A run down of the type of pests that appear in spring and basic advice as to how to keep them at bay. Slugs, snails, fleas are just some of the spring pests.
Longer days and warmer temperatures can herald uninvited house guests
Unfortunately, the arrival of warmer temperatures as winter gives way to spring can mark the appearance of various pests to join others such as vermin and cockroaches who provide a year round threat.
The common spring pests:
Mice and rats
They’re at their peak in the winter as they’re attracted to warmer environments such as heated buildings and houses, but they’re still around in spring.
Ensure you don’t leave food lying around and check for possible access points in and around your property. Mice can pass through gaps as small as 6mm so even a tiny hole may need filling in.
Keep refuse bags away from easy access, preferably in bins, and have them emptied as often as possible.
They’re at their most widespread in the spring and are attracted to dirty and untidy environments with easy access to food and water.
Keep your home clean and ensure even small amounts of food are cleared up – even a sticky spot or a handful of crumbs is an open invitation. Ensure kitchen waste is disposed of efficiently, empty the bin frequently and avoid general clutter especially paper-based.
A very common pest, just about all homes have a few flies at some time or another.
Keeping your home, especially the kitchen, as clean as possible will help and don’t leave uncovered food in the open as this acts as a magnet to flies. As with other basic pest control procedures, cleanliness and tidiness will help so don’t let rubbish collect.
Slugs and snails
An outdoor pest, they can spell disaster to your newly growing spring plants; that riot of colour you’re looking forward to can be dealt a severe blow by these slow but steady pests feeding on them.
A good removal method is a natural one; encourage predators such as birds who feed on slugs to frequent your garden and they’ll help control numbers. Putting up a birdbath or feeder will help increase the number of birds visiting.
While their numbers are highest in the summer months, spring tends to signal the arrival of ants.
If you see one or two around your home unfortunately many more are close at hand. They’re attracted to food especially sweeter types so ensure spillages are cleared up as soon as possible. Check food cupboards; even a small amount of spilt sugar could soon attract a procession of the little pests.
They tend to appear in greater numbers in late spring and reach their peak in the summer as temperatures rise.
Frequent changing and washing of bedclothes at higher temperatures and vacuuming the bed and surrounding areas can help control numbers, but an infestation likely requires removal by professional pest controllers.
Like bed bugs, fleas are more common in the summer but will make their appearance once spring gets under way.
They can be carried on animals such as pets. Because there may be a tendency for dogs and cats to spend more time outdoors and go further afield as in the case of cats roaming and dogs being taken for longer walks, there’s an increased risk of fleas being brought back to the home via their coats.
They’re at their most numerous in the spring and their larvae can be a very real threat to expensive clothing and home furnishings. Moths were a particular nuisance in the spring of 2017 due to an especially mild winter and early spring.
Keeping areas where clothing and fabrics are stored clean and dust free is an important basic step in discouraging them.
Wasps are very ‘temperature sensitive’ in that they may appear in mid or late spring depending on what type of temperatures we’re experiencing, and can linger on into early autumn if conditions remain mild.
If you notice several wasps in and around your property then it’s likely there’s a nest nearby. Without getting too close and putting yourself at risk, try and locate the nest and ideally seek the help of pest control experts to remove it.
Otherwise, to discourage wasps generally, the ‘cleanliness and tidiness’ principles discussed above concerning other pests apply.
The arrival of warmer weather and longer days is usually looked forward to by many of us, so don’t let the arrival of a spring pest or two put a dampener on things. Take the basic steps above or, if you have an infestation, call reputable pest control experts to help.