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Spring Pest Control

Spring is here! While the weather in our area may not feel like it yet, you can count on some new insects showing up any day now.

Overwintering Insects

This is the time of year that overwintering insects will leave their shelters and try and get back out into the habitats where they find food and breed. For many of us, that means we can expect more stink bugs and lady bugs on our windows, trying to head outside. Don’t spray these insects! They aren’t breeding in your house and so it’s not worth your money to use chemicals. Use a vacuum or paper towel to remove them instead. A word of warning: stink bugs have earned their name, and when disturbed emit a strong, but temporary, cilantro-soaplike smell. Using a vacuum to remove a larger number of them may mean you will notice their scent for the next half hour.

Social Insects

A number of social insects are relatively dormant in the winter, but rapidly boost their activity in early spring. Very early in the spring, termite swarmers can be found both inside and outside. These are winged termites that are produced by the colony to fly in the air, mate, and establish new colonies. If you see swarmers in your house you should have your home inspected to find the colony. Note that ant swarmers, which are not typically seen this time of year, look similar but have thin “waists” and possess rear wings that are noticeably smaller than their front wings.

This is also the time of year that ants begin to expand their colonies. To feed their new nest mates, worker ants venture out to find sources of carbohydrates and protein. If you notice ants trails within your home or office it’s best to control the problem before the colony grows. Many species of ants can start new colonies throughout the year, so they are easiest to control before this happens.

Like the ants, wasps are also interested in growing their colonies. Wasp queens will find an appropriate nesting site and begin their construction. These nests start only with the queen, but will grow over time as the queen raises new workers. By late summer these nests can reach considerable size, and become much more difficult to control. Deal with nests as they establish in spring to save you the trouble later this year!

Mosquitoes

Once spring is under way and things start to warm up the mosquitoes will begin their quest for a warm meal. Female mosquitoes of many species require a blood meal before their eggs can be laid, so they seek out humans and other animals during their breeding season. Be proactive about mosquitoes and prevent populations from breeding near you. All mosquitoes breed in water, so makes sure to drain any unused flower pots, kiddie pools, or other objects that may accumulate water. Other standing water can be treated with products containing the beneficial bacteria Bacillus thuringiensis israelensis to kill larval mosquitoes. Many home improvement stores carry these safe and effective products. Of course, please read and follow directions on the label before using any product to control pests! If you have frequent mosquito issues, see how we can help with our mosquito control services, or enroll in our comprehensive Perimeter Defense Plus program.

For more information about these spring insects and other potential pests, you visit our pest library or watch some videos from our entomologist! Of course we are always happy to hear from you and answer your questions, you can ask our entomologist, request a quote online, or simply call us at 240-755-0077.