Spring brings pests out of hibernation and into your home
Many pests usually stay in a hibernation-like state during the winter. But once spring arrives, the warmer temperatures make it the ideal time for pests to emerge from their hiding spots.
With spring seeming to come earlier every year, that means the pests arrive on your doorstep earlier too, as they go in search of food, water and shelter after their winter hibernation.
Here are some of the pests to look out for this season, and how to prevent them invading your home.
In spring, a whole range of ants can infest your home.
Ants enter your home through the tiniest of cracks, and controlling them can be difficult because they leave an invisible pheromone trail for others to follow once they find a food source.
To prevent an invasion from ants this spring:
- Power wash your driveway and the sidewalks nearby regularly to clear away residue that could attract ants.
- Keep food in tightly sealed containers.
- Repair any leaking hoses, irrigation heads and HVAC units.
The farther south you are, the earlier the mosquito season will start, and the longer it will last.
Mosquito bites can cause very painful inflammation and some can transmit disease causing pathogens.
To prevent an invasion from mosquitoes this spring:
- Remove any standing water from gutters, birdbaths or flower pots.
- You should also fill redundant ditches or holes, keep ponds and fountains clear, and trim back all tall vegetation.
Cockroaches may seek warm, damp shelter close to food and water your home has to offer.
Indoors, cockroaches will scavenge virtually anything, they also create an unsanitary situation and can spread harmful bacteria.
To help stop cockroaches invading this spring:
- Clean and vacuum regularly.
- Store food in tightly-sealed containers, and make sure cupboards remain dry.
- Seal crevices and openings in walls and floors.
- Fix any leaky faucets and cracks in the plumbing, and use a dehumidifier to reduce moisture.
Fruit fly populations tend to grow during the warmer months, entering homes through open windows and doors, following the odours of ripe fruit, or by hitchhiking on your produce purchases.
Though these flies don’t bite, they do pose other threats and are an undoubted nuisance.
To protect your home from fruit flies this spring:
- Wash fresh produce as soon as you bring it home.
- Store produce in the refrigerator or in a paper bag.
- Dispose of all over-ripe or damaged fruit.
- Make sure your garbage and recycling bin lids are tight and waste is removed often.
In spring, you may see spiders emerging after spending the winter keeping warm in your home. They tend to build webs in dark, moist environments like basements, garages, and corners of rooms, gaining entry through cracks and crevices in your home.
To prevent a spider infestation this spring:
- Seal cracks and crevices in your home’s exterior.
- Replace broken window and door screens.
- Keep your home clean and free of insects.
- Keep rooms well ventilated.
- If you do see spider webs, remove them.
Wasps and Bees
Wasps and honey bees make their debut this time of year and can easily be mistaken for one another. Both insects are capable of giving painful stings, but while honey bees can attack when provoked, wasps are naturally predators and are more aggressive.
To help keep wasps and bees at bay this spring:
- Keep a light on in areas where wasps may nest around your home. Use a yellow-toned light as white light attracts flying beetles and wasps.
- Secure garbage lids and plant fruit-bearing trees away from your home.
- Fill in any abandoned rodent holes in your lawn.
- If you do find a wasp nest on your property, call a professional pest control service to ensure it is safely destroyed.
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