Spring is a time for renewal and growth, but unfortunately, it’s also a time for pests to emerge from their winter hiding spots and wreak havoc on homes and gardens. North Carolina, with its warm and humid climate, is particularly susceptible to pests during spring. Here are some of the most common spring pests homeowners in North Carolina may experience, along with tips on how to prevent and control them.
Termites are a serious problem in the south, and spring is the time when they start swarming in search of new nesting sites. Termites can cause extensive damage to the structure of homes, and if left untreated, can lead to costly repairs. Homeowners should be on the lookout for signs of termite infestations, such as mud tubes, discarded wings, and wood damage. To prevent termite infestations, homeowners should remove any wood debris or stumps near their homes, repair any water leaks or moisture problems, and have regular inspections by a licensed pest control professional.
Ants are another common spring pest in this area. They are attracted to food, water, and shelter and can quickly become a nuisance in homes and gardens. Ants can also cause damage to plants and can even bite humans and pets. Homeowners can prevent ant infestations by keeping their homes clean and free of food debris, sealing cracks and crevices, and trimming plants away from the home’s foundation.
Mosquitoes thrive in warm, humid environments, making the south an ideal location for them to breed. Mosquitoes can transmit diseases such as the West Nile virus and Zika virus, making them a serious health concern. Homeowners can prevent mosquito infestations by removing any standing water around their property, such as in bird baths or clogged gutters. In addition, homeowners can install screens on doors and windows to prevent mosquitoes from entering the home.
Ticks are another common spring pest. They are often found in wooded areas and can transmit diseases such as Lyme disease and Rocky Mountain spotted fever. Homeowners should take steps to prevent tick bites by wearing long-sleeved clothing, using insect repellent, and avoiding tall grass and brush. In addition, homeowners can keep their yards free of debris and trim back any overgrown vegetation to reduce the likelihood of tick infestations.
Cockroaches are a year-round problem, but they become more prevalent in the spring as the weather warms up. Cockroaches can contaminate food, trigger asthma and allergy symptoms, and transmit diseases. Homeowners can prevent cockroach infestations by keeping their homes clean and free of food debris, sealing any cracks or crevices, and reducing humidity levels.
By working with your local pest control company and taking proactive measures, you can protect your home and family from these common spring pests.
Regardless of the season, pests are always in search of shelter and food. One place that provides them with both of these is your home. Different seasons bring different pests in varying stages of their life cycles. It’s important to know the patterns for these seasonal pests in your area to make the proper preparations for your home. What can you expect as each season changes throughout the year?
For most pests, winter is a time of hibernation and survival. The colder weather triggers a need for overwintering pests to find shelter. Some will seek this out indoors, while others will look for it outdoors. Bees, wasps, and other stinging insects search for shelter in logs or in the eaves of your home. Ants will seek shelter in their nesting sites. Overwintering pests like roaches and spiders will seek shelter indoors, sometimes in our homes. They key to prevention of winter pests is to prepare your home in the fall.
Spring is a time of awakening and mating for many pests. As the weather starts to get warm, pests will emerge from their winter shelters and increase their activity. Pests that hibernate during the winter will awaken from their dormant states. The spring rains will drive ants from their nesting sites in search of higher ground; plus it marks the beginning of swarming season for termites. Most pests will move outdoors in the spring in search of mates.
Summer brings the height of backyard pests, which are what tend to put a damper on our outdoor fun. While we usually see fewer pests inside our home during the summer, we do tend to see a larger number of pests in our yards and other outdoor areas. Mosquito season peaks in the summer months as the moisture from spring and summer rains drives mosquitoes to breed. Bees, wasps, and other stinging insects are also more active in the summer.
Fall is a time of preparation for most pests as they need to get ready for the harsh winter months. Common fall pests include ladybugs, box elders, and spiders. These pests will often invade your home at this time of the year in search of shelter for the coming months. Fall is a good time to prepare your home for overwintering pests, such as roaches and rodents.
Regardless of the season, there are steps you can take to protect your home from pests year-round:
- Keep your grass mowed and shrubbery trimmed away from the sides of your home.
- Keep your yard clear of debris and standing water.
- Inspect the outside of your home for cracks and holes that pests can use as entry points and seal them.
- Use weatherstripping around doors and windows and make sure screens are in good repair.
- Make sure gutters are clear of debris or install gutter guards.
- Consider enclosing your crawlspace.
- Keep food and pet food stored in airtight containers.
- Don’t leave pet food and water bowls out overnight.
- Clean up crumbs and spills immediately.
If you already have a pest problem or these steps aren’t working for you, call your local pest control company. They can come and give your home a thorough inspection and help you with a treatment and prevention plan.