The warm temperatures in early spring bring the insects out of hiding from their winter habitats. The mix of warmth and moisture draws out swarms of insects such as termites, bees, wasps, and ants that can invade your home and outdoor areas.
Buzzing, stings and unwelcome pests in your home and yard can put a damper on your outdoor activities and get-togethers. Luckily, there are a variety of ways you can prepare your home to prevent an infestation.
Why Insects are Active in the Spring
In addition to the warmer weather and excessive moisture common in the springtime, many types of insects emerge to forage for food and to mate. Much of this activity tends to happen outside of the home, but it is essential to keep in mind that some pests will be seeking protection and shelter in your home and somewhere they can build a nest. Swarming pests to look out for in the spring include:
- Wasps – Wasps range in color from yellow to brown as well as metallic blue and bright red. They also have a pointed lower abdomen and a narrow waist. They tend to nest in wood fibers that they scraped and chewed into a pulp, creating an umbrella-shaped honeycombed, paper-like home.
- Bees – Bees are known for their black and yellow stripes. They tend to nest around the home in heaps of dry wood, decaying leaves, and other yard clutter.
- Termites – Termites vary in shades of brown, white, and black and typically one-eighth of an inch to one inch long. They have both wings and an antenna and can be confused with flying ants.
- Ants – A common type of ant in the St. Louis area is the odorous house ant, known for the odor they produce when crushed. This type of ant is brown or black in color ranging from 1/8” to 3/16” in size.
Protecting Your Yard and Home from Pests
There are a variety of measures you can take to help protect your home from swarming pests. Each pest is attracted to certain elements in and around the home. Below are a few tips on how to remove these attractants from your home and keep your home pest-free this spring:
In the warmer months, the queen will come out of hibernation and begin looking for food. If you notice that wasps are flying low to the ground in your yard, they are likely looking for grubs, larvae, or insects. In the warm spring months, wasps will be seeking protein-based foods, such as burgers or hot dogs that you cook at your family BBQ. Be sure to clean up and remove any leftovers or pieces of meat to avoid wasps from foraging in your yard.
It is also essential to repair any broken siding or panels, and patch cracks in walls, and other crevices to keep wasps from building their nests around your home.
Bees are seeking shelter and food when they begin swarming around your home. To keep them at bay, you need to remove these attractants. Be sure to keep your yard clean of heavy debris, empty buckets, unused hoses, and pipes. It is also essential to seal up any possible entryways that bees could use with silicone, caulk, or expanding foam. Like wasps, bees are also attracted to foods such as protein-based foods as well as sweets, so it is vital to clean up leftovers and food scraps. Be sure also to eliminate any standing or dripping water to keep the bees away.
Termites can cause major structural damage to your home in as little as six months after they have invaded. They begin swarming in the early spring months to establish new colonies. Termites, like many other pests, are attracted to water sources. To help prevent them, be sure to eliminate dripping or standing water around your home, and repair leaky faucets, air conditioners, and pipes.
You should avoid using cardboard or wood boxes to store your items in the attic or basement; opt for plastic containers instead. You will also want to replace all weatherstripping around windows and doors regularly and ensure that it is in excellent condition while also keeping doors and windows shut as much as possible during the swarming season.
Ants, such as the odorous house ants, tend to nest in walls, beneath the carpet, or in wall voids in the home. To keep ants from seeking food, water, and shelter in your home, it is crucial to make sure any cracks, gaps, or other potential pest entry points throughout the home are sealed. Just like with the pests mentioned above, you will want to eliminate any dripping or standing water sources and make sure water is diverted away from your property. Keep piles of wood and other organic material away from your foundation. Ants are attracted to sweets as well as protein-based foods, so be sure to store leftovers in tightly sealed containers and clean up any dirty dishes or crumbs left behind.
Professional Pest Control Services
At Bug Out, we provide comprehensive services to ensure the inside and outside of your home remain pest-free. Don’t hassle with ineffective DIY methods and store-bought treatments, let the experts at Bug Out create a barrier around your home, keeping your home pest-free year-round. Contact us today to learn more about our swarming pest control services.