Spring is here, which means warmer weather, greater moisture in the air, and ultimately…more pests. Knowing which pests to look for, where to find them, and how to prevent them is key in knocking out any potential spring pest issues before they arise.
Here’s a breakdown of the most common household pests Long Island will see this spring.
It’s no secret that termites are a major pest Long Island homeowners deal with all year, every year, but in the spring, termite activity often picks up with the warmer temperatures.
Subterranean termites are a common species of termite that’s known for causing a great deal of damage—billions of dollars each year for United States homeowners, to be exact. These termites build mud tunnels from the ground leading to food sources such as the cellulose in the wooden structures that make up your home. Over time, this feeding pattern can cause significant damage to a property, and repair costs are rarely covered by homeowner’s insurance.
Signs of Termites
If you see mud tubes on the exterior of your home or visible termites, have wood that sounds hollow when tapped, or notice bubbling paint, piles of material resembling sawdust, or darkened or blistered wood on your home, it’s likely you have a termite infestation.
How to Prevent Termites
The most effective way to prevent a termite infestation is with a professional termite control system in place, such as the Sentricon Termite Elimination System, Knockout Pest Control’s go-to green termite treatment.
Ants are a nearly inescapable pest this time of year and one of the most common pests we receive calls about! There are quite a few species, with some of the most common ones we see being sugar ants, or as they’re often referred to, little black ants or pavement ants. These are the ants you’re likely to see crawling around your kitchen if you leave behind crumbs from a sweet treat or sticky residue on your counter. We also see a lot of carpenter ants on Long Island, which are larger, and like termites, can cause structural issues to your property by chewing the wood of decks, porches, and the other wooden components of your home.
Signs of Ants
If you’re dealing with a sugar ant invasion, you may notice ant trails along your kitchen counters or window sills as they travel back and forth between food sources and their colony’s nesting spot.
Signs of carpenter ants, on the other hand, may include piles of wood shavings that resemble sawdust near wooden areas like baseboards or window sills, rustling sounds inside walls, or visible winged ants making their way out of crevices within your home.
How to Prevent Ants
The easiest way to prevent sugar ants, along with a regular pest control plan in place, is through basic home maintenance and cleanup. If you spill something, clean it up, always store foods securely in airtight containers (in the refrigerator, if possible), and take out your trash regularly.
Carpenter ants are drawn to moisture, so identifying and repairing moist wood is key in prevention; also regularly inspect your wood framing and siding around your home’s foundation to make sure there aren’t any gaps, trim back tree limbs which touch your home, and eliminate any decaying wood sources near your home such as tree stumps. Additionally, storing firewood in a dry place off the ground at least 20 feet from your home can help prevent both carpenter ant infestations as well as termite infestations.
You may think of mice as more of a fall and winter pest, but they’re actually a common household pest year-round on Long Island. Mice that have been cozied up inside your home for winter will likely start stirring.
Signs of Mice
If you’re dealing with mice inside your home, you’ll likely see small, dark, rod-shaped droppings which are pointy on both ends. You may also notice signs of nesting in your attic, basement, crawl space, or behind large appliances; chewed wiring, pipes, insulation, flooring, or drywall; or photos, furniture, or clothes that have gotten mysteriously damaged.
How to Prevent Mice
Along with a regular pest control plan in place, you can easily pest-proof your home through some minor inspections and repairs—look for and fix any damaged screens or gaps and cracks in your home’s foundation to help eliminate entry points for small pests who need just a tiny amount of clearance to get inside. It’s also helpful to eliminate food sources for mice, so cleaning up after meals and putting pet food away are both key. Another simple way to keep pests out is make it harder for them to get in—close your garage, pet doors, and chimneys when possible.
Protect Your Home from Spring Pests
To knock out seasonal pests, an annual pest control plan is recommended. We offer a variety of green pest control options so you’re sure to find the right plan to fit your needs while keeping your home pest-free this spring and throughout the year!
To schedule an inspection now, call (800) 244-7378.