Spring is in the air! The grass is getting greener, the days are getting longer, and the sun is shining more and more each day. But with the return of warmer weather, we’re also seeing unwelcome guests in the form of nuisance pests. Given that we’re all spending more time in and around our homes and backyards these days due to the impact of COVID-19, it’s important to think about ways to help keep pests from around our homes and to protect ourselves and our loved ones. Let’s look at some major pests to pay attention to this spring and learn how essential pest control services can help ensure they don’t cause you problems this season!
Flies, Cockroaches, and Wildlife
The common draw that flies, cockroaches, and other wildlife share is that they’re all hungry and typically want your food. Flies will buzz around you during an outdoor barbecue, wildlife animals such as raccoons and other scavengers will congregate around garbage cans (especially if there’s something tasty inside), and cockroaches constantly seek out crumbs in the kitchen. If you find yourself eating outdoors more often this spring, always be sure to clean up after yourself, including by carefully bagging your trash. And since we’re all preparing food at home more often, keeping a clean kitchen will help cut down on cockroaches, too.
Fleas, Ticks, and Mosquitoes
While some biting insects such as bed bugs are a problem to be aware of all year long, fleas, ticks, and mosquitoes are some seasonal invaders that you’re more likely to come into contact with over the course of spring and summer. The main reason to be aware of these bugs isn’t just their penchant for painfully picking you as a snack, but rather because of potential illnesses they can cause if not taken care of.
Fleas are parasites that drink blood to survive, and although the fleas found in Florida tend to dine mainly on domesticated cats, they’ll attach to and feed on most mammals. These tiny bloodsuckers are often brought onto properties by wild animals, then brought inside by our pets (and sometimes even people). Fleas’ small size and flat bodies make them difficult to see, which makes them a particularly hard-to-get-rid-of nuisance. Even if you don’t have pets, you may encounter them. Fleas are dangerous because they’re known carriers of diseases that can impact both pets and people.
So, how do you avoid a flea problem? If you’re a pet owner, the best way to avoid it is to regularly give your pets flea-preventing medication prescribed by their veterinarian. Beyond that, try to check your clothing and shoes regularly before coming inside. In the event that you noticed signs of fleas—either on your pets or from the itchiness and red welts on your own skin—contact McCall Service. We can help identify conditions that may invite wildlife onto your property and help treat the problem around the exterior and interior parts of your home.
Ticks, like fleas, are blood-sucking nuisances that love to hitch a ride on you and your pets when you’re outdoors—using you as a food source (called a blood meal) that aids in their reproduction. Ticks may start as small, flat bugs but eventually swell up when filled with blood. Catching them before they feed is important, as their bites can spread diseases via saliva, including serious illnesses such as Lyme disease.
If you’re going to spend any time outdoors, the best way to avoid a tick problem is to clear high grasses and dense vegetation from around your home. Ticks, like fleas, are often introduced onto your property by wild animals, but they typically thrive in these sorts of areas. When you come back inside after outdoor activities, take a few minutes to check your hairline and other hard-to-see areas for ticks. carefully remove them with tweezers and dispose of them down a toilet or sink.
Perhaps the most visible nuisance bug you’ll see this spring and summer, female mosquitoes fly around and suck the blood of mammals in order to use the protein to lay their eggs, which they deposit on any pool of standing water they can find, including puddles, swimming pools, wheelbarrows, and half-filled buckets. Those eggs then turn into even more mosquitoes, which swarm around looking for more sources of blood.
Mosquitoes are a nuisance because of the itchy, red welts their bites cause, but they’re dangerous because they can be vectors of serious diseases, including malaria, West Nile virus, and Zika virus.
So, how do you get rid of mosquitoes? Even though there’s no way to completely eradicate them (because hundreds of thousands of mosquitoes are born every day), there are still ways to help. Do your best to eliminate standing water around your home. Citronella candles and dark clothing are commonly thought to be good ways to keep them at bay, but the results aren’t conclusive. Using an insect repellant with DEET is probably the second-best method of keeping them from snacking on you when you’re outside. Beyond that, effective mosquito remediation services can help decrease and prevent mosquito activity.
The spring and summer also bring stinging insects such as bees and wasps. Although bees are an important part of our ecology and aid pollination, wasps serve virtually no purpose and can be seen as an invasive species.
Bees aren’t necessarily aggressive unless they are provoked. Wasps, on the other hand, are known for their temper. They’re especially dangerous because their stingers aren’t ejected when they sting, meaning they can often sting repeatedly. Wasps, bees, and other insects within the order known as Hymenoptera have venom in their sting, making them particularly threatening to people who have an allergic reaction. This is even more of a problem with wasps, hornets, and yellow jackets because their stingers do not get left behind in your skin, allowing them to sting multiple times.
Removing stinging insects from your property is often dangerous, which is why you should leave it to a professional.
Contact McCall for Your Essential Spring Pest Control Needs
Pest control is an essential service, especially during the springtime months as warmer weather ramps up. That’s why it’s important to choose a pest control company that understands your unique needs. Our technicians will do an external inspection of your home and provide interior service if needed. To get started with whole-home pest control, contact McCall Service today.
If you want to keep your home, patio, and lawn free of invasive pests during the coronavirus outbreak, remember that McCall Service is an essential service provider and is still open for business! This April, we’re offering $25 off any new annual service and donating $25 to the United Way for each of these services purchased.