Spring is here! And so is your 2021 Spring Pest Gazette! Plants are budding, pests are on the move, and it’s time to get a head start on pest-proofing.
The Symbiotic Relationship Between Ants and Aphids
Aphids are small insects you may see around your home on plants. They feed on plant sap and then secrete a sticky, sugary substance as they feed called honeydew. Ants love this sugary substance and will readily feed on honeydew. Ants love honeydew so much, that they have learned over time to farm aphids by herding them around as well as take care of them. In turn, the aphids get much needed protection by the ants from other predators that may eat them. So, they don’t mind being bossed around by ants on their plant turf.
Aphids sustain ant populations around the home. By controlling ants, aphid populations will begin to plummet and reduce the amount of damage they can do to beautiful plants and gardens. If you see ant activity around your home, call us. We’ll help identify problems and get to the root of it to solve it.
Tips and Facts about Pesky Springtails
Springtails are present year-round, but populations typically spike in early spring. You’ll find them around your pool, patio or even into your home. Springtails feed on decaying plant matter. They’re often found in association with their food sources: fungi, damp soil, and around decaying wood. They thrive in places with excess moisture: in mulch and leaf litter that often surrounds houses, downspouts, and around air conditioning drain lines.
Harmless but Highly Annoying
Springtails do not breed indoors and generally don’t cause any significant damage or harm. However, they can continually find their way inside when conditions are right. Weather plays an important role in springtail movement from their typical soil environment. If their habitat becomes too dry or to wet, springtails will seek out more favorable conditions. This can lead to tremendous numbers of springtails moving onto higher ground, which can often include your home. Once inside, springtails continue their search for moisture, ending up in rooms like bathrooms or damp basements. Although these areas may be humid, springtails often die once inside the home unless a leaky pipe or similar moisture source is found.
Avoiding Springtail Invasion
The key to avoiding an indoor invasion of springtails is to focus on sealing the home and reducing moisture conditions.
- Outside, check for windows and doors that may not close completely, or plumbing and utility access points that may need to be sealed.
- Eliminate breeding sites such as areas with excessive mulch or leaf litter.
- Pay special attention to low spots around your yard that may collect water and avoid overwatering shaded areas that may not dry as quickly.
- If a crawl space is present, ensure that the space has adequate ventilation.
- Inside the home, be sure that door sweeps provide a tight seal, and that leaky pipes or other sources of water leaks are corrected immediately.
- Potted plants can also serve as an indoor breeding site for springtails. Avoid overwatering plants to keep moisture levels low, and always inspect outdoor potted plants for signs of springtails before bringing the plants inside.
Remember, the presence of springtails can be an early warning sign of moisture issues that could attract pests and lead to costly water damage. Be sure to let us know if you have noticed springtails in or around your home.
Protecting Your Family From Pests in the Yard
Mosquitoes need water to lay eggs and for their young to develop. Increased rain creating areas of standing water on warm spring days means there will be more mosquitoes. Many of the mosquito species that transmit disease require very little standing water to lay their eggs. All they need is a 1/2 inch of water to breed.
How do you control mosquitoes? Reduce moisture and standing water around the home. The removal of water means there will be fewer areas for mosquitoes to breed and develop. Any container that could potentially hold water around the yard should be checked for mosquito larvae.
Dump containers in your backyard that can hold water, such as kiddie pools, bird baths, flowerpots, and numerous other household items. Turn items over that can hold water and scrub the inside of containers. Sometimes even the items you turn over have edges or lips that can collect water. Dump them out after it rains.
Female mosquitoes secrete a sticky substance onto eggs so they stick to surfaces. They can’t be removed by simply inverting a container upside down. Once the container refills with water, the eggs will continue to develop into flying mosquitoes if not removed properly. We will help you identify mosquito breeding sites and provide further control measures to keep your family safe from mosquitoes!
How to Stay Protected from Ticks and Mosquitos
What’s the best way to stay protected against mosquitoes? Stop bites before they happen! Personally applied repellents have a long history of effectiveness. Repellents are most often used to protect people from ticks and mosquitoes, which are both very serious threats to public health because they spread disease.
There are many species of ticks found in North America that can transmit disease to humans via bites. Lyme disease, transmitted by the blacklegged, or deer tick, is certainly the biggest concern and most common tick-borne disease in North America.
Fortunately, most of the serious mosquito-transmitted diseases present in the world are not a problem in North America. However, there are other diseases transmitted by mosquitoes in the United States. West Nile virus attracts the most attention, but St. Louis encephalitis, Eastern (and Western) equine encephalitis, dengue, chickungunya and other mosquito-borne diseases do occur in the United States. West Nile, specifically, is very present in our geographical region.
The Right Repellent Matters
Play it safe. Protect yourself and your family when you know mosquitoes are out and about! Choose a repellent that is registered by the Environmental Protection Agency because they have been vetted for safety and effectiveness. Some options are DEET, Picaridin, IR3535, Oil of lemon eucalyptus, Para-menthane-diol and 2-undecanone. Look for these ingredients on the bottle when selecting a repellent and follow the directions on the label for proper application. If you are noticing ticks and mosquitoes around your home, call us. We will help protect your and your family from pesky, and potentially dangerous, unwanted bites.
If you are looking for more resources outside of the 2021 Spring Pest Gazette, our friends at NPMA have even more tips and tricks for welcoming spring. Rose Pest Solutions is here for you to get to the root of the problem and offer a solutions fit for the needs of your home. Ask us today for a free quote for The Healthy Home Maintenance Program (HHMP), our most popular residential pest service.
It’s the gold standard in home pest protection and prevention. This ultimate protection package involves four scheduled visits, once every three months, to ensure you have the peace of mind and safety that comes from a pest-free home. We stand by our services and their 24/7/365 protection 100%, so we’ll take care of issues that pop up in between scheduled visits at absolutely no cost to you. That’s right, we’ll come back out for free.