Where do pests go in the winter?

Where Do Pests Go in the Winter?

We all know that pests are more active in the Summer; insects thrive in the warm weather. But where do pests go in the Winter? There are pests that are also prevalent in the Winter, and some are even more present in homes and businesses during the colder months.

Winter Pest Control

Pest Survival in Winter

Pests are adaptable, and many of them have strategies to survive through the Winter. A lot of pests that thrive during the Winter months do so by finding shelter, or a warmer temperature. Pigeons, for example, flock to towns and cities for the extra warmth they provide and the surplus of food for the pests. 

Winter also doesn’t deter mice and rats — it encourages them. Rodents will attempt to enter homes and businesses to access food and warmth due to the presence of food. This can prove damaging to your property; rat teeth are even stronger than human teeth and can gnaw through even the toughest of materials.

Whilst pests are no doubt associated with summer weather, there are several pests that continue to endure throughout the whole year. Cockroaches and flies are examples of pests that endure through the year, coming inside to find food and shelter.

Pest survival in winter

Hibernation and Finding Shelter

In order for bugs and pests to survive the cold winter temperatures, they must adopt a survival strategy. This varies from species to species, however, most will either migrate, hibernate, or find shelter inside homes and businesses.


During cold winter months, food is harder for insects to come by; in response, the insect will hibernate. This involves reducing body temperature and water content whilst increasing glycerol. Some insects that hibernate include wasps.

During diapause, insects will enter a dormant state and pause their development by reducing metabolic activity. This is in response to harsh conditions and the process will end when the temperature increases.

Finding Shelter

Some pests, especially rats, cockroaches, flies, mice and pigeons, can survive the Winter, and can even thrive in the colder months. They do this by finding shelter indoors; whether that be in homes, garages, or sheds, or businesses, especially kitchens, where they also have easy access to food.

Signs of pests in your business can cause a real problem. They can contaminate food, spread illness, and cause property damage, so it’s important to notice the signs of pests on your property, and how to deter them.


Signs of Pests


Droppings, Gwaning Damage, Shredded Material, Disrupted Food & Unpleasant Smell


Droppings, Gnawing Damage, Shredded Material, Disturbed Food

Bed Bugs

Bites, Blood on Sheets & Pillows, Dark Spots of Excrement on Sheets & Musty Odour


Unusual Smell, Droppings & Smears Marks on Horizontal Surfaces

Flies & Flying Insects

Regular Fly Sightings, Maggots, Small Dark Spot Clusters on Walls


Small Red Bite Marks, Flea Sightings, Flea Droppings


Nesting Birds, Noise from Birds, Droppings, Nest Debris


Ant Sightings, Sawdust Trails, Damaged Wooden Structures, Rustling in Walls

However hard you try, you’ll never be able to completely remove pests during Winter. Pests and insects thrive in warm areas where they have access to food, making restaurants, kitchens, warehouses, food retail premises, and hotels among some of the most common environments for them to infest. However, there are measures you can take in order to minimise the risk of infestation. Regular cleaning is the biggest way that you can minimise the risk of infestation in Winter. 

Other measures you can take include:

  • Sealing and securing entry points
  • Keep everything as dry as possible
  • Don’t leave food or rubbish out
  • Don’t leave standing water in your building
  • Store any leftover food in sealed containers
  • Regularly dispose of indoor bins
  • Recognise the signs and deal with early signs
  • Contact a professional pest control service

Pests that are the most active in the Winter are rats, mice, cockroaches, pigeons, and spiders.

Pigeons can reduce their exposure to the cold by tucking in their head and feet, sticking their feathers down and crouching. In extreme conditions, they can also constrict blood flow to their feet to further prevent heat loss. Flocks of pigeons are comfortable to huddle and roost close together to share warmth.

We have a simple 4-step pest control process.

  1. Get in touch. Get in touch with our expert team and let us know what your problem is- we even offer a free no-obligation quote and survey.
  2. Survey. Once we’ve established the problem, we’ll send a team out to perform a survey of your premises to further investigate your pest problem.
  3. Treatment. Once we’re sure of the problem, we can organise a time to start treatment of your premises, ensuring we humanely and quickly resolve the problem.
  4. Follow-up care. Once we have treated your home or business, we will regularly inspect and monitor the premises for future infestation.

VermEx is a family-run pest control company with over 30 years of experience in providing a professional pest control service to commercial clients across the North of England, including Manchester, York & Leeds. We pride ourselves on our ability to quickly and effectively react to our customer’s needs and provide an unparalleled level of service that is individually tailored to their needs.

If your restaurant, hotel, warehouse, or other business premises has a pest infestation, get in touch with us today and we can arrange a free quote.

Professional Pest Control Services from VermEx

Pest control problems can be disruptive and inconvenient for businesses. Throughout the North of England, we provide effective and cost-effective commercial pest control services to a wide range of commercial, industrial, and agricultural businesses. 

Over the last 30 years, VermEx has dealt with a wide range of pests with tailored solutions to meet your specific needs. You can be confident that our professional pest control solutions will provide you with peace of mind regardless of what your pest management problem may be. Contact our pest control experts if you have a pest problem on your commercial property.

Get in Touch!