Winter Pests and Home HVAC Damage

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When we think about pest prevention in the winter (and really throughout the year), we mostly think of things in terms of comfort, health and convenience. No one wants unsightly and disgusting pests roaming the home, especially if they risk contamination or other health effects.

At A-1 Exterminators, we’re here to tell you about yet another risk that insects and other pests pose during the winter in particular: Damage to your home’s HVAC system. There are a few specific pests known to embed themselves in AC units or other parts of the air system, searching for shelter and food along with warmth, and they can create major long-term issues in some cases. Let’s go over some of the key pests to look out for here, plus how our pest control services can help prevent this from happening in your home.

Ants

Ants are both a winter problem and, perhaps more worryingly, a spring problem you want to get a head start on preparing for. In particular, a phenomenon known as “crazy ants” is one you should look out for as the winter wears on.

This is a situation where ants begin to congregate near a condenser in your home during late winter or early spring rains. Ants are attracted to the acidity in the contractor here, but when they contact it, they electrocute themselves and release a pheromone that signals still further ants to swarm the area. This in turn will clog the condenser until it short-circuits your entire AC, which will require replacement. But if you catch this issue early with a careful eye, we can help you treat it before this happens.

Wasps

Wasps will look to enter the home to build their hives during the winter for warmth and protection, and one of the most common areas they’ll go is into your vents or ductwork. One good precaution here is to make sure these areas are well-sealed and not damaged, so as to prevent them from entering.

If you notice the signs of wasps anywhere in your home during winter, do not attempt to resolve this issue on your own. Serious injury can take place while trying to remove wasp nests without training. Instead, contact our pros immediately.

Rodents

Mice, rats, racoons and squirrels can be major risks to your HVAC system, especially during winter. They’re especially concerning due to their ability to chew through lots of different items, plus many of them can get into very small spaces you may not have thought possible. They’re commonly found in walls or attics, but they use your ducts as transportation methods. They can create holes and damage, and bigger rodents can also create issues with air duct connectors or damage your wiring. Rats and mice, in addition, like to chew on insulation. Basic prevention tactics can go a long way to preventing all this, however.

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