Winter is outta here! What’s that mean for you? Breaking out the patio furniture, dusting off shelves, and throwing out those clothes you thought you could get *one* more season out of as you tackle the mountain of spring cleaning tasks you’ve ignored until now.
The National Pest Management Association (NPMA) and Franklin Pest Solutions would like to make sure you’re just as focused on pest proofing and the spring pest tips that go along with it as you prepare for what is likely the worst part about warmer weather: overwintering pests.
What are overwintering pests? They’re annoying (and if left unchecked, expensive) critters that seek shelter in the tiny cracks and crevices in your home and propety so they can survive the winter months, only to emerge in the spring to breed, and, if allowed, cause quite a bit of damage. Besides the more common insects such as wasps, hornets, and yellow jackets, here’s a few more pests you might expect in the next few months:
- Not harmful, but a nuisance in high numbers, especially to crops.
- Often congregate on the sides of buildings on which they have spent winters inside.
- Feed on fruit, leaves and stems depending on age.
- Considered highly beneficial due to eating plant-destroying insects (aphids, mites, mealybugs), but overwintering can lead to infestation.
- Seek overwintering shelter under leaves, rocks, and landscape timber.
- Some species, specifically the Asian lady beetle, is known to cause allergic reactions due to aggravating asthma.
Box Elder Bugs:
- Don’t bite, however may leave a small mark akin to a mosquito bite due to their piercing/sucking mouth parts.
- Lives in maple and seed-bearing box elder trees during warmer months, but seek shelter for the winter inside crevices and cracks in walls.
- Attempting to kill them inside walls will attract dermistid beetles; use a vaccuum with a sealed bag instead.
- One of the first insects to reach a dead animal.
- Attracted by decaying matter and food odors.
- Breed in dumpsters, trash cans, and compost bins containing decaying vegetative matter.
- Attracted to insects, which are attracted to blue lighting used in outdoor fixtures; changing to yellow lighting is recommended.
- Drawn into buildings by negative pressure in the warmer months.
- Drawn to clutter and unsealed storage boxes, specifically cardboard.
HOW TO PREVENT PESTS THIS SPRING
Want to keep these and other pests out of your home this spring to prevent the hidden costs that you could rack up in the long term? Franklin Pest Control highly recommends these NPMA-approved pest prevention tips that are very easy to follow:
- Seal up cracks and small openings in the houses’ foundation and walls.
- Eliminate any standing water sources, eg. water barrels, bird baths.
- Keep tree branches and plants trimmed and avoid letting them touch the house.
- Empty the kitchen garbage frequently and always wipe the counters.
- Seal all food containers and store them properly.
- Don’t leave pet’s dishes out for too long with food/water in them.
- Keep garbage bins closed/sealed and clean, both indoors and outdoors.
- Make sure screen windows and doors are free from holes, tears, and dead insects.
Franklin Pest Control can’t stress enough how important it is to make these checks every year. Failure to do so can end up in up to tens of thousands of dollars in damages over time, all started from a few tiny cracks that went unnoticed and ended up home to unwelcome pests.
Overwintering pests can be a huge problem…but they don’t have to be if you know who to call!
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