Pests of Fall: The Usual Suspects
Viking’s Guide to Fall Pests
Many people do not realize that seasonal changes make a significant difference in your pest risk.
In the summer, many pests are content to live outside. Not only are warmer temperatures comfortable for them, but food and water sources are usually abundant in the outdoors during the summertime. However, as temperatures drop, pests begin to look inside, not just for living spaces, but also for sources of food.
Ants– While ants can be a problem at any time during the year, many people will find ants beginning to infiltrate their homes in the autumn, when summer outdoor food supplies become limited. Many people think of ants as a nuisance pest and believe that:
1) Ant infestations are easy to treat
2) Ants do not cause health or safety problems.
These two myths can set you up for major problems. First, ants can contaminate food sources for you and your pets, but, perhaps more significantly, they can create structural damage in your home; carpenter ants eat wood and even non-carpenter ant varieties can damage homes by creating nests in your walls.
Stink bugs– A big, smelly problem, stink bugs head inside when the weather gets cooler. Stink bugs are an interesting pest, because they do not bite or sting people and they are not a vector for disease. However, they emit a noxious odor when they are squished and even when they are just frightened. Moreover, their droppings are actually harmful to fabrics and some hard surfaces.
Cockroaches– Cockroaches are not as vulnerable to temperature swings as other pests, but they do want a water source and often infiltrate homes in the fall in order to find access to water. It should come as no surprise, then, that cockroaches are often found near pipes or drains. They do not stay there, though; instead, cockroaches will move throughout a home in search of food. Nocturnal pests, you may not see any cockroaches in the early stages of an infestation; but, instead, may find droppings. If you see one, at night, assume you have a cockroach problem; these pests live in groups, are extremely hard to kill, and reproduce quickly.
Rodents– Rats, mice, moles, and other rodents are very common fall home-invaders. Like other pests, they come into houses seeking warmth and food as temperatures drop and outside food sources get scarce. Some of us have a natural aversion to these vermin, while others may think of a single rat or mouse as adorable and be hesitant to contact an exterminator. Domesticated rats and mice may make good pets, but wild rats and mice are a huge health and safety hazard for people. They spread diseases, destroy property with their waste, and chew constantly. The chewing can directly damage your home, but more of a threat is that they will chew through wires, which can disrupt electrical service or even cause fires. In addition, they are often covered with their own pests, and these fleas, mites, ticks, and lice are happy to jump from their rodent hosts and feast on your family and your pets.
Our next blog will tell you how exactly to pest-proof your home for the fall.
About Viking Pest Control
Providing pest control solutions since 1980, Viking is the largest family owned pest control business in the northeast. Viking is a Quality Pro company and members with the NPMA. Viking offers both residential and commercial pest control service. Contact us today!