Insect and Pest Control MN
Spring is in the air! That means the time for hibernation is over and, if you’re like most people, you probably find yourself spending more and more time outside. However, you and your family aren’t the only ones emerging with the warm weather. With spring comes a spike in pests and invasive insects that would love nothing more than to get INTO your home!
As we welcome the warmer weather, it is time to start thinking about those pests who always seem to show their faces as Spring arrives. When the warm weather arrives, ultimately so do the bugs that thrive in it. If you are not prepared, don’t be surprised if a few uninvited guests try to crash your first Spring barbecue!
Spring Pests To Be On The Lookout For
Minnesota is home to many bugs and insects, as well as mice and other wildlife. Unfortunately there tends to be an explosion of pest activity that accompanies one of the most anticipated times of the year. With that in mind, we’ve highlighted some of the more common summer pest problems.
One of the most common pests that invade homes is ants. In fact, wherever you go, ants are the number one pest problem in the country and are also one of the most difficult pests to treat. During the summer time it is a common to see an ant or a line of ants making their way across the kitchen floor or even the patio as they forage for food. Trash and other remnants from summertime get-togethers can attract these pests to your backyard.
They are small and can get in very easily. They never travel alone, so before you know it you have an infestation! The biggest mistake you can make is to start killing ants as you see them, which will not stop the problem. Bug sprays can help, but wont’ stop them from returning or reproducing. Keep this in mind… For every ant you see there are 100 more behind the walls.
Once again, it is a good spring for carpenter ants. Activity by these common, widespread and abundant ants is very noticeable in the springtime, as the wingless workers work (enlarge nests, forage for food, care for the larvae) and the winged swarmers swarm (fly off to start new colonies).
Control of carpenter ants remains a frustrating and difficult job that would be much easier to do if the nests were conspicuous and easy to locate. Nests may be outdoors in stumps, logs, hollow trees, dead limbs or firewood and they may be a hundred feet or more from the house where the ants are invading in search of food. Nests may also be inside the house in sites as diverse as wall studs, window sills, wood flooring, rafters, roof sheathing and the interior spaces of hollow-core doors.
Earwigs are most recognizable by the pincers that adorn their heads. It’s not uncommon to find these bugs inside your home as they tend to crawl in through entry points such as underneath doors, open windows, and cracks in your home’s foundation. Generally they are attracted to moisture, so keeping your home dry is a great preventative measure. But beware, these pests can repopulate quickly so you will need to handle them aggressively. Earwigs are both plant and insect eaters. In fact, they will eat just about anything. When you start to see Earwigs in or around your house the chances are pretty good you have an infestation.
Generally, millipedes are characterized by their long slender bodies and abundance of legs. They normally live outside and in the soil. But when there are heavy rains or a drought, hundreds of them emerge from the soil. Once they are mobile, they crawl into homes through cracks in the foundation and make their way up the walls or your basement and ground-floor rooms, and into your home.
While they play a beneficial role in nature as pollinators, when bees and wasps and other stinging insects invade our backyards it is often as a nuisance and potentially dangerous pest. In most cases if you leave them alone, they’ll just buzz along their merry little way.
Loud vibrating noises like those from simply mowing your lawn can provoke some species to become aggressive, easily agitated, and generally a bee with a BAD ATTITUDE!
The angry bees release an alarm pheromone—an odor that warns other bees of the danger. The alarm pheromone makes other bees aggressive—more fighting means more pheromone is released which means more bees join the fray. The situation can escalate quickly. Once the alarm pheromone has aroused the bees, you and your guests are fair game as well. Rainy weather, especially when it comes with heat and high humidity, makes bees cranky also.
Since staying indoors all summer is not an option, instead be prepared. Know where to look for stinging insects and implement preventative measures for when you go outdoors. While they’re still in a state of suspended animation, take a look around for hives or nests where the little critters are hibernating. Seek out the underside of your porch, eaves, overhangs, low-hanging branches on trees and decks.
Silverfish are small flat, dark insects that have bodies which taper at the end, giving them a fish-like appearance. These insects live in humid areas which is why they seem to be more apparent in the summer. Once a colony of silverfish make their way into your home, they eat away at an abundance of materials including book bindings, paper, photos, sugar, hair, carpet, and clothing.
The Brown Marmorated Stink Bug was discovered in the eastern U.S. ten years ago, and has now reached the Midwest. Like many recent invaders, BMSB is a native to Asia, and likely hitchhiked to North America in shipping containers. BMSB has numerous host plants, and thus may become a pest in many of Minnesota’s diverse crops. In addition, it is a fall home invader and becomes a nuisance pest both indoors and out for home and business owners as it emerges in the spring.
Stink bugs will find any entrance they can to gain access to your home. Preventing them from making it inside your home is the best chance a homeowner will have to limit their home invasion.
Box Elder Bugs
Box elder bugs are also making their spring appearances. Late summer and early spring are common times to see these pests in and around your house or office. What attracts Box Elder Bugs is their search for warmth to survive the winter months. During spring and early summer, these bugs are content living on female box elder trees and mating, which is why you do not often see infestations of them in these months.
Asian Beetles have become a nuisance in Minnesota for many reasons. Their large numbers have increased dramatically in the past decade, especially in the fall, can lead them into our homes. They come in huge swarms, and no matter how many you get rid of, more keep coming!
You can expect an increase in the number of pests you see this summer, as these larger populations seek food, water, and shelter. But these pests don’t have to ruin your summertime fun!
Now is a great time of year to “nip it in the bud by preventing them from getting in as best you can!” Be prepared for when these tiny terrors come a’knocking. Seal as many cracks and holes on the outside of your home as possible, especially on the south and west walls where the sun heats the home during the late summer and fall. Also, you should install tight-fitting screens on all foundation and attic vents.