Ah, spring! It’s that time of the year again when the weather gets warmer, the flowers start to bloom, and the trees get their leaves. It’s the season of that makes you want to clean your house, throw open your windows, and enjoy the sunshine and warmth.
It’s also, unfortunately, the time of the year for pests.
The cold weather of winter causes most pests to die or become less active. With the arrival of warm weather, many pests come back in abundance. You might have already known this fact (you’ve surely seen fewer pests in winter)—but did you know that the length and severity of winter weather can affect the pest population in spring?
We’ve had an unusually short, mild winter in Ohio, Indiana and Kentucky. Because the weather is getting warmer, sooner, pest populations are going to increase earlier as well.
Each year, the National Pest Management Association (NPMA) releases a “bug barometer”: a report put together by the association’s entomologists on the expected pest activity throughout the U.S. The NPMA reports that the Midwest could see an earlier arrival of and an increase in the populations of ticks and ants.
In addition to ticks and ants, you will likely see a few other species of pests this spring: bees, wasps, spiders, houseflies, fleas, termites, rats, and mice. (A special note on termites: they are active year-round, but spring is often their “swarming” season, when the termites from a mature colony develop wings and fly off to mate and develop a new colony.)
This month, as a part of your spring cleaning plan, take steps to ensure that exploding pest populations won’t infest your home. With preparation, you can prevent annoying pest problems down the road. Here are a few suggestions:
Cut off entry points.
Seal cracks, small openings, roof gaps, and other entryways into your home to keep pests like mice and rats out.
Tip: Here are additional ways to discourage mice from moving into your home.
You should also screen windows and doors (or keep them closed as much as possible) to prevent houseflies, bees, wasps, and other flying insects from entering.
Deal with pests, especially those that are dangerous like wasps and yellow jackets, as soon as you see them: don’t let them stay in your home to build a colony (which can be dangerous to get rid of).
Tip: Learn more about wasps; read I Spy with My Little Eye… Wasps! What to Look for Around Your Home.
Don’t forget the cleaning.
Cleaning can be an inexpensive way to keep your home pest free. Vacuum regularly to clear out spiders and their webs.
Tip: Are spiders dangerous? Find out by reading Spiders: Insect-Eating Heroes or Dangerous Pests?
Wipe down counters, wash dirty dishes, and pick up pet food daily so that ants and cockroaches are not attracted to your home. In addition, place pantry items (like food and non-perishable goods) in resealable plastic or metal bins so that they aren’t accessible to mice, rats, cockroaches, or ants.
Make sure that there is at least a 12-inch gap between mulch and the foundation of your house to reduce the likelihood of termites setting up a colony inside. For the same reason, keep tree branches and plants trimmed back from your home.
Tip: Fight back against termites with our ultimate termite guide.
Don’t forget Fido!
Take care of your family pets, giving them regular baths and using flea and tick protection (whether in the form of an oral medication, shampoo, collar, or other treatment) to avoid a flea or tick infestation.
Tip: Be on the lookout for other insects that bite or sting cats and dogs.
Keep things dry.
Get rid of standing water and other sources of moisture to make your home less attractive to cockroaches and mosquitoes.
Tip: Mosquitoes aren’t just annoying; they can also carry dangerous diseases such as the Zika virus. Learn more about the Zika virus and how to ward of mosquitoes.
Eliminating a pest infestation is no walk in the park, so take preventative measures where you can. It is especially important this spring, as we’re likely to see heavier insect activity than normal.
If you’re concerned you might have a pest infestation on your hands, contact Scherzinger Pest Control, a trusted pest control company in the Greater Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky areas, including Dayton, OH, and now Columbus, OH. We’ve been pioneers, engineering new standards for ways of eliminating and controlling bugs and pests. Contact us by phone at 1-877-748-9888 or through our website, Facebook, or Twitter.