Spring is here and The National Pest Management Association (NPMA) is recognizing National Pest Management Month each April to bring awareness to how important pest control is to our lives. The professional pest control industry’s commitment to protecting your home, business and food are essential in the fight against diseases and dangerous pests like termites, mosquitoes and bed bugs.
In honor of National Pest Management Month, here are some pro tips to help you with spring pests taking over your home!
There are more than 700 species of ants in the U.S. and about two dozen are classified as pests. Homeowners beware as some of these unwelcome visitors will find their way into your home looking for food. Here are a couple of species to look out for this season:
Carpenter ants: cause significant property damage as they build their nests in the foundation of your home. They typically tunnel into soft wood or wood that has been previously damaged with water.
Odorous house ants: (also known as sugar ants) like sweets and are found in exposed soil and wall cracks. This pest gets its name from the rotten coconut smell they give off when crushed.
Sealing holes, gaps and cracks around the exterior of your home can help to keep ants out.
Eastern subterranean termites are prone to swarming in the spring, not to be confused with flying ants. Termites are considered pests due to the serious damage they can cause to wood and wood framed buildings. It is estimated that 60,000 individual termites can eat one foot of a 2x4 in around 5 months. While this does not sound like a lot, it is important to know as you may not notice any activity until the damage is done.
Most over the counter products are flawed in controlling colony growth because they typically aim at getting rid of termites in a small, targeted area. Professional Termite treatments are calculated and unique to each home and American Pest uses Sentricon® AlwaysActive™ to ensure that termite infestations are under control 24/7/365, year after year.
While mosquitoes are known to be present during the summertime, their suitable weather conditions have started as early as March, this year. We recommend starting preparations early, as mosquito activity has grown over the years. Did you know, mosquito larvae only need one to two centimeters of water to breed.? That's about the size of a bottle cap filled with water!
DEET is helpful for outdoor activities, recommended products contain 25%-30%, along with a consistent mosquito program. Inconsistent service is equivalent to starting from scratch, allowing mosquitoes to establish a breeding population if treatments are not performed as per the product recommendations.
It is important to understand that mosquitoes are also well known as transmitters of disease and illness to humans, domestic animals and wildlife. We listed the viruses known to be carried by mosquitoes below:
- West Nile Virus
- Dengue Fever
- Yellow Fever
- Zika Virus
Mosquitoes can also pass on Canine Heartworm to domestic animals. This disease is a huge concern for pet owners across our region.
An additional benefit to mosquito control is the control of ticks. Ticks and mosquitoes share common hiding spots and the misting treatment we use at American Pest to treat mosquitoes also works to eliminate ticks.
Several species of ticks are known to carry and transmit disease so it is important to protect yourself and your loved ones by using bug spray that contains DEET. Some of the tick species in the area that can transmit disease include:
The ‘Black Legged Tick’ (Deer Tick) is a major vector for Lyme Disease, human granulocytic ehrlichiosis, and babesiosis. A single tick can be co-infected with two or even all three of these disease organisms, and therefore has the potential to transmit more than one infection simultaneously.
‘Brown Dog Ticks’ are a nuisance to the host animal and the household. Although they seldom attack humans, they are vectors for several disease organisms.
Because bed bug bites affect everyone differently, it is hard to tell if you’ve been bitten by a bed bug, unless you find signs of the infestation. The bite marks can be mistaken for mosquito or flea bites, and these marks can take as long as 14 days to develop in some people. Other symptoms include insomnia, anxiety, and skin problems that arise from profuse scratching of the bites. These bite marks can be seen all over the body in sporadic or straight lines.
Signs that bed bugs are invading your home include:
- Small spots of blood on mattresses and bed linens
- Tiny brown droppings
- Exoskeletons, or “cast skins” shed by growing nymphs
- Tiny white eggs and egg casings
Bed bugs are known to be attracted to the smell of dirty laundry so be sure to keep belongings and laundry sealed in a plastic bag when traveling, especially hotel stays. Bed bug numbers are rising in the United States because of easy access to mass transit and international travel, therefore be sure to consult a professional as bed bugs are extremely difficult to treat with home remedies.
Get Help from American Pest
We quickly see an increase in calls related to nuisance pests like termites, ants, bed bugs, mosquitoes, and ticks in the Spring. Contact the pest professionals at American Pest for more information on how to save on pest control.
Request a free estimate!
Newsletter Sign Up
Form key: "e-newsletter-signup" does not match a valid form