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.
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.
- Don’t leave pet food or water out overnight.
- Store unused pet food in sealed containers.
- Empty bird feeders daily.
- Keep your gutters clear or consider installing gutter guards.
- If you suspect you have a wildlife problem, contact a professional wildlife control company to safely remove any animals you may have.
The change of season from winter to spring brings warm weather, sunshine, and … bugs! This is the time of year when many pests emerge from overwintering and begin the mating process. Spring is also known as swarm season – because this is the time when termites and flying ants emerge in droves, sometimes in swarms of thousands! While flying ants can cause problems in and around your home, termites are much more common – and much more costly! How can you tell if those swarming insects are terrible termites or flying ants? Check out our handy reference below for the key differences between the two, as well as what to do if you have these pests swarming in or near your home.
- 4 wings of uniform size
- Straight antennae
- Wings are twice as long as their body
- Broad waist with uniform body width
Termites usually swarm once a year for reproduction and expansion of their colonies. Swarms mark the official beginning of termite season. Subterranean termites swarm in spring and during the daytime. Drywood termites swarm in late summer and early fall. Dampwood termites swarm in the summer.
Termites swarm after their colony reaches a certain size and the weather conditions are optimal. The termites are attracted to light and are often found near windows and light fixtures. Swarming termites will try to squeeze through racks and crevices in your walls and foundations to try and reach open air. If you see swarming termites then there is a good chance there is a well-established termite colony in or near your home.
- Also have 4 wings, with larger front wings than back wings
- Elbowed antennae
- Shorter wings that are more proportionate to their bodies
- Segmented bodies with thin waists
Flying ants will swarm in late spring and early summer. They have to have bright sunlight, low winds, high humidity, and warm temperatures to swarm. They prefer to swarm after there has been 3 to 5 days of rain.
Flying ants swarm for the same reasons as termites – to reproduce and expand their colonies. Flying ants don’t represent any greater threat to humans than their wingless counterparts. Flying ants aren’t as significant a threat to your home as termites but they can still cause damage. If you have flying ant swarms in your home there is a good chance you have an established ant colony in your walls.
So now that you can identify exactly what kind of pest is swarming around your home, what should you do next?
- Contact a professional pest control company to come out and evaluate the swarm, as well as provide you with a treatment plan and prevention strategy.
- Don’t spray the swarms yourself with insecticide. Mark the areas where they are getting into your home and notify your pest control professional. Make sure to inspect the entire exterior of your home for possible entry points.
- Vacuum up any pests that get into your home. Both species are attracted to light so you may see them congregate around light fixtures or windows.
- Don’t tear away any woodwork, trim, baseboards, wall coverings, or floorboards. Instead, inspect them for termite damage by pressing your thumb against the wood and feeling for defects.
- Try to keep your windows and doors closed as much as possible during swarm season.
Just like the weather changes with each season, so do the pests that we see. Some pests prefer warmer weather and peak in spring and summer while other pests will surge in the winter as they come inside to get out of the cold. The ways that you prepare your home will depend on what time of year it is and what pests you are preparing for. We have provided you with a few of the most common pests for each season so you can be better prepared all year long.
Springtime brings about an increase in temperatures, the melting of ice, and the blooming of flowers. These warmer temperatures bring many pests out from their winter hiding places. As these animals emerge they will have one thing on their minds – food and water! Spring is also mating season for many species. Here are some common spring pests to look out for:
- Ants: Ants forage for food in warmer weather. As the temperatures increase, ants will venture farther and farther from their colonies in search of food. This will eventually drive them into our homes. The heavy rains in spring also drive ants out of their colonies in search of higher ground.
- Termites: Spring is the start of termite season as they leave their nests to mate and start new colonies. This is also known as “swarming.”
- Mosquitoes: Heavy spring rains provide the ideal breeding ground for mosquitoes. Mosquitoes will increase their activity in spring in preparation for their peak season which is summer.
- Flies: Flies reach maturity at the beginning of spring. Once they mature, they will flock to areas that humans inhabit as they look for food. They prefer liquids and other sweet foods.
- Spiders: Spiders become active in the spring as they search for food. The increase in insect activity as they wake from their winter slumber provides ample opportunities for spiders to feed.
- Stinging Insects: Stinging insects include bees, wasps, yellow jackets, and hornets. These insects wake up from their dormant stage in the spring and they become more active. Spring is the start of their mating season as they seek to establish their nests and breed.
- Bed Bugs: Although bed bugs are a year round problem, their populations can spike in springtime because of the increased travel for Easter and spring break from schools.
While we get somewhat of a break from pests in the summer months, there are a few species who peak during this hot season. Summer is typically the time in many pests’ life cycles where they are maturing and are less of a threat to humans. Here are some common summer pests:
- Mosquitoes: Mosquitoes are the most common summer pest. The warmer temperatures allow mosquitoes to move through their life cycle faster which means they lay more eggs in the summer months. The summer rains also provide the ideal setting for mosquitoes to breed.
- Stinging Insects: Stinging insects reach their highest populations in the summer. They will often build their nests in any openings in your house, under overhangs or in the ground near your foundation.
- Ants: Ants continue to be a nuisance in the summer. As the rains continue through the season, ants will continue to seek shelter in higher ground. They will also continue to forage into our homes in search of food.
- Flies: Flies are most active in the summer months. This is also their peak breeding season. Flies will spawn in animal waste, garbage, and rotting foods.
- Termites: Termites are most productive in the summer. This is the season when they continue to consume wood while the queen continues to lay eggs and build their colonies.
- Bed Bugs: Once again, bed bugs are year round pests. Many populations thrive in the summer months because of an increase in travel during summer break from school.
Fall brings about cooler temperatures. This is the time of year when pests start to prepare for the upcoming winter. Many pests will start to seek warmth and shelter inside our homes. Here are some common fall pests:
- Cockroaches: Cockroaches are some of the most common fall pests. Cockroaches cannot survive in colder temperatures so fall is when we see them start to migrate indoors in search of shelter and warmth. Cockroaches are known to hide near pipes and drains. They can spread disease and exacerbate asthma.
- Spiders: Spiders are also common in the fall for the same reasons as cockroaches. They will move indoors to avoid the harsh colder temperatures, as well as in search of food as many of the flying insect populations decline as the weather cools. Spiders also breed in the fall so activity will increase as males go in search of mates.
- Rodents: Rodents are another common fall pest. Rodents will migrate indoors as the weather cools in search of warmth, shelter, food, and water. Rodents not only spread disease but will also chew through wood supports and electrical wires in your home.
- Fleas: With rodents come fleas. Fleas flourish in warmer weather so as the weather cools, we see their populations indoors thrive. Fleas will hitchhike into your home on both your pets and any other wildlife that come into your home in the fall.
- Stinkbugs: Stinkbugs become a nuisance in the fall. Stinkbugs are known for emitting an extremely foul odor when they feel threatened. Stinkbugs are also considered a serious threat to agriculture as they can cause significant damage to crops.
While many pests hibernate or become dormant over the winter, don’t relax just yet! There are still many pests that we see in larger numbers in the winter months as they make their way into our home to avoid the harsh cold weather. Here are some common winter pests:
- Rodents: Rodents are the most common pests we see in the winter. Rats, mice, and squirrels will invade our homes in search of a warm place to stay and an ample supply of food and water.
- Roaches: While most cockroach species die off in the winter, Oriental roaches and German roaches are still active during this time of year. They seek dark, damp areas which are prevalent in the wintertime.
- Bed Bugs: Once again, bed bug populations are active year round but they often flourish during the winter months as these are some of the busiest travel times of the year.
As you can see, no two pests are alike and no two seasons are alike. In the same manner, one universal pest control method won’t work for different pests or for different seasons. It is important to know which pests thrive during which seasons so that you can better prepare your home year round to prevent an invasion. If you suspect that you have a pest problem in your home, contact a professional pest control company who can provide you with a thorough evaluation 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.