Annoying Apartment Pests to Watch for This Winter

Think those spiders, mice, flies, and beetles creeping around your apartment will disappear with colder winter temperatures? Think again. Pest problems stick with you throughout the year unless you address them at the source!

Know what to look for so you can keep an eye out for apartment pests this winter. The sooner you spot a pest problem, the faster you can deal with it.

1. Spiders

Most spiders do no more harm than an occasional spook when you spot them scurrying across the floor. But in some regions, certain spiders, like the Brown Recluse and the Black Widow, can pose a threat to humans.

Most spiders like to spin webs where they’ll be undisturbed. Watch for them in closets, crawl spaces, cardboard boxes, and seldom-used clothing and shoes. As you dust off your jackets, boots, and other winter gear this season, keep a particular eye out for unsuspecting arachnids.

How to Prevent an Infestation:

  • Trim the shrubs, bushes, and trees outside your apartment, if possible. This will limit a spider’s ability to enter your home.
  • Store clothing, shoes, and gloves in plastic containers.
  • Clean your apartment and brush away cobwebs.

2. Mice

If only life could be more like Cinderella, where mice help you with your ball gown and transform into magical horses. Instead, house mice are the most common rodent pests encountered in the United States. They cause millions of dollars in property damage every year by chewing through drywall, electrical wires, furniture, and anything else that gets between them and food.

Mice like to hide in dark, secluded areas like closets, attics, and basements. In the cold winter months, mice tend to move toward a heat source (like your apartment).

How to Prevent an Infestation:

  • Seal holes or cracks on the outside of your apartment and apartment windows. Mice can fit through an opening as small as a dime!
  • Dispose of trash regularly and store food in airtight containers.
  • Watch for droppings, gnaw marks, and damaged food.

3. Cockroaches

Yuck! Is there anything worse than seeing a cockroach in your apartment? Cockroaches like to live in small spaces with lots of food and moisture, so kitchen cabinets and bathrooms make for the ideal habitat.

These creepy-crawlies spread bacteria and pathogens quickly, and can even trigger allergy or asthma symptoms in children. Cockroaches can survive a nuclear apocalypse, but that doesn’t mean they’re impossible to get rid of.

How to Prevent an Infestation:

  • Don’t leave food sitting out on your counter.
  • Rinse cans, bottles, and plastics before putting them in recycling.
  • Store food and pet food in tightly-sealed containers.

4. Raccoons

These masked bandits may seem cute and cuddly, but raccoons are a major host of rabies in the United States! Commonly found in wooded areas, raccoons will sometimes enter human homes in search of denning sites for the winter.

They typically go through vents and chimneys, so if you live on the top floor of your apartment complex or near a nature park, pay particular attention.

How to Prevent an Infestation:

  • Keep your trash cans and recycling bins in a sealed area, like a locked shed. Use animal-proof lids. Don’t leave trash bags on the porch or balcony.
  • Look outside your apartment for possible entry points—like broken vent covers—and ask for your landlord to repair them.
  • Ask your landlord to trim tree branches back from your apartment.

5. Termites

Some bugs love wood. Termites are one of them. Unfortunately, your apartment was built using quite a bit of wood, meaning termites can easily take up residence in your home, regardless of the time of year.

It’s unlikely that your apartment has a fireplace, but throughout the fall and winter your complex might still keep wood piles around in case people want to use their fire pits or chimeneas. Collected firewood poses an increased risk for termites.

How to Prevent an Infestation:

  • Ask your landlord for a termite inspection from a qualified expert.
  • Look around your home for excess moisture condensation, as well as places where wood is touching the ground outside your home.
  • Inspect lumber and firewood before using it in home or outdoor projects.

Preventing an infestation is much easier than getting rid of a pest infestation. If you have a pesky pest problem that won’t go away no matter what you do and you’re ready to move, choose from hundreds of pest-free apartments on ApartmentSearch. Compare amenities, tour the apartment before you move in, and cash in on a $200 reward when you mention ApartmentSearch in your lease.