Pest Activity Increases as Spring Arrives in Virginia
The first day of spring in Virginia arrived earlier this week and we have seen increased activity in the insect world. I’ve mentioned before in earlier posts that we’ve had a mild weather which has in turn had a knock on effect on the insect world. This week I’ve received calls from customers concerning termite swarmers,carpenter bees, spiders,wasps, and rodents. With the weather warming up insect activity is definitely increasing. For many insects spring sees their emergence after a long winter sleep as they prepare to busy themselves in the coming months.
We have put together a list of common spring pests to watch out for;
Carpenter bees, wasps, yellow jackets and hornets - Bees of any kind and wasps are waking up from their winter sleep and are on the look out for free pollen, which is in abundance at the moment, and also a new home. These insects are the pollinators of the insect world and are also beneficial too. However some colonies can get extremely large and these stinging insects can get aggressive if provoked. I mention carpenter bees specifically as we’ve taken a number of calls this week. Carpenter bees specifically bore into wood to make their nests and can cause extensive wood damage.
Termites - Swarmer termites as mentioned in my last post, are the new king and queen of a new termite colony. These seem to be seen earlier each year. You may think it’s a flying ant, but if you have termites then you may have an underlying structural problem as they cause billions of dollars of damage to structures each year.
Ants – are a social insect and each ant, like termites, have a specific task in the colony. Carpenter ants are a common problem and they also penetrate wood, causing damage. Ants may be seen in or around the kitchen foraging for food.
To prevent insects, bugs and other pests entering your home;
- Create a barrier between the inside and outside of your home and seal off cracks and crevices around the building.
- You may opt to have your windows and doors open during the spring time – check and repair any screens over doors and windows to avoid insects getting in your home.
- Eliminate any standing water that may be caused from a leaking pipe or broken guttering not only deterring mosquitoes but termites as well.
- Eliminate any weeds and trim bushes and shrubbery from the outside of your home.
- Maintain a clean kitchen ensuring any crumbs are swept up and surfaces are clean. If flies get into your home they can transfer pathogens and spread bacteria which is potentially harmful to humans.
- Store any open foods in tight fitting lidded containers to avoid attracting pests. If pests do get in to your food then they can contaminate it making it unsafe for consumption.
- Have a spring clean inside your home, vacuuming those hard to reach areas where spiders like to hide.