Though most people generally only think of pest control during the warmer months, when swarms of insects attempt to invade their homes and yards, pest control knows no season. There is a natural ebb and flow to insect life, but the most important factor is temperature.
In the weeks leading up to fall and winter, many insects search for a place to overwinter. Roof eaves, paneling, and other structural parts of the house can provide excellent, protected spots. Quick thaws and mild winters can also help push bugs out of the soil and into the home. However, there are pests that are more prevalent during different times of the year across the various regions of the United States.
Year Long Pest Prevention
Some particularly resilient pests are always prevalent, no matter the season. These include cockroaches, bedbugs, ants, and termites, which, though they thrive during the spring, can be present in homes all year round.
Spring Pest Prevention
Springtime is the period during which insects and other pests are hard at work attempting to rebuild their populations, which means that pest control should focus on controlling and reducing reproductive cycles. All over the U.S., mosquito, rodent, flea, tick, and fly populations grow considerably, but there are also some specific regional pests.
Southeast - Palmetto bugs, subterranean termites, fire ants, crazy ants, caribbean crazy ants, Argentine ants
Southwest - Spiders, termites, bed bugs
Midwest - Ticks, boxelder bugs, moths, cockroaches, carpenter ants, termite swarms
West - Earwigs, ground squirrels, house flies, fungus gnats, earwigs, ants, bed bugs, carpenter ants
Northeast - Centipedes, millipedes, pill bugs, sow bugs, earwigs, carpenter ants, termites
Summer Pest Prevention
Insect and pest populations that have grown their populations during the spring eat voraciously in the warm summer months. We see them more because they can move faster in the heat, and are therefore less afraid of predators. This is the time to treat the landscape and harborage areas that pests prefer. Generally speaking, stinging insects such as bees, hornets, and wasps can be found all over the United States.
Southeast - Flies, spiders, rodents, termite ants (especially fire ants), fleas, ticks
Southwest - Flies, ants, cockroaches, scorpions, moles, mosquitoes, fleas, ticks, spiders,
Midwest - Carpenter ant swarms, carpenter bees, yellow jackets, spiders, fleas, ticks
West - Termites, Cockroaches, moles, ants, house flies, fruit flies, spiders
Northeast - Carpenter bees, yellow jackets, fleas, cluster flies and ticks
Fall Pest Prevention
The beginning of the cooler autumn months see young insects maturing and all pests seeking refuge for the winter, as well as building up their reserves. Homes become desirable harborage spaces, and pest control should concentrate on building barriers around the house, as well as sealing up any possible entry points.
Independently of the region of the U.S. in which you live, Rodents and Cockroaches seeking warmth are a fall problem, as well as overwintering insects.
Southeast - Kudzu bugs, stink bugs, spiders, crickets, cockroaches (Americans, smoky browns), fleas, ants (especially fire ants), termites
Southwest - Scorpions, moles, bees, wasps, hornets
Midwest - Boxelders, rodents, cluster flies, some mosquitoes
West - Rodents, crickets, spiders, bees, hornets, wasps
Northeast - Crickets, boxelder bugs, earwigs
Winter Pest Prevention
During the cold months, most insects overwinter and reserve energy in order to increase their chances of surviving in the spring. Other pests, like rodents, may attempt to make their way into your home as an ideal retreat from harsh outside temperatures. Prevention is the focus in pest control, emphasizing sanitation and exclusion.
The pests that are most likely to invade your home are the same across all regions of the United States: rodents, fleas, ticks, crickets, spiders, cockroaches, bedbugs, winged carpenter ants (their presence is an almost certain indication of the presence of a nest), cluster, fruit and moth flies. Some regions experience a propensity towards specific pest threats, however.
Southeast - Argentine ants, American cockroaches, Termites
Southwest - Boxelder bugs, Voles
Finding pests in your home can be stressful, especially when no matter what you do, they don’t seem to go away. In that case, it’s always best to seek professional help and leave the eradication to the pest control experts. Start looking for a pest control company at our top ten pest control companies of the year list.
Cover Image: Close-up of a mosquito feeding on blood (Source: CDC/ Prof. Frank Hadley Collins)