Spring is here and with it comes sunshine, flowers, warmth, and bugs. That’s right, bugs. Several pests find spring the ideal time to introduce themselves to homeowners in the Houston area.
Read more about what pests are common in spring, and how you can handle them.
Mosquitoes start arriving in spring because they thrive in warm and humid environments. The saying really should be “April showers bring….Mosquitoes!”
Why? Mosquitoes are cold-blooded, so their bodies shut down during winter. You’ll notice mosquito activity pick up in Houston when temperatures reach above 50 degrees. As temperatures rise and rain falls, you’ll see more and more mosquitoes. You’ll also see repellent in stores, which is a good over-the-counter method to handle these flying insects.
Also read: How To Mosquito-Proof Your Yard
Another common springtime pest is termites. When warmer weather returns, termites swarm by gathering in groups of up to three million, to form new colonies and increase the termite population.
Swarming termites resemble large dark brown clouds, making them easy to identify. If don’t see a swarm of this nature, but are still wary of these pests, there are other ways to detect them. These indicators include shed wings, wood damage, or a musty smell in or around your property.
Unfortunately, most do-it-yourself treatments are ineffective against termites. Trained pest control professionals, like Cypress Creek, are your best bet against these insects. We recommend a termite inspection at least once a year for your property.
You’ll also see ants turning up in all kinds of locations, inside and outside. In Houston, crazy ants, fire ants, rover ants, and acrobat ants are the most common. Like other insects on this list, they’re attracted to food and cluster around its sources. Fire ants build large nests, almost always outdoors, but are known to enter homes to look for food. Acrobat ants are most often found burrowed in trees, while crazy ants can be spotted inside or outside your home.
While every ant requires different treatment methods, you can help prevent ants by disposing of all food and cleaning up any sticky messes.
Fleas are small, flightless insects that are parasitic - meaning they feed on humans and other warm-blooded animals, like your dogs and cats. Their bite causes itching and irritation, and can result in large red bumps on your and your pet’s skin. Fleas are a bigger issue for pets and pet owners, as studies indicate they tend to prefer feeding on animals.
If you detect fleas, trap them using dish soap and water at nighttime. The substance acts as a glue. Getting rid of fleas when you first notice them is essential because they can be difficult to kill.
Cockroaches disgust most people, and unfortunately, Houston is home to thirty species. Roaches hibernate in winter and resurface in spring.
Cockroaches seek shelter in warm places like cracks and other openings inside your house. Spring cleaning often draws them out of these hiding spots, forcing them out into the open. Keep your home clean, and food sources sealed to prevent them.
Also read: Sun's Out, Cockroaches Out
Aphids are slow-moving, green or yellow insects that love dining on your plants. They’re one of the first pests to emerge in spring -- when homeowners begin growing new plants in their gardens.
Aphids feed in large groups and live for about a month. They reproduce rapidly, creating a large population in a manner of days.
You can find caterpillars year-round, but they're most common in spring and fall. Caterpillars wreak havoc on smaller plants by nibbling or consuming entire leaves. They rarely threaten the health of larger plants, though.
Natural predators, such as wasps, may solve your caterpillar problem for you. If that doesn’t help, you can use row covers to barricade your vegetable gardens. Because they’re usually easy to spot, you can prune them from other plants to prevent damage.
While not every pest is on our list is the same, there are general things you can do to prevent pests.
Spring should be a joyful time – not a time of dealing with bugs like ants, fleas, and mosquitos. If you don’t want to share your space with these pests, contact us at Cypress Creek to get $50 off our Healthy House program.