Cold temperatures send bugs, rodents looking for warmth

EUGENE, Ore. -- With the onset of freezing temperatures that have descended on Oregon, rodents and bugs are looking for a warm place to wait out the cold.

According to the National Pest Management Association, rodents invade about 21 million homes in the U.S. every winter.

Ron Bonfoey of Swanson's pest management says he's been getting a lot of calls to exterminate them.

"Right now rodents are huge," said Bonfoey. "If you want to keep me out of your life, then walk the perimeter of your house and check the vents."

If you have a hole in the vent with a pipe or wire going through it, a rodent can squeeze inside.

One way to avoid this is to seal off access points. Fix screens, vents, or put door strips in place.

With freezing low temperatures bringing rodents in, you may think the cold is taking insects out but the snow actually acts as insulation for the bugs so they can reemerge in the spring.

Ross Penhallegon of Oregon State University's Lane County extension said freezing temperatures without a layer of snow on the ground is more detrimental to hibernating bug populations.

"The snow is actually helping to keep the insect population at a fairly normal range. If in January we have a freeze and February we have a freeze, that will start to affect the insect population," said Penhallegon.

He urges people to cover the ground with compost, mulch and leaves not only to help indigenous bug populations, but also to protect perennial plantlife.