Most Common Winter Pests in Las Vegas

Cooling temperatures encourage some Las Vegas pests to hibernate, but those who don’t begin to look for a warm spot to wait out the winter. Unfortunately, human residences provide the perfect environment for many unwanted guests. Read on to learn about the winter pests you are most likely to encounter in Las Vegas.

Bed Bugs

Bed bug on blanket

When temperatures drop as winter arrives in Las Vegas, the urge to get into bed and snooze until spring arrives takes hold of humans and bugs alike, and if you’ve been keeping up with news, you know that bed bug infestations are a continual problem with no end in sight. Due to the high traffic of people coming in and out of Las Vegas, bed bugs are very common, especially during the holidays. Bed bugs can survive for up to one year without food and live in a wide range of temperatures which is why they are such good survivalists. Homeowners provide the best spot for bed bugs to survive during the winter months. It’s always important to inspect your luggage and other items when traveling so you don’t bring them into you home.

Ants

When winter arrives in Las Vegas, homeowners assume they won’t see ants until the following summer. In fact, they’re more resilient than you think, and can find clever ways into your home. They sneak in via a surprising number of portals, attracted by food that has been left out or not properly put away: Spaces around doors and windows. Exterior holes and gaps. Even your doggie door. If you spot a line of ants traversing your floor or counter tops, it’s okay to say, “Houston, we’ve got a problem,” as you dial our bug busters to get to the heart of your infestation.

Fire ants in Las Vegas

There are approximately 20 species of ants found in and around the Las Vegas area, common ants in Las Vegas include Argentine ants, southern fire ants, and California harvester ants.  These insects do not transmit diseases to humans, but they are a major nuisance because of their large numbers. Also, pavement ants have a stinger, which makes for an unpleasant experience if they are accidentally mashed or squeezed.

Ants love moisture and routinely choose locations with easy access to water, such as the kitchen and bathroom. They enter homes easily because they are small enough to crawl through minuscule cracks and crevices. Once they decide your residence is suitable, these annoying pests get busy building extensive nests and breeding. You’ll soon be seeing ants at every turn and they are incredibly difficult to get rid of without the aid of a professional.

Cockroaches

German cockroach on rock

The name of this pest is enough to turn many people’s stomachs, and with good reason. German cockroaches are drawn to the food you have lying around your house and when they crawl across it, they can leave behind a variety of bacteria and viruses. Their feces and shed skin also cause allergy and asthma flare-ups in people with sensitivities to these insects.

German cockroaches find their way into residences in a variety of ways. It’s not unusual to find them inside shopping bags, food boxes or other containers brought home from the store. They also migrate from newly vacated homes to the warmth of occupied dwellings, especially during cool weather. German cockroaches reproduce very rapidly and are a challenge to eliminate once established.

Rats

Roof rats have sleek brown or black fur and long, thin tails. They grow up to 15 inches long and resemble common house mice. These rodents are excellent climbers and often make their homes in attics and crawl spaces. Their first food choice is fruit, but they are willing to make a meal of almost anything, including grain, bark and even insects. Roof rats invade homes by climbing through holes around vents and windows and are capable of squeezing into very small openings. They reproduce rapidly and become a major problem in a short while if not dealt with.

Las Vegas roof rat

Cold weather is often the reason rats seek shelter in dark areas of the home–like basements and attics—-but these can be brazen little dudes, exposing family members to tapeworms and Salmonella. Norway rats have rough, uneven fur that is brown or gray in color. They aren’t good climbers like roof rats, but make up for it with their excellent swimming skills. These rodents aren’t picky about what they eat and will dine on any food that they can gain access to in your home.

How will you know when they have arrived? Look for droppings and gnaw marks. Norway rats get inside residences by scurrying through open doors or by squeezing through cracks around windows and doors. Norway rats never met a material they couldn’t gnaw, and that includes pipes. As disturbing as it sounds, it’s also possible for these rats to make their way up your toilet pipe and into your home. They are prolific breeders and will establish a family right alongside yours if quick action isn’t taken. To keep them outside the walls of your home, seal holes, cracks and other exterior wall breaches so they can’t get in, and routinely check for telltale signs in crawl spaces and basements. Allow Norway rats to take up permanent residence and you can expose your family to diseases and viruses.

Spiders

Cool winter temperatures send spiders searching for warmth and your home provides them with everything they need to get through the season. Most spiders are harmless, aside from their creep factor, but Las Vegas is home to a few that can cause problems. The brown recluse, sometimes called the violin spider, the hobo spider and the black widow all have painful bites that may lead to a host of health problems.

black widow on web

Spiders can crawl through very tiny holes, which makes it easy for them to end up inside your home. They readily take advantage of all openings, such as gaps around windows or doors, damaged screens or an open dryer vent. Spiders prefer quiet, dark areas, meaning you won’t realize you have an unwanted guest until you have a surprise encounter.

Don’t combat these pests alone!

If you suspect that your home has become a winter shelter for these pests, or any others, it’s important that you seek help from a professional exterminator quickly. The longer you wait to address the problem, the worse the infestation will become. An experienced pest control company will develop a detailed treatment plan that is best for your situation and family. They will also offer advice about the steps you should take to prevent reinfestation so that your home stays safe and cozy all winter long.