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The four most common pests invading your home this winter

6 Jul 2016

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Humans aren’t the only ones seeking refuge from the wild weather outside. Although the summer months are the favourite for pests, there are certainly winter pests to watch out for. Garages full of boxes and clutter can make comfortable places for winter pests to shelter from the elements.

While there are some creepy crawlies that continue terrorising your home regardless of the weather outside, there are also pests that become an increased threat in the winter months. Four of the most common winter pests are:

  • Rodents
  • Portuguese Millipedes
  • Possums (ringtail/brushtail)
  • Snails

There are simple ways to control and deter winter pests from settling for an extended stay in and around your home.


Winter often leads to an increased threats of rodent invasion as they seek shelter in the warmth and safety of our homes. Tips to prevent these winter pests from invading are:

  • Tidy Clutter. Removing unwanted items or re-stowing items give rodents less places to hide.
  • Use plastic and metal containers for storage that can be sealed. Fabric or cardboard can easily be chewed through, making it easier for rodents to get into.
  • Remove food sources. Make sure there are no easy meals such as pet food left out. Seal all gaps. Cover the gaps under doors with weather strips, but also check gaps above doors, in roof tiles and under eaves. Less obvious places like these may be used as an entrance by these winter pests.
  • Set rodent traps.

Portuguese Millipedes

Portuguese millipedes are the smaller black millipedes that often curl into a spiral when disturbed.

Portuguese millipedes lay eggs in May which hatch in time for winter.

Unlike native millipedes, these winter pests can congregate in large numbers and often seek shelter indoors during rainfall. These winter pests feed on organic matter and leaf litter compost, and are one of only a few breeds attracted to light. Simple steps to repel these insects are to:

  • Turn of external lights at night or fit curtains or blinds to limit indoor light leaking outside.
  • As with rodents, seal up any gaps that pose as an entry point.
  • Clean garden beds of leaf litter to limit food sources
  • Chemical barriers can be used to block entry.
  • Once inside the millipedes usually die without a food source.


As with rodents, possums can be inclined to seek shelter within roof voids as a result of inclement

weather conditions. Possums usually gain entry through broken roof tiles, damaged eaves or displaced ridge capping. Possums can make lots of noise as well as stain your ceiling and plaster with their urine and faecal matter. If you find yourself with a possum problem you can:

  • NOT harm them or capture them in any inhumane way as they are a protected animal.
  • Only trapping is approved, and depending on state law and licensing permits, can re-release them into bushland. This is best done by a professional.
  • Use baited cages with apple, banana or cake pieces (especially when chocolate covered).
  • Only after capture, fix any gaps in the roofing they may have entered through.


Similar to amphibians, snails breathe through their skin, and seek cover in dry conditions to combat desiccation. The rainy days of winter however bring snails out of hiding. Snails are a nuisance for eating your plants and leaving slimy trails.

  • Snail pellets are useful as well as simply hand plucking them regularly and destroying them severely depletes their numbers.
  • Stepping on them can kill snails but mature eggs might still hatch.
  • Clean your garden of loose organic matter to reduce numbers.

If these winter pests are getting out of hand in your home and you require a professional to take care of your pest problem, Bug Busters is just one phone call away. Bug Busters offer safe and reliable solutions for all of your pest problems across the Perth metro area.

To organise pest management services for your home or business, contact Bug Busters today on 9493 1313 or fill in our online enquiry form.