Spring is in the air! At least we hope it is. Seems we bounce from freezing to beautiful every day now. While it may confuse us, it’s not confusing pests. As the days become warmer, you’re going to see more issues with ants, bees, cockroaches, earwigs, flies, mosquitos, silverfish, wasps, and rodents.
- Ants are most active in spring, building routes into homes to bring food and moisture back to their nests.
- Beetle grubs begin to feed on your yard roots… preparing for summer when they’ll emerge.
- Stink bugs will emerge from their hiding places and begin to mate and lay eggs.
- Wasps, hornets, and yellowjacket queens are coming out of hibernation and ready to start new nests.
- Mice and rats are on the hunt for food – finding any way they can to get into your home to feast on whatever they can find.
- Spiders mate in spring and their fall eggs will begin to hatch.
- Ticks that have stayed warm in leaf bins and garden mulch for the winter begin to lay eggs for the summer.
Since it’s also Spring Cleaning time, be on the lookout as you’re cleaning out your garage, opening the windows for fresh air, and clearing up the winter mess from the yard. Be on the lookout for three things:
- Water or moisture that will attract bugs and small posts.
- Dark and hidden spaces where bugs and spiders will make their new home.
- Cracks and crevices in your home’s foundation, siding, and roof where pests can make their way indoors.
This is the best time of year to prepare and prevent pests since they’re most vulnerable, mating, and laying eggs. Treating your home, gardens, and yard today can save you a ton of energy and money later! Here’s a detailed checklist:
- Cabinets and Pantries – empty out, vacuum out, and wipe down to ensure no food or traces of food are in there.
- Windows and Doors – patch and replace screens and insulation that may be damaged and provide a means into your home.
- Garages – move your lumber and stuff off the floor onto shelves with plenty of room to wipe and vaccuum in, around, and behind them. Break down boxes and toss out anything that will provide a home or bedding for pests.
- Leaks and Drips – keep an eye out for any puddles or moisture around pipes and hoses and fix them all.
- Foundation – walk around your home and look for breaks in your siding and cracks in your foundation. You can typically find outdoor caulking kits you can use to fill them.
- Firewood – store old firewood away from your home. Spiders and pests love wood piles.
- Soffit – clean and inspect your soffits frequently looking for wasps who may start building a new hive.
And, as always, if you find a nest or some other creature that sends you screaming – give us a call and we’ll take care of you.
Did you ever wonder what bug kills the most humans? We got your answers, right here.
Mosquitos are responsible for over 1 million human deaths, according to the World Health Organization. Mosquitos are the number one human killer to fly across this earth. With over 3,000 identified mosquito species, there is nothing small or innocent about the mosquito family. But the mosquito isn’t what’s killing humans, it’s the diseases they carry with them, such as malaria.
Luckily, here in Indiana mosquitos aren’t a deadly problem. In fact, between the years of 1957 and 2015, only 63 cases of malaria outbreaks due to mosquitos were reported in the United States.
Just because we are no longer at risk for these dangerous diseases doesn’t mean we don’t want to prevent these pesky mosquitos from biting. As family summer fun begins, so does the mosquitos fun. Here are some tips to avoid being bit during your next vacation or summer hang.
How to Keep Mosquitos Away
The best action is always preventative action! Clear any puddles or containers from your land that can fill with water. Mosquitos lay their eggs in stagnant water or very moist soil… and those eggs hatch when under water. A single female mosquito with a lifespan of 42 to 56 days can lay up to 300 eggs every few days!
Male mosquitos last about 10 days… so you can see how quickly a population of mosquitos will grow given the right weather and a damp place to hatch.
People often believe that all pest management professionals do is spray chemicals to treat their homes. This is simply not true anymore. Many pest management professionals today use an Integrated Pest Management approach. IPM controls pests by getting rid of the three things they need to survive: food, shelter, and water.
How to Avoid Being Bit By Mosquitos
- Avoid sweating – mosquitos are attracted to warm bodies and sweat, so try to stay cool for the summer. Mosquitos can even detect blood type and are often attracted to pregnant women because they produce more carbon dioxide than men do.
- Wear mosquito repellant – The most effective mosquito repellents tested by Consumer Reports contained a variety of ingredients, including DEET, picaridin, oil of lemon eucalyptus, chemicals called IR3535 and 2-undecanone, as well as a variety of plant oils, such as cedar, citronella, geraniol, lemongrass, and rosemary.
- Refresh your repellant – every four hours or per the instructions on the bottle.
What is DEET?
DEET (/diːt/) or diethyltoluamide, is the most common active ingredient in insect repellents. It is a slightly yellow oil intended to be applied to the skin or to clothing, and provides protection against mosquitos, ticks, fleas, chiggers, leeches, and many biting insects.
DEET continues to be the most effective mosquito repellent there is. When applying any repellent containing DEET be sure to protect eyes. If DEET gets into your eyes, it may cause irritation and watery eyes. If you accidentally get DEET into your eyes, be sure to rinse your eyes out for 10-15 minutes immediately upon exposure. After rinsing out your eyes, rest for a while. If irritation and redness continues, call poison control. DEET may cause some skin irritation if left on the body too long, however, it’s rare. If irritation does occur it may be that you’re allergic to DEET.
Are there Natural Remedies to Protect Yourself from Mosquitos?
If you are concerned you are allergic to mosquito repellent or just wish to avoid it, there are other natural ways to protect yourself from mosquitos:
- Skip the floral clothing and fragrances – wear light or neutral clothing without floral scents so that you’re not mistaken as an animal of foliage that will attract mosquitos.
- Wear loose clothing that covers up as much of your body as possible, providing less skin to land and bite on.
- Use Citronella plants, torches, candles, and lotions were once widely known for keeping the mosquitos away.
- Lemon Eucalyptus oil can be used to repel mosquitos.
- Rubbing baby oil or imitation vanilla extract on your skin also repels biting insects.
- Rubbing on Apple cider vinegar is also reported as a way to keep those pests off you. Incorporating apple cider vinegar in your everyday diet may also help!
These natural remedies have been known to work. However, DEET is known to work more effectively than any other remedy. If you’re worried you may have irritation or an allergic reaction, try applying the DEET on a small patch of skin and waiting it out for an hour. If no irritation occurs you may be alright!
PS: Did you know the plural of mosquito is either mosquitoes or mosquitos? We didn’t until we researched this article!