeding cycle here.
3. Black Ants
Without a doubt, ants are more active in summer than they are in the winter months. However, due to them being social insects and live in colonies, one of their main purposes is to breed and multiply, and while doing this, their nests spread prolifically with worker ants scouting for food and water sources all the time to sustain the Queen ants and the rest of their colonies.
In summer, one can see ants trailing on days when it’s sunny, or when it’s raining or finished raining. This is either worker ants that are trailing or sending pheromone signals to the rest of the colony of either finding a source of food and water, or danger to move and relocate the colony. In cases where there is too much rain, ants will trail and relocate their nests due to them being washed out or drowned, and the rest of the colony will move their larvae with the colony and start another nest on higher and drier ground as such.
A similar phenomenon occurs when there is a dry season or a dry period such as winter- ants will start trailing in search of water and food and will come indoors into bathrooms, kitchens, bedrooms, etc, where they will be a pest and be all over your kitchen counters, sink, kettles, food left unsealed or even in your pets food bowl or water bowls. This trait is also seen commonly in winter, especially in dry periods with no rain, and more commonly on sunny winter days. Read more about ants, their control, and the various species of ants found in South Africa here.