Warmer weather is coming, and you know what that means: more bugs! During the winter, pest activity tends to subside as bugs hibernate, go dormant, or tunnel below ground to find shelter. As temperatures become more favorable during spring, insects, arachnids, and more begin to stir and eggs start hatching.
As we head into spring, keep an eye out for the following pests around your property so that you can get ahead of any major infestations.
Unlike many other insects, termites remain active throughout winter. However, they tend to tunnel deep underground or inside stumps to survive the cold. Once warmer temperatures arrive, termites will begin to swarm. During swarming, winged members of the colonies take off to reproduce and find new places to build nests.
Swarming can start during early spring and last through late fall, depending on the weather that year. Termites will typically swarm during warm daylight hours following a day with rain. They’ll gravitate toward a location with rotting, water-damaged wood because that food source will be easier to chew and digest. Once termite swarmers find that perfect place to nest, they’ll lose their wings.
A termite infestation can be difficult to spot until damage is done. Initially, you might mistake the damage for a leak or moisture-related problem because termites release moisture as they chew. Keep an eye out for:
- bubbling paint
- buckling floors
- warping walls or ceilings
- windows and doors that are hard to open and close
Also, watch out for small mud tubes around your home’s foundation. These are tiny tunnels that termites are using to enter your home.
Ants thrive in warm temperatures, preferring a range of about 75 to 95 degrees Fahrenheit. Understandably, they’re more than happy to be done with winter and start becoming much more active during spring. Similar to termites, ants will also start swarming during spring. Ant swarmers typically will set out on a calm, sunny, humid day after there has been a lot of rain.
Where ants nest has a lot to do with their species. Homeowners should watch out for these two ants in particular:
- Carpenter ants. These ants are about ½ inch long and come in black, brown, or reddish black. They eat many of the same foods that others do (plant honeydew, small bugs, carbs, meat, sweets, and grease)—however, carpenter ants nest inside of wood. If carpenter ants decide to nest inside your home, they can dig tunnels into your home’s baseboards, window frames, door jams, support beams, and more.
- Fire ants. Also known as red imported fire ants (RIFAs), these ants grow up to ⅜ inch and are dark reddish-brown. Their name comes from the extremely painful stings they can inflict. The visible parts of their nests look like irregularly-shaped dirt mounds, and they’re often located near landscaping or building foundations. Disturbing these nests can cause fire ants to emerge and attack in huge numbers.
3. Social Stinging Insects (Bees, Wasps, Hornets, etc.)
While some stinging insects live a “loner” lifestyle, social stinging insects live in a large group (or colony), typically with overlapping generations. The colony usually has a division of labor with queens, workers, drones, etc. Common examples include yellowjackets, paper wasps, honey bees, and bald-faced hornets.
Stinging insect colonies usually don’t reach full size until later in the summer, but queens start forming colonies during spring. With springtime comes plenty of nectar and pollen for queens, allowing them to produce a healthy brood (offspring).
Mature colony workers will take on various roles that keep things functioning smoothly. Some of those roles include:
- Attending the queen
- Caring for the brood that the queen produces
- Building the nest
- Tidying up the nest
- Foraging for food
- Protecting the nest from predators or intruders
These stinging insect colonies can be a problem when they build their nests in or around your home. Some places to look are in bushes and trees, below decks and patios, underneath eaves and roof overhangs, underneath outdoor furniture, on outdoor play equipment, near light fixtures, and in neglected corners of sheds, attics, and garages.
4. Bed Bugs
Not all insect activity increases outdoors: unfortunately, bed bug activity tends to increase indoors during the middle of spring. Because bed bugs live inside buildings, they remain active and feed on human blood throughout the year. However, bed bug problems spike right around the middle of spring due to increased travel during spring break.
With more people traveling, bed bugs have more opportunities to hitch a ride on clothes and luggage and end up in new homes. These tiny insects remain expertly hidden in tucks and folds where you wouldn’t notice them right away. For this reason, it’s always a good idea to:
- Keep your luggage several feet away from any hotel bed or sofa
- Never place your clothes inside of a hotel dresser
- Inspect the bedding and mattress for any bed bugs, rusty-colored stains, or little, white bed bug eggs
- Run a credit card along the seams of the mattress and bedding to unearth any hiding bed bugs
Reliable Pest Control Services in Charlotte, Raleigh, and Greensboro
At Sage Pest Control, we pride ourselves on high-quality pest prevention and pest control methods and five-star-rated service. To schedule your appointment, don’t hesitate to call us at (704) 413-3398 or contact us online.