Spring is a time of new beginnings: Flowers are blooming, trees are showing new signs of life, and the sun is finally making its way back into our lives. But spring is also the time when people see a major influx of pests invading their homes. This phenomenon is accounted for, in most part,by seasonal trends such as increases in mating and hunting for food, as well as human factors like landscaping and lawn maintenance.
Want to stay on the safe side this spring? Here are the worst 8 pests you’re likely to stumble upon in the following months and useful tips on how to keep them out of your property:
If your spring season consists of hikes in the woods with your dogs, chances are you will be dealing with ticks. The brown dog tick is in full force this year, and your dog is its preferred food source. Worse yet, these ticks are able to spend their entire life cycle indoors, making them a common invasive pest this time of year. If left untreated, they can even spread harmful diseases to both dogs and humans, including Lyme disease and Rocky Mountains potted fever.
To prevent ticks from infesting your home, you will need to thoroughly inspect your dog-and yourself-after each hike. The primary feeding areas for these small pests include the feet and ears of your pets where there is less fur, but you should check their entire coat, just to be safe. If you do discover any ticks, be sure to remove them properly, because they will remain a threat for as long as their heads remain attached to the skin.
Of all the pests that invade homes during spring season, ants are by far the most prevalentand troublesome for homeowners. In fact, chances are they are already making the rounds through your home looking for viable food sources. As the temperatures begin to rise, ants become very active scavenging for food around their nests, and if you have any readily available food sources in your home, they will find it in no time.
The best way to keep ants out is to store all food items in sealed containers and kill any lone ants you see crawling through your home. If you can find their nest, pour boiling water in the opening and place baited traps near their route to your home. These simple remedies should do the trick, but serious infestations may require the assistance of a professional.
Although most homeowners see them as nothing more than a nuisance, flies can spread disease and pathogens, making them a serious threat to your family’s health if left untreated. As spring arrives, you will begin to notice an influx in their numbers, especially near food sources or pooling liquids.
Flies are attracted to standing liquid, especially fruit flies that use it to reproduce, so be sure to clean up spills throughout your home as quickly as possible. It is also important to prevent easy access to your home, so be sure to keep windows and doors closed, also ensuring that your screens don’t have any holes in them.
Probably the most irritating of all insects, mosquito populations boom in the spring and summer. These blood-sucking pests will likely remain outdoors in your garden, but they may still enter your home in search of their next meal. And nothing dampens a warm spring day faster than the relentless buzzing and itchy bite marks they leave on our bodies, so their prevention should be a top priority for you this spring.
Mosquitoes require standing water to reproduce, so the first step you should take in their prevention is to clean up any pooling water around your home. This includes leaky faucets, drain outlets from air conditioners, and even kiddy pools. Citronella candles are also an effective and eco-friendly solution to keeping mosquitoes from taking over your yard, especially at night when they are most active.
Termites are one of the most destructive pests that can invade your home, and although they are active year-round, spring is an exceptionally troublesome time of year for infestations. Once they have infiltrated your home, they will begin to eat the cellulose-filled wooden walls which, left untreated, can lead to substantial property damage that can compromise the structural integrity of your home.
Since most chemical-based treatments are harmful to the environment, it is recommended to use spot treatments to rid your home of termites. Remember that they are notorious for going undetected, so even if you don’t see visible signs of their presence, that doesn’t mean they aren’t there, and regular inspection of your property should be performed. Also, be sure to remove all mulch around the perimeter of your home, as these pests will be drawn to these materials during the spring time and likely continue into the building.
Clover mites are small, red insects that are drawn to the freshly-manicured lawns of spring. Once the temperatures begin to rise, overwintering mites will begin to hatch from their eggs and look for their primary food source: plants. Clover mite infestations usually begin outdoors, but they are also known to infiltrate homes if their population becomes too large. Fortunately, they cannot reproduce indoors, so perpetuating infestations are much rarer compared to other invasive creatures.
Since clover mites prefer to live outdoors and feed on vegetation, the best way to keep them out of your home is to remove vegetation, including grass, near the perimeter of your building. If the clover mites have found their way indoors, the safest and most effective solution is to vacuum them up, rather than rely on harmful pesticides.
Stinging insects like wasps and bees may be scary creatures, but they are actually an integral part of our ecosystem, especially in spring. However, once they enter your home, they can pose a serious health risk to you and your family. Although these insects prefer to live outdoors, they will enter your home if you have viable food sources lying around, especially liquids high in sugar. Some stinging insects may even build their nest in or around your house, so keep an eye out for hives.
To prevent stinging insects from taking over this spring, clean up all liquids that have spilled in your home, and make sure your windows and doors have screens. If you notice nests around your property, their immediate removal should be your top priority. You may choose to remove them on your own, but this can put you in serious danger of being swarmed. Nest removal is best left to a professional to ensure you and your family are not harmed.
Rodents and Small Mammals
Bugs aren’t the only pests you will be dealing with this spring-rodents and other small mammals will also be in full force upon the sun’s return. In search of a safe nest and food, these pests will likely be found in basements, walls, or in your home’s insulation. Most of them carry and transmit diseases to humans, contaminate food, and cause substantial damage to the structure of your home, so their prevention and removal is essential this spring.
Interacting with rodents and wildlife is very dangerous, as they can transmit a variety of harmful diseases to humans. The first step you should take to keep them out is block all entry points to your home, paying special attention to access points to your attic or basement.
Spring pests may be starting their immigration into your home, but that doesn’t mean you have to sit by while they take over. Treating an infestation is much more difficult than preventing it from happening in the first place, so be sure to take the necessary precautions today to keep spring pests at bay. Remember that the primary reasons these insects, rodents, and wildlife enter your home is to locate viable food sources and nesting sites, so pay special attention to sealing and storing food, cleaning up pooling water, and eliminating problem areas where they may be accessing your home.