While the summer heat may still be lingering around, everyone knows that fall is right around the corner. A common myth we often hear associated with the upcoming season is that pests disappear when temperatures cool down. Unfortunately, this is not the case – in fact, some pests are more active than ever!
Every fall, we receive an increase in pest control-related calls from homeowners. Here’s a list of the top five, most active pests we treat this time of the year … and some tips on how to keep them out!
- Rodents: Rodents such as mice and rats are very common fall intruders. Similar to human beings, they thrive on food and shelter. To prevent rodents from entering the home, be sure to keep all food sealed in airtight containers, clear gutters of leaves and seal cracks around the foundation of the home. Even the smallest crack provides easy access for mice since they can squeeze through holes the size of a nickel. If you suspect you might have a rodent infestation, a pest professional should be contacted immediately since they can bring fleas, mites, ticks and lice into the home.
- Bed Bugs: These pests are one – if not the most – difficult pests to control, with infestations on the rise in recent years. Approximately the size of an apple seed, bed bugs are nocturnal in nature and are typically found in mattresses, suitcases, boxes and shoes. While bed bugs are not thought to spread disease, they can leave behind itchy welts on their victims and multiply quickly. If you suspect that you might have bed bugs, call a pest professional immediately.
- Ants: Various types of ants are typically found in and around the home during the fall. Most species of ants are considered a nuisance, but odorous house ants can contaminate food and carpenter ants can damage the structure of a home. To prevent an ant infestation, seal all cracks in and around the home, eliminate sources of standing water and keep food sealed in tight containers. Additionally, keeping tree branches cut back from the home also prevents ants from marching inside.
- Cockroaches: While typically thought to be a nuisance, it’s important to know that cockroaches have an ability to spread 33 different types of bacteria and cause asthma in children, making them one of the most dangerous pests on our list. They typically hide near pipes and drains, so it is important to keep kitchens and bathrooms sanitized. Vacuuming frequently will also help prevent cockroach infestations.
- Lady Beetles and Boxelder Bugs: Lady Beetles and Boxelder bugs are two of fall’s most active pests, yet they are rarely discussed. Lady Beetles feed on small pests like Aphids and White Flies and Boxelder Bugs feed on fallen seeds and trees and live on rocks, trees and buildings. Although these pests are considered a nuisance, they have the potential to stain clothing, curtains and other fabrics with their droppings and emit a strong odor if crushed. Vacuum often and seal cracks around the home to prevent them from entering the home. Damaged screens on doors and windows should also be repaired or replaced.
Now that you know what pests to look for, we hope that you will put the above tips to good use. And, remember, if one of these pests manages to finagle their way into your home, be sure to contact a pest professional immediately