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.
With the weather thankfully getting more spring-like, it’s time for a good deep-clean of your home. While a good spring clean is great for your spirit, it will also aid in keeping pests out of the house, along with your quarterly pest service. That way, you get to enjoy a pest-free spring!
Ants, pantry pests, and other common spring pests will seek to invade your kitchen where they will find food and water with ease. A deep clean of your pantry and counters can greatly reduce the occurrence of pests. If it is feasible, clean out from behind your appliances; food will have fallen that pests will find. Also, place your trash can away from doors that lead in from outside and away from windows.
Roaches and silverfish tend to be attracted to bathrooms due to the excess moisture. Reducing sources of water is the best solution to ward off an infestation. Check around tubs, sinks, and toilets for any leaks, and wipe off standing water on any surfaces.
The perfect hiding place for pests is often your basement. Mice, spiders, and many others like the dark corners to hide from the outside. Instead of using cardboard boxes for storage, go for plastic tubs with secure lids. Also, make sure to seal any found cracks; mice only need ¼” opening to enter your home!
A spring clean of the exterior of your home is crucial. Start with moving any plants and vegetation away from your home to make it harder for pests to come in. Be sure to clean out clogged gutters to eliminate another pest hiding place. You may want to consider installing gutter guards to avoid the possibility of clogged gutters. Other tips to remember: dispose of leaf piles properly and keep grass cut low.
If you suspect a pest problem in your home, contact a pest control company. They will be able to evaluate your home, identify what kind of pest you are having issues with, and set you up with a comprehensive treatment plan.
With Spring only a few weeks away, now is a good time to start preparing for allergy season. And what’s one of the major causes of allergies and asthma? PESTS! Don’t suffer through the beautiful spring season this year. Here are some tips to keep your home pest and allergen-free.
Pest prevention measures can be very effective at combating allergies and asthma. Common household pests, like cockroaches and stinging insects, can pose a significant threat to asthma and allergy sufferers. Roach droppings, saliva, shed skins and other body parts contain allergen proteins known to cause flare-ups and increase asthma symptoms, especially in children. And stinging insects send more than 500,000 people to the emergency room each year due to serious reactions from the pest’s venom.
The first step to a pest and allergen-free home: practice good sanitation.
In addition, the National Pest Management Association (NPMA) recommends the following tips for safeguarding homes against common indoor allergens caused by pests:
- Exclude pests by sealing cracks and gaps on the outside of the home. Pay special attention to utility pipe entry points.
- Vacuum at least once a week using a vacuum with a HEPA (high-efficiency particulate) filter.
- Keep food sealed and stored properly, and clean kitchen floors and counters daily.
- Dispose of garbage regularly and store in sealed containers.
- If allergic to stinging insects, learn how to use an epinephrine kit and carry it with you at all times.
- Should you experience symptoms of an allergic reaction following a stinging insect encounter, such as tongue and throat swelling, wheezing, dizziness, or shortness of breath, call 911.
- If you suspect an infestation, contact a licensed pest control professional to safely remove the threat.