If you're like most people, you've noticed that insects have a rather distinct pattern of behavior, disappearing when the temperatures drop then suddenly reappearing in the springtime. And when your home provides shelter, you notice this pattern of behavior that much more. Here's how the weather affects these pests and how to make your home less attractive to them.
During the springtime, most people see an increase in insect activity. Wasps and bees have been dormant through the winter, and they begin to awaken. Flowers bloom, attracting every insect under the sun.
Ice and snow also start to melt, creating puddles and soggy areas. Since pests are attracted to water—especially mosquitoes—one of the best ways to control the insects in your yard is to ensure that you have adequate drainage.
Springtime is also mating season for insects, so their primary objective at this point—other than finding food and water—is seeking a mate. Because of this, most of your pest control issues will be outside of the home rather than inside, at least during the early part of the season. Eventually, they will look for ways to enter your home, especially if you've done a good job of keeping your yard clear of standing water.
Be sure to inspect the exterior of your home for nests, puddles, and any other sign of insect activity. Keep your home, closets, and garage free of clutter where pests can hide. Make sure any trash around your home gets picked up, especially if you have frequent parties or cook-outs. Bugs are capable of finding empty cans and food wrappers in a heartbeat.
Insect activity dies down a little during the summer. But there are still some things to be mindful of, one of which are ants, especially after it rains.
Ants detest the rain, which is exactly why you see them marching inside your home during a downpour. But using OTC pesticides can actually make things worse. If ants smell the pesticide, they will avoid the area, resulting in groups becoming separated. Once this happens, another female will "declare" Queen status and lead the group. Then when another trail of pesticide is discovered, the group gets split again. And before you know it, you have multiple colonies of ants moving through your home. Also, when ants die from the pesticides, this triggers them to lay more eggs, resulting in more ants.
A study done by Stanford researchers showed that the best way to keep ants out of your home is to block entry points. Holes in the wall, cracks near windows, and openings around the door should all be sealed. You can also use commercial glass cleaner to wipe up the ant trails. And if you have pets, put their bowls on a plate of soapy water. This will make it difficult, if not impossible, for them to get into your pet's kibble.
Fall and Winter
As cold weather approaches, a lot of insects will certainly be looking for a warm place to hide. In the fall, you may see troops of spiders and ladybugs in and around the house.
Contrary to popular belief, spiders are not suddenly coming inside your home to find warmth. In fact, house spiders are usually inside your home year-round, hiding under furniture and sinks where moisture is aplenty. If you see them more often in the fall, it's because it's mating season and males are looking for a female.
Ladybugs, on the other hand, do respond to cold weather. In fact, once the temps drop below 55 degrees, they will likely be attracted to the cozy, warm interior of your home. Ladybugs aren't really anything more than a nuisance once they're inside your house, though. And they're actually rather beneficial when outdoors since they eat other pests, pollen, and mildew.
By the time freezing temps arrive, most insects have either died, found shelter, or gone into a dormant state. Bees and wasps tend to hide in logs or trees, and other insects will migrate to warmer climates. Before the coldest part of winter settles in, be sure to repair any places in your foundation, crawl space, siding, roof, and attic that have crevices or gaps. And call for professional pest control services when necessary.
To learn more about your pest control options, contact companies like Fowler Pest Control.