No matter what the temperature is, pests are still in search of two things: shelter and food. This means that throughout the year, your home is at risk for any pest to enter and invade. Each season brings different pests to the varying stages of their life cycles. This means that while you can expect mosquitoes in the summer, you wouldn’t expect them in the winter. It’s important to know the seasonal pest patterns for your area so you can make the proper preparations for your home.
Winter is a time for hibernation and survival for many pests and wildlife. The colder weather has most pests looking for shelter. Depending on the pest, they often seek it both outdoors and indoors. Bees, wasps, and other stinging insects seek out places in logs or eaves of homes. Overwintering pests like spiders, cockroaches, and rodents tend to look indoors, sometimes in our homes, for a warm place to inhabit. The main key to preventing these pests is to start pest-proofing in the fall!
Springtime brings certain pests out from hibernation and many look to start the mating process. Pests that hibernate during the winter will awaken from a dormant state and emerge. Increased activity begins for pests like termites as their swarming season begins. Likewise, spring rain will drive ants out from their nesting sites in search for higher grounds. It’s important to ensure your home is prepared for these pests throughout the spring. Getting proactive now on your pest proofing will only ensure that these pests stay out of your home. Inspect the exterior and interior of the home for cracks or holes and make sure your yard is clear of standing water.
Backyard pests are out and about during the humid months of summer. While we tend to see fewer summer pests indoors, we do see a larger amount in our yards. Mosquitoes are especially active during these months due to the moisture of the spring and summer rains. Others like bees, wasps, and other stinging pests can be seen too.
Before winter hits, most pests are getting ready to hibernate and prepare for the cold weather during the fall season. In these months, certain pests and wildlife creatures will invade your property in search of shelter for the winter. Fall pests include ladybugs, boxelder bugs, and spiders. These pests are most likely looking for shelter before the colder temperatures hit.
If you feel your home is nesting unwanted pests or would like to ensure they don’t enter your home, call your local pest control company who can provide you with a home inspection, prevention plan, and treatment plan.
As the weather warms up overwintering pests will begin to wake up and make their way outdoors. One of these is the brown marmorated stinkbug. While these household pests don’t sting, bite, or carry any diseases, they can become a nuisance when they get inside your home. In fact, once you see stinkbugs inside, it’s usually too late to do anything to keep them out.
The brown marmorated stinkbug is native to Asia but was later introduced in the United States. They prefer moist, temperate climates like those of the Eastern US and the Pacific Northwest. Stinkbugs feed on soybeans, corn, fruit, vegetables, and ornamental plants that grow close to homes. Stinkbugs spend the spring and summer seasons outdoors then will seek shelter from the winter elements indoors – often entering your home through cracks, crevices, gaps or holes in your foundation, through chimneys, air conditioning vents, or underneath siding. The prefer homes with lots of trees around and will gravitate to the upper floors of a home.
During the winter months, stinkbugs go into a phase known as diapause, which is similar to hibernation, where the bugs go inactive during the cold weather. When the stinkbugs find a spot to overwinter, they release a pheromone that attracts other stinkbugs to their location. While they typically stay dormant until spring, unusually warm spells during the winter can bring them out full force.
If you encounter stinkbugs in your home, the best way to get rid of them is to vacuum them up and immediately dispose of the bag. When stinkbugs are threatened, disturbed, or squashed, they emit a smell that has been described as anything from cilantro to rotting almonds to spoiled fruit.
The best way to control stinkbugs is to prevent them from getting into your home in the first place. Here are 9 prevention tips for keeping stinkbugs out.
- Seal Them Out. Carefully inspect the exterior of your home to identify potential entry points for stinkbugs. Check around siding and utility pipes, behind chimneys, and under fascia. Seal any problem spots with silicone or silicone-latex caulk. Close chimney flues when not in use.
- Repair. Check doors and windows for any damage. Repair or replace damaged screens. Check weatherstripping and replace if necessary. Check for loose mortar. Install door sweeps if possible.
- Turn Off Lights. Stinkbugs are attracted to light. Try to keep outdoor lighting to a minimum. After dark, turn porch lights off and pull down blinds in your home to reduce the amount of light spilling out from indoors.
- Keep It Dry. Stinkbugs, like other seasonal pests, need water to survive. Check carefully for leaking pipes and faucets and repair them immediately.
- Get Rid of Food. Keep food stored in airtight containers. Dispose of your garbage regularly. Wipe down countertops daily and sweep and mop often.
- Air It Out. Keep areas that stinkbugs can use as a harborage point (garages, crawlspaces, attics, and basements) well ventilated. Consider using a dehumidifier in these areas. Install screens over chimney and attic vents.
- Check It Out. Stinkbugs can hitch a ride into your home in boxes and bags. Carefully inspect any boxes you are bringing in from storage and any grocery bags before you bring them into your home.
- Landscaping. Keep branches and shrubbery well trimmed so they are not in contact with the house. Keep grass mowed and leaves raked. Store firewood at least 20 feet from the house and at least 5 inches off the ground.
- Call A Pro. If you suspect you have a problem with stinkbugs, contact a professional pest control company who can help identify any entry points the bugs may be using and help to eliminate them. They can also use a preventative spray in the late summer/early fall to help keep them out before overwintering season sets in.
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Just as the weather changes with the seasons, pest activity shifts to usher in new groups of active pests. Let’s take a look at what pests are active in your area and some tips to keep them away.
The humidity and moisture that come with early summer is what helps to increase subterranean termite activity. “Swarm season” is in full effect, and this can present a problem for your home.
- Avoid water accumulation around your home, specifically around the foundation.
- Invest in a moisture-reducing program to help reduce humidity in your home’s crawl space.
Summer is the biggest travel time for many. College students are coming back home, and family vacations are planned. This increases the chances of having an incident with bed bugs, and a bed bug infestation is no easy battle.
- When returning from vacation, leave suitcases in the garage or driveway. Remove clothing and take immediately to your laundry room to be washed in warm water.
- Consider packing a large garbage bag to place your suitcase in while on vacation.
- Do not unpack your clothing and place them in the hotel drawers as these can be hiding places for bed bugs.
As the summer weather starts to rev up, American cockroach activity will skyrocket. While they live outdoors, if they find themselves low on food or if the weather experiences a drastic change (extreme heat or excessive rain), they will try move indoors.
- Put dirty dishes directly into the dishwasher or wash them immediately after using them instead of leaving them in the sink overnight.
- Make sure to eliminate any sources of standing water around your home.
Pest infestation can be costly and a major hassle. Contact a professional pest control company like Northwest for a free pest control estimate to protect your home from pests year-round.
No matter what season it is, pests will always be in search of 2 things: shelter and food. One place that provides both of these is your home! Pests are influenced by the seasons so their threats change as the weather changes. Different seasons bring different pests in varying stages of their life cycles. It is important to know seasonal pest patterns for your area to make the proper preparations for your home. What can you expect as each season changes throughout the year?
Winter is a time of hibernation and survival for pests. Colder weather triggers a need for most pests to find shelter; some seek shelter outdoors while others will seek shelter indoors. Bees, wasps, and other stinging insects will seek out places in logs or in the eaves of your home. Ants will seek shelter in their nesting sites. Overwintering pests like cockroaches, spiders, and rodents will seek shelter indoors, sometimes in our homes. The key to prevention of winter pests is to prepare your home in the fall.
Spring is a time of awakening and mating for most pests. As the weather warms, pests will emerge from their winter shelters and increase their activity. Pests that hibernate over winter will awaken from their dormant states. The spring rains will drive ants from their nesting sites in search of higher ground. Spring also marks the beginning of swarming season for termites. Most pests will move outdoors in the spring in search of mates.
Summer brings the height of backyard pests that put a damper on our outdoor fun. While we tend to see fewer pests inside our homes, we do tend to see larger numbers of pests in our yards and other outdoor areas. Mosquitoes are especially active in the summer months because of the moisture from spring and summer rains. Bees, wasps, and other stinging insects are also more active in the summer; their nests can often be found on our near our homes.
Fall is a time of preparation for most pests as they get ready for the harsh winter months. Common fall pests include ladybugs, box elders, and spiders. These pests will often invade your home at this time of the year in search of shelter for the coming months. Fall is a good time to prepare your home for those overwintering pests seeking shelter from the winter weather also, like cockroaches and rodents.
No matter the season, there are steps you can take to protect your home from pests year-round:
- Keep your grass mowed and shrubbery trimmed away from the sides of your home.
- Keep your yard clear of debris and standing water.
- Store firewood away from the home and elevated off the ground.
- Inspect the outside of your home for cracks and holes that pests can use as entry points and seal them.
- Use weatherstripping around doors and windows and make sure screens are in good repair.
- Cap your chimney.
- Make sure gutters are clear of debris or install gutter guards.
- Consider enclosing your crawlspace.
- Keep food and pet food stored in airtight containers.
- Don’t leave pet food and water bowls out overnight.
- Clean up crumbs and spills immediately.
- Vacuum often.
- Repair any leaky faucets.
If these steps aren’t enough or if you already have a pest problem, call a pest control professional who can come and give your home a thorough inspection and help you with a treatment and prevention plan.
Autumn is right around the corner and it brings with it cooler weather, Halloween, football, and a plethora of new pests. As the weather gets colder, pests will seek shelter, food, and warmth in our homes. Different seasons bring different pests and this time of year is no exception. Here are 7 of the most common fall pests and ways to prevent them from invading your home.
Rats, mice, and squirrels are among the most common rodents seen in the fall. They need food and warmth to survive the cold winter months. Rats are known to carry disease and can cause potential health problems for you and your family. They also get into food storage and chew through wooden supports. They build their nests in your insulation and can cause fires by chewing through electrical wires. They can fit into small gaps and holes to get into your home and bring fleas, mites, ticks, and lice with them.
Rodents can be prevented by:
- Storing food in airtight containers.
- Sealing cracks around your foundation.
- Keeping your kitchen clean.
- Decluttering your garage and attic.
- Using plastic storage containers instead of cardboard.
Cockroaches are the most common fall pest. Cockroaches can be dangerous to your health as they are known to carry 33 different types of bacteria and can cause asthma in children. They are large, fast, and extremely resilient. They like to hide near pipes and drains and are commonly seen in kitchens and bathrooms.
Cockroaches can be prevented by:
- Keeping kitchens and bathrooms sanitized.
- Vacuuming frequently.
- Ensuring cracks around your home are sealed.
- Storing food in airtight containers.
- Eliminating sources of standing water.
Fleas come into your home on both pets and rodents. While they don’t transmit serious diseases to humans, their bites can be painful and irritating. Fleas can spread throughout your home quickly and can be extremely difficult to get rid of.
Fleas can be prevented by:
- Keeping grass mowed and shrubs trimmed.
- Not leaving pet food out overnight.
- Sealing openings to crawlspaces, garages, sheds, and decks.
- Using preventative products on your pets.
- Vacuuming often.
- Washing pet bedding often.
There are several species of ants that are common in the fall. Ants can move into the walls of your home or underneath your foundations and cause significant damage to your home. Carpenter ants can chew through the wood of your home and compromise its structure. Odorous house ants can get into and contaminate your food.
Ants can be prevented by:
- Sealing cracks around your foundation.
- Storing food in airtight containers.
- Sweeping your floors often.
- Eliminating sources of standing water.
- Keeping tree branches and plants cut back from your home.
- Not storing firewood near the home or indoors overnight.
Stink bugs actively seek shelter indoors from the cooler weather of fall. Stink bugs don’t transmit diseases, nor do they bite or sting. They can, however, cause damage to clothing, furniture and other fabrics with their droppings. They emit a strong odor when they are frightened, disturbed, or squashed as a defense mechanism against predators.
Stink bugs can be prevented by:
- Checking your belongings before bringing them inside the home.
- Making sure screens on doors and windows are in good repair or, if not, that they are replaced.
There is a significant increase in the number and variety of spiders that appear in the fall. Fall is mating season for most spiders so they are actively seeking mates before winter sets in. The most common spiders seen in the fall are house spiders, which are responsible for the cobwebs you often see in your home, wolf spiders, and hobo spiders.
Spiders can be prevented by:
- Sealing cracks and crevices around your home.
- Turning porch lights off at night to decrease the number of bugs around your home for spiders to eat.
- Dusting regularly.
- Removing cobwebs as soon as you find them.
Travel in the fall increases with a large number of sporting events, family gatherings, and students heading back to school and college. Bed bugs ride on clothing, suitcases, and even school bags. While they don’t spread disease, they do leave behind itchy red welts. Bed bugs are extremely difficult to control and eliminate.
Bed bugs can be prevented by:
- Inspecting hotel rooms and dorms before unpacking.
- Keeping personal belongings off the floor in public places.
- Checking suitcases before bringing them back into your home.