I don’t really have ants at my door or ticks in my kitchen but this is a likely scenario many home and business owners will soon be contending with, if they aren’t already. While not many people are complaining about a mild winter – I mean come on, who truly missed snow removal?- the flip side of this coin is no one really knows what comes next. Except, that is, for insects like carpenter ants, odorous house ants, fleas, ticks, spiders and termites. These little guys have been busy for some time now. Carpenter ants have been organizing workers into scouting parties to locate water and food; likely what you’re seeing if you’ve been paid a visit in the past week or so. Termite swarms have been going strong for the past month in the Southeast region of the country, while in the Northeast the termite bell just rang within the last two weeks. Once the swarms stop, the real work begins for termites. Most homeowners get the cursory termite inspection necessary to purchase a home and that’s that. The problem is termites are attracted to conditions that exist inside and outside of most homes. Getting a free termite inspection is a smart move whether you think you have termites or not. Termites can go undetected for years and are an unpleasant surprise no matter when or where around your home or business you find them. Termite prevention is the smart bet for peace of mind and to discourage any nearby termite colonies from taking an interest in your home.
Several ant species like Pavement ants and Odorous house ants, surprisingly, are active through the winter. Ants get into wall voids, settle into voids between floors or around heat sources and are happy as can be riding out a mild winter. This is why the occasional ant call around the holidays or just after the new year no longer raises eyebrows! As you might imagine, it doesn’t take long for an ant colony to establish itself in your office or kitchen when it’s had a head start!
A few months ago fleas were running rampant at a time of year that fleas aren’t commonly the pest du jour. Fleas, it turns out, can survive for up to a year off of one blood meal. This poses considerable threat and concern for vacation homes, recreational vehicles and our homes and businesses both with or without pets. Anyone who has ever had fleas will want to get rid of fleas as quickly as possible. If prevention is more your flavor, a comprehensive home service like the Year Round Protection Plan could make the difference between a panicked call to a pest control company, and a matter of fact service call to your local pest control expert for a simple touch up.
According to EverydayHealth, the northeastern U.S. should be prepared for a spike in Lyme Disease this year, citing a steep drop in rodent populations, the preferred hosts of ticks. Additionally, a poor acorn yield this past year, the main reason mouse populations crashed, is sending ticks in search of blood meals they need at every phase of their development; adult, nymph and larvae. Taking precautions to repel ticks and fleas when working or playing outside has never been more important. Learning how to identify ticks and how to get rid of ticks is going to be an often discussed topic this year.
Television news stations and media outlets everywhere warn it’s going to be the buggiest spring and summer ever! Naturally if you’re in pest control you hope so, and if you don’t like bugs, you hope not. As always, there is prevention and there is cure. If news media, entomologists and the Farmer’s Almanac are even close to being right, sign me up for prevention!