A Warm Winter Means an Insect Invasion

03/07/2012


Tepid winter weather in Maryland, Virginia and DC has our local insects jiving to the tune of a false spring. They have no indication that winter is actually still here for a few more weeks, and their early reemergence is cause for alarm among residents who expect another insect-free month.

Where do all the bugs go?
Insects employ a variety of strategies to survive the winter including hibernation and migration. When daytime temperatures rise, insects emerge from their hiding places to forage for food, find mates, and go about their insect lives.

The false feeling of spring that sun-drenched, 60 degree days create will bring insects and cause problems for people. Termites and carpenter ants have been spotted across the region already and both can cause huge amounts of structural damage if they are not stopped quickly. The warm weather may have also caused more insects to survive through the winter which means not only are the bugs coming out of hiding sooner, but that there will be more to battle when spring is fully upon us. 

What This Means for You
While a resurgence of insects in the remaining weeks of winter would certainly be annoying, there are other possible consequences of the bugs’ early return to homes in the DC region.

While some insects are considered nuisance pests (they generally do not cause any harm to humans), others can spread harmful diseases like Lyme disease from ticks and West Nile virus from mosquitoes. Bee and wasp “future queens” that may not have survived a harsher winter will likely make it through this year and increase the bee and wasp populations when summer arrives, according to the National Pest Management Association.

Termites are one of the most costly infestations even though systems of termite prevention are available and affordable. Termites cause around $5 billion in damage in the United States every year. Swarming termites looking to reproduce make their appearance in early spring with the first signs of warm weather. But with the temperature continuing to rise this winter, Board Certified Entomologist, W. Wayne White is expecting swarming termites to make an early comeback.  It is important to call a professional at the first sign of swarming termites in your home. These insects are indicators of a much larger problem that if it is ignored, can cost thousands of dollars in structural damage.

What’s next?
No one knows exactly what will happen in the remaining few weeks of winter but if December, January and February are any indication, we will continue to see our six-legged foes much earlier than usual.

Even if you are not prepared to deal with termite swarms so early in March, American Pest is ready for service year round so we are here to tackle whatever pest control problems you may encounter. We have many service plans available for year round protection from pest activity. And with our Pest Free Pledge, you can rest assured that if pests come back in between regularly scheduled service, we’ll come take care of it free of charge.


Tags: Insects | Bugs | Ticks |





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