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.
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.
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.
Spring is the time of year when termites swarm, emerging to mate and establish new colonies. Unfortunately, these new colonies are often established inside our homes. An average of 5 million US homes are infested each year by termites, causing an average of $5 billion in damage annually. What many people don’t realize is that termite damage isn’t covered by homeowner’s insurance policies. What’s a homeowner to do? One thing to consider is the Sentricon Always Active bait system for termite control. Sentricon is a highly effective, environmentally responsible treatment option for termites. What is included with the Sentricon system?
Immediate Prevention. Sentricon bait is scientifically engineered to naturally enter the termite food chain and destroy both the queen and her entire colony. Sentricon begins working immediately upon installation.
Home Termite Inspection. When you have Sentricon installed, a comprehensive property inspection is performed checking for signs of existing or previous termite infestations and damage.
Bait Station Installation. Bait stations containing Recruit HD termite bait are installed in the soil around your home’s perimeter.
Termite Colony Elimination. Recruit HD termite bait works 24/7 to protect your home from termites and damage.
Continuous Monitoring. Bait stations are monitored as needed to protect your home against future termite invasions.
Annual Termite Inspections. Annual interior home inspections for termites and pests are included at no additional charge.
Lifetime Termite Warranty. Every installation of The Sentricon System with Always Active comes with a lifetime warranty against termite infestations and damage.
Green Termite Control. Sentricon Always Active bait, Recruit HD, poses no hazard to groundwater and has no label restrictions for use around wells and cisterns. The Sentricon system was registered under the Reduced Risk Pesticide Initiative of the US Environmental Protection Agency and is the only termite control product ever to receive the Presidential Green Chemistry Challenge Award.
If you suspect you have a termite problem contact a professional pest control company who can provide you with a thorough inspection and recommend a comprehensive termite treatment and prevention plan.
If you’ve been outside lately you’ve probably seen signs of spring – blooming flowers, pollen that aggravates our allergies, and lots of new insects buzzing around. Another thing that spring brings is swarms – of termites! Termites are present year round but their swarming season is during spring and early summer.
Termites cause billions of dollars in damage to homeowners each year. Here in the Southeast, subterranean termites are the most common types and are particularly destructive. These insatiable eaters can damage not only wooden structures, but have even been known to cause damage to brick and concrete homes as well. Termites can invade your home through cracks and holes as small as 1/32 of an inch!
Swarms are most common in spring and summer because they are triggered by warm, humid weather. Swarming marks the start of a new termite colony. Winged termites leave their nests when they become overcrowded and their isn’t enough food to sustain them. They then take flight and actually reproduce in mid-air. The females will then shed their wings and fall back to the ground. They then go in search of a new location to start their colonies.
Swarmers don’t usually cause any damage but once they establish their new colonies their offspring can cause significant damage – usually within 2 years. If you see flying termites it can signal one of two problems:
There could be an existing termite problem nearby.
Your home could potentially be at risk of a termite infestation when the swarm lands looking for a new place to colonize.
If you see winged termites inside your home this is a good indication that you already have an established termite colony inside or that there is existing damage already.
What can you do to prevent termites from coming into your home? Check out these tips to keep the termites out!
Do regular inspections of the outside of your home and the subfloor of your home checking for wood damage and the presence of mud tubes. (Mud tubes are pencil-sized tunnels located around termite nests, wood structures, and concrete or stone foundations.)
Repair any damaged roof tiles, soffits, and fascia on your home.
Keep mulch away from your foundation as this retains water and the moisture can attract termites.
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.
As winter comes to an end, many animals are starting to emerge from hibernation. You may not have realized it but these animals will often take up residence over the winter in your home. Now that the weather is warming, they will start moving around in search of food and water and to try and get out. Some wildlife that get into your home are harmless but some can cause significant damage both to your home and to your health. They can leave feces behind that can contaminate the air in your home. They can chew through wires and wood in your attics and walls. So what can you do to keep these animals from seeing your home as a safe haven? Check out these tips to keep the wildlife out this spring.
Check the outside of your home for any possible entry points and seal them.
Repair any leaks or damaged and rotted wood around your home.
Repair or replace damaged window and door screens.
Use chimney caps.
Use screens over dryer vents, air vents, and stove vents.
Trim back trees from your roof line and shrubs from the sides of your home.
Seal trash in containers with lids and don’t put it out until the day of trash pickup.