Although most customers see a reduction in pest activity during winter, it does not mean the problem is gone! With the mild climate, pests are just more reclusive during the winter months.
Rodent activity in our homes significantly increases. The comensel rodents (house mouse, roof rat and Norway rat) are driven to seek warmer shelter with food and water sources. Our homes provide all of these needs.
Numerous pests we see during the rest of the year “over winter” to hibernate or pupate in our attics, crawl spaces, wall voids, under exterior siding, etc. Many of these pests (cluster flies, ladybugs, boxleder bugs, stink bugs, yellow jackets, etc.) are finding a safe and warm place in winter so they can start all over again in spring.
This is the time of year raccoons, possums, skunks, squirrels, etc. are wanting a nice dry, warm location to bed down. They bring with them ticks, fleas, mites, etc.
Our own cultural activities contribute to pest infestations in our homes during the winter months. The winter clothes we bring out of storage in the attics, boxes, backs of closets, etc. may bring out clothes moths, silverfish, roaches, etc. Holiday materials bought at the store or brought out of storage may have been waiting for a year to be used. Christmas trees may have bark beetles, aphids, mites, etc. Also, other decorations you adorn the home with may have infestations. The plants, you bring in from outside to protect from harsh weather often bring hitchhikers that are not wanted. The wood for your fireplace may carry beetles, termites, ants, roaches, centipedes, scorpions, earwigs, etc. as unwanted guests.
Spring is the time of year we think of renewed life, flowers, rain showers, and warmer days. This is also the time of year our activity springs to new beginnings. Almost all pest activity significantly increases.
Although termites are active 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year, they are most evident during the spring swarm. This is when the winged reproductives (Alates) emerge in large numbers to reproduce and start new colonies. These silent destroyers cause more damage and destruction to our homes and property each year than do all of the fires and storms combined annually. Termite control is essential to eliminating these hard working and fast growing colonies.
This is the time of year when all of your “over-wintering” pests emerge from their hiding places to reproduce. Carpenter ants start swarming (another wood destroying insect). Also, the fire ants, wasps, pill bugs, millipedes, earwigs, mites, spiders, scorpions, silverfish, roaches, etc. become more active and populations significantly increase.
All of the new beginnings from spring have come to full bloom in the summer for pest activity. The maximum activity puts more pressure on our homes as the insects are seeking more favorable living conditions for food, moisture, lower temperatures, harborage, etc. All of these can be quickly found in our homes.
The predators of the insect world (scorpions, spiders, centipedes, etc.) follow their prey into our homes during this increased activity. They enter through cracks, crevices, damaged areas around our doors, windows, eaves, weep holes, plumbing penetrations, electrical/utility connections, etc. They are not seeking us, but interaction between people and these “stinging” insects is inevitable when we share the same living space.
Biting and Stinging Pests:
As cooler weather becomes more routine and many insects species have reached their annual population zenith, we see significant surges of activity from fleas, ticks, crickets, ants, spiders, etc. This is the time of year where numerous instances of yellow jackets and hornets are sited around homes. Any observed entrance and exit locations should not be sealed as this will trap them in the wall. They will bore holes through interior walls to escape and enter your home.
Rodent and Nuisance Pests:
The cool weather initiates rodent activity around the home and announces the pre-cursor for the over-wintering insects to begin looking for that winter resting location. The falling leaves and decaying vegetation materials accumulate around and provide food and harborage for pill bugs, millipedes, earwigs, etc. These nuisance pests then become invasive and show up inside your home in significant numbers.
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