While pest control methods can vary with the seasons, pest control vigilance is a year-round endeavor. At different stages and different temperatures, insects and rodents act differently, so as a home or business owner you need to be ready to respond with effective seasonal pest control.
Each season has its own challenges, but it seems we are never fully free of creepy, crawly critters. Make year-round pest and rodent control a part of your routines.
Spring Pest Control
Warmer temps and abundant rain can create beautiful blooms, but it also brings out the insects. Animals and bugs that have been hunkered down for winter, begin to stir. It is also the season of mating for many creatures.
- Ants – just in time for the first picnic of the year, the ubiquitous ant makes an appearance. As the temperatures warm, ants begin to forage further and further afield to find food. Sometimes, heavy spring rains also drive them into the higher ground of homes and businesses.
- Termites – Frequently in spring (although it can happen year round), the reproductive termites leave their nests in their winged stage to mate and form new colonies.
- Stinging insects (wasps, yellowjackets, hornets) – In order to prevent larger problems later, it is wise to be aware of these stinging pests in the spring when they are becoming active and building nests.
- Stink bugs – Warmer weather brings out this odoriferous pest which awakens to lay their eggs in trees. When the eggs hatch in 5-15 days, the nymphs feed on and damage the wood.
- Flies – This prolific, buzzing annoyance begins to make its appearance with the warm weather. And even though it doesn’t live long, its larvae can survive for years, especially near bodies of water.
- Rodents – Rats and mice make an appearance in spring as their breeding season begins. They may also seem more prevalent after a mild winter, as fewer of them die from natural causes.
Pest control should focus on controlling and reducing reproductive cycles. Make sure that moisture isn’t building up in and around your structure, prevent building of nests, and cultivate plants and blooms that bring the insects you want and repel the ones you don’t. Also clean up old yard debris, such as dead plants, old tree stumps, wood piles – especially near your structures.
Summer Pest Control
Summer’s hotter temperatures might slow down some critters, but others are just getting started. Lots of insects reach maturity in the summer and continue their voracious search for food.
- Ants – The hot temperatures aren’t slowing down this active insect. They continue to be a nuisance throughout the summer months as they forage – inside and outside.
- Wasps – Summer time will see these most threatening of bugs reaching their peak population. They will be actively building nests on and around homes and businesses.
- Termites – Termites aren’t taking a break in the summer either. In fact, they are most productive during these hot months as they eat wood and support the queen in her egg laying.
- Flies – Summer is the peak breeding season for flies, so you can imagine that it is also their most active. They are spawning on waste, garbage, and rotten food which puts them in contact with humans.
- Ticks & Mosquitoes – As people spend more time outdoors and hike in the beautiful vistas around the Pacific Northwest, they risk coming in contact with ticks. They are much more active in warmer weather. Speaking of active in warmer weather, mosquitoes are also on the move in the summer. They actually move their life cycle faster in the summer months so their population tends to explode.
- Rodents – The summer months do not mean a break from rats & mice. In fact, many rodents are quite active in the summer months as they relocate from their spring nests to find cool quarters. And your home just might provide the oasis they are seeking.
Special treatment of landscaping might be important during this time of year. Controlling the population of pests means keeping down their food supply. So, rake and discard rotting debris and leaves that may have accumulated. Prune and trim overgrowth on bushes and shrubs. Eliminate standing water to prevent mosquitoes from breeding. Make sure screens are fixed. As summer beckons you outdoors, be aware of attracting pests – you can deter them by wearing repellent against mosquitoes & ticks or cleaning up after a picnic to reduce ants & flies.
Fall Pest Control
Autumn’s cooler temps signal pests to prepare for winter. This might mean a burst of activity for some as they load up on food reserves. While others are seeking shelter, maybe even in your home.
- Spiders – Spiders are active in the fall as the males go in search of mates. So, while they are often around year round, you might actually see them more during this time of year. They might also be foraging in a wider area as the flying insect population starts to decline.
- Ants & Beetle – As the rain picks up at this time of year, ants are again driven to higher ground as they are flooded out of their underground tunnels. Beetles, too, are seeking warmer, dryer conditions. They are especially prevalent in farming communities and can wreak havoc on your crops.
- Ticks & Fleas – With rodents come ticks & fleas. While they might not be targeting your house, they are targeting warm-blooded creatures – be it you, your pet, or that rodent intruder. Ticks thrive in the cool, rainy weather that Seattle is known for, especially in the fall.
- Rodents – Historically, Seattle has a problem with rats and mice – with autumn being a time when they can be particularly troublesome as they seek nesting areas for the winter. This “rodent season” is a common time when homeowners discover unwanted guests.
Weather proofing your home for cold temps can also go a long way to protect it from pests as well. Chalk, seal, repair places where frigid winds (or insects/rodents) might make their way inside. Make sure you don’t have any leaks or uncontrolled water sources that might attract critters.
Inspect crawl spaces and storage areas for uninvited guests.
Winter Pest Control
While winter is usually the season when you might imagine there aren’t concerns about pests, that wouldn’t be accurate. Many insects are tucked up in overwintering spots reserving their energy, but rodents might be finding your habitat the perfect place to spend the colder months.
- Rodents – Winter sees these pesky critters staying active in homes and businesses. They all too often find our homes the perfect setting for nesting and feeding (just like we do ourselves).
- Spiders – These eight-legged crawlies are surprisingly resilient in cold temps so you might need to stay on your toes, even in the winter.
- Cockroaches – Some cockroaches die off in the cold but Oriental and German roaches don’t. Unfortunately, you are likely to find them seeking out the dark, damp areas of your home in the winter months.
There is more to do during the winter than you might expect. In addition to the fall recommendations to weather/insect proof the house, make sure that your chimney has screens to prevent entrance to your home. Maintain proper ventilation in attics and crawl spaces to make sure moisture doesn’t attract unwanted pests. Store firewood at a distance from the house so they don’t become highways for nesting critters to enter your home (particularly termites).
As you can see rats, mice, rodents, and certain pests are NOT seasonal – and can make their nests in your home YEAR-ROUND. So, make sure to treat your home year-round with the experts at Cascade Pest Control. Call 888-989-8979 for routine pest and rodent control.