Spring is a time for new life and that goes for pests, too. Ants, mosquitos, bees, and creatures of all kinds find their way out of hiding as the weather warms. Not to worry, we’re here with a guide for spring pests so you can be prepared to prevent – or get rid of – a spring pest infestation.
Ants are attracted to moisture and food. They can enter your home through even the smallest of cracks. They mature quickly and multiply quickly, so a few ants can turn into a full colony in a matter of days. This can create an infestation that is hard to manage. Warmer spring temperatures cause colonies to forage more, meaning ants are more interested in your food than they were in the winter. Here are the four most common types of ants:
- Carpenter Ants: These ants are about five-eighths of an inch long. They tend to burrow in damp wood but have also been known to damage solid wood. They do not eat the wood, but simply remove it in order to build a nest.
- Red Imported Fire Ants: Fire ants vary in size from one-eighth to three-eighths of an inch. They construct large mounds for nests and administer painful stings.
- Pavement Ants: These ants are about one-eighth of an inch long. They generally make their nests in pavement cracks and are also capable of infesting a building.
- Pharaoh Ants: Pharaoh ants are about one-sixteenth of an inch long. They’re commonly found in hospitals and nursing homes, where they are capable of transmitting Staphylecoccus and Psuedomonas infections. Pharaoh ants can also invade restaurants, apartment buildings and similar dwellings.
Store your food properly in air tight containers, clean up crumbs and residue immediately, and monitor any signs of ants outside of your home to prevent an ant invasion.
Bees and Wasps
A stray bee or wasp in your yard is not something that should cause concern, especially since they are important to local ecosystems. However, if you or a loved one is allergic to them, or if you many due to an infestation, bees and wasps can pose a serious threat to your health. Bees and wasps, like many pests, are looking for food and can enter your home in search of it. They can also show up at a family barbecue or cookout, and while a lone wasp or bee is usually harmless, a colony could attack, especially if threatened or agitated.
Colonies can be hard to locate, and over the counter pest treatments for bees and wasps can be both difficult and dangerous to use. If you believe that you have a bee or wasp problem, we strongly encourage you to contact our team for professional help to safely and effectively remove the colony.
Roaches are infamous. They’re unsightly and hard to kill. Roaches can survive for up to a month without food, but they are rapid reproducers. A female roach lives about 200 days, but she will lay anywhere from 120 to 300 eggs during her lifespan. They are nocturnal and stealthy. If you have an infestation, it’s possible you may not know for quite some time.
If you see a roach, there is a good chance there are more hiding in your home. They are difficult to eradicate and can cause health problems. It’s a good idea to contact a professional if you spot cockroaches in your home to prevent an infestation from getting out of hand.
Fleas are tiny parasites with itchy bites, and can transmit diseases to you, but more likely to your family pets. Typically, they are brought into your home via animals. They are fast breeders and their eggs are left strewn around your home, often in rugs and upholstery. Because the eggs are not attached to the host, even if you treat your pet for fleas, the fleas are probably going to come back if your home is not treated as well.
The best method of flea prevention is flea control for your pets, including medicated treatments and good hygiene. Bathe and groom your pets often, and ask your veterinarian for recommendations on flea control for your pet. Should you find you have fleas invading your home, contact our team for help. Treatment and consistent vacuuming will eradicate them.
These blood-seeking parasites transmit over 15 viruses and infections. Most homes are unlikely to have issues with ticks, but, like fleas, they are usually brought into the home via a host. This host can be your pet, you could pick one up outside and bring it in unknowingly, or it could come from another pest, like a rodent. Keeping your home clean and decluttered is always an important step in preventing pests, including ticks.
Rats and mice are not just a spring issue, but they are certainly an issue if they get in your home. They transmit diseases, and can bring other pests like fleas and ticks inside with them. Rodents tend to like to be near humans because humans keep a ready supply of food available. A stray mouse in your home can be removed with a few mouse traps, but a larger infestation can be hard to take care of on your own. Rats are especially smart and hard to remove.
Rodent nests are dangerous to clean up, as well, as the dust and dander left behind contains bacteria that can be harmful to breathe. Rodents can also cause damage to your home by chewing on wires, furniture, siding and other building materials. Professional intervention is the safest and surest way to get rid of rodents and prevent them from causing you, your family, and your home any harm.
Termites can often be mistaken for ants because their bodies are similar in shape, but termites can cause serious damage to the structure of your home. A termite infestation should be taken seriously and action taken right away. Damage left behind when undiscovered or untreated can cost thousands of dollars to repair. Signs of a termite infestation include discarded wings found in or around your house, and mud tubes – tunnels termites build to travel. They are often found near the ground, doors, window trim, support beams, or other wooden structures of the home.
To prevent termites, have your home regularly inspected and monitored for termites. Store firewood or other aging wood products away from your house. Keep any sawdust or wood debris out of and away from your home and it’s foundation.
The itchy, irritated bites mosquitoes leave behind are no fun. What’s worse, mosquitoes can carry diseases which may make your family and pets sick. To prevent mosquitos, keep your yard mowed and shrubs maintained. It’s also important to remove sources of standing water and clear debris. For time you want to spend outside in the evenings, lighting citronella candles can help. You can also set mosquito traps or wear bug-repellent. If your home seems to have far too many mosquitoes around it, check with your pest-control experts to see if there is another step you can take to keep them away from you and your family this spring.