6 Pests to Look Out For in 2020
Hindsight may be 20/20, but when it comes to protecting your family and home against pests this year, you can be proactive with the help of The Hitmen Termite & Pest Control. We are helping homeowners prepare for the 2020 pest season by offering insight into anticipated pest activity.
The experts at The Hitmen Termite & Pest Control have examined trends and used our field experiences and company data to determine the following six 2020 pest predictions. Additionally, we are offering preventative tips to help keep your home pest-free this year.
In some Western states, disease-spreading mosquitoes, such as the yellow fever mosquito and the Asian tiger mosquito, have surged in recent years. These mosquitoes, along with the already well-established common house mosquito, can spread diseases such as the Zika virus, West Nile virus, Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE), as well as the parasite that causes heartworm in pets.
Homeowner Tips: The risk of mosquito-borne diseases, such as the West Nile virus can increase with rising populations. Mosquitoes can breed in a tablespoon of water. To protect yourself and your family, dispose of standing water from your property and always wear an EPA-approved insect repellent when spending time outdoors.
Rat populations have increased over the past several years and this may be partly attributed to warmer than usual winters. We can expect to see that trend continue and rat populations in suburban areas to increase, as well. Warmer winters, a booming construction pipeline, lack of sanitation control, and an affordable housing crisis are all issues that have advanced the swell of recent rat activity.
Homeowner Tips: Rats spread disease and can be extremely destructive to homes. To deter rodents, take the following actions: Eliminate excess vegetation, especially dense low-vegetation that can serve as good hiding places for rats. Ensure that no trees overhang your home. Seal any exterior openings larger than a nickel with rodent-proof material such as hardware cloth or flashing. Finally, ensure that all trash is sealed in bags and placed into garbage cans with tight-fitting lids.
Termites are the most destructive pests in North America, causing $6 billion in property damage each year. These wood-destroying pests are a continual problem for homeowners in the Western U.S., and this year, termites could prove to be even more important. The experts at The Hitmen Termite & Pest Control have seen an increase in activity from subterranean and dampwood termites in many areas this year.
Homeowner Tips: To deter termites, eliminate soil to wood contact and avoid moisture accumulation near your home or structures’ foundation. Remove excess wood (stumps, lumber, etc.) from your yard. Termites can be present for years before homeowners ever seen signs of their activity, causing extensive and costly damage. To avoid this, have a termite protection plan in place. Speak to your pest control provider about risk and protection options for your home.
Cockroach populations have increased dramatically over the past several years, due in large part to warmer weather and increased rainfall. Cockroaches carry diseases, infest stored food, and then spread these diseases through their excrement. Cockroach removal is vital as infestations can be serious if not taken care of in a timely manner.
Homeowner Tips: To deter an infestation, cockroach-proof your home by sealing small cracks and crevices around windows and door frames with a silicone-based caulk. Keep a clean kitchen, sweeping, mopping and wiping up any spills. Check that door seals, including the one on your garage, are in place and intact. If you’re experiencing cockroach problems, speak with your pest control professional to determine the best solution for your home.
If you have noticed more flies this past year, you are not alone. Filth flies – house flies, bottle flies, flesh flies – generally live and breed live near human habitats and their numbers have increased in recent years. Increasing population density, waste management practices that haven’t kept pace with growth, and a general trend toward a warming climate for the fly pressure all contribute to increasing this disease-spreading insect.
Homeowner Tips: The house fly and other types of “filth flies” are nuisance pests, but also are important for their potential to harm humans and animals. To protect yourself and your family, screen all windows and doors. Keep trash stored away from your home and ensure that all trash cans have tight-fitting lids. If flies are bothering you when sitting outside, use a box or oscillating fan to keep them away. When air is moving, flies have a hard time landing.
Spiders eat other insects and thrive in wet environments. More moisture leads to an increase in the insects that spiders eat as a food resource. Heavy rain and record-breaking temperatures over the last few years have created the perfect conditions for insects and spiders to flourish. Although beneficial for our ecosystem, most people prefer spiders to stay outside where they belong.
Homeowner Tips: Fortunately, most species of spiders will not survive indoors as their systems are built for outdoor weather. If the thought of spiders lurking is alarming, try changing your white outdoor light bulbs to yellow light bulbs, which attract fewer insects that can serve as food for the spiders. There are a few species of spiders that can live indoors and need to be controlled by spider removal experts.
The experts at The Hitmen Termite & Pest Control agree that a proactive approach is the first step any homeowner can take to prevent 2020 pest issues. With these 2020 pest predictions in mind, take time to evaluate your current pest control plan and ensure that you have the protection you need to protect yourself and your family from pests this year.