Many pests go into an inanimate state during the colder months but not all activity stops. In fact, for many people, winter brings out a variety of pest problems.
- Rodents are extremely busy during the winter. In northern Illinois and southern Wisconsin, mice are the #1 pest problem when the temperature dips. The average female will have 4-8 pups per litter and will go into heat just weeks after giving birth. It is not hard to imagine a female having 40-50 offspring in just one year. Rats become a major problem on farms and in inner-city settings during this time.
- Ants, such as Pavement, Odorous House and Pharaoh are seen in many homes with slab foundations. They will come up from the pea-gravel searching for food and water even during the coldest months.
- Silverfish love warm, humid temperatures. So despite the fact that it could be 10-degrees outside, silverfish will be thriving in bathrooms or where there are hot-water pipes.
- Spiders are a problem year-round for any client living near a lake, forest preserve or wooded areas.
As Jack Frost lets go of his icy grip, many pests will “wake up” out of their deep inanimate slumber and make themselves a nuisance.
- Flies can be seen in many homes during April and May. Flies will overwinter in attics or wall voids and will be one of the first pests you will see. Even as early as mid-March.
- Ants love the spring. Carpenter Ants especially will make themselves known as they forage for food looking for any type of food to eat. They especially will be attracted to sweet-tasting food.
- Single-cone wasps will show up as early as May if the temperatures outside are constantly in the 50’s or 60’s. The pregnant queens will find a nice location, such as an eave or soffit to begin building their nest.
- Box elder bugs and Asian lady beetles are also waking up. They will overwinter under door stoops, under the bark of trees, in your attic or behind shutters. When there is approximately 12 hours of sunlight per day with mild conditions you will see them emerge. They will be busy laying eggs until June and then you won’t see too many of them until the fall.
In northern Illinois and southern Wisconsin, summer is the peak season for many pests.
- Single-cone wasps will show up in large numbers in June, baldfaced hornets in July (large cone-shaped nests in trees) and yellow jackets in August. Honey bees can be a nuisance any-time during the summer but they are not as common as the aforementioned stinging pests.
- Carpenter ants will be out in great numbers foraging for food or looking for new nesting sites.
- Mosquitoes will start in June (May if it’s warm for long stretches) and will be active through the end of September.
- Spiders can be a nightmare for residents living on Lake Geneva, Lake Delavan, Lauderdale Lakes, Wonder Lake, Chain O’ Lakes, Twin Lakes, etc.
- Clover mites will start out as blood-red dots on your door stoops, windows, siding, etc., and will turn dark green as they feed on vegetation.
- Millipedes, pill bugs and earwigs will turn up in large numbers starting in May, hitting their peak in June and July. Earwigs will be a problem until it snows.
As the temperatures cool, many pests will look to move indoors or find other shelter.
- Box elder bugs and Asian lady beetles are the most common pest in September and October.
- Yellow jackets are very aggressive in September as the number of wasps looking for food becomes quite large.
- Spiders will follow their food sources indoors.
- Mice will become more noticeable in October and November.
- Flies can be seen throughout a person’s home but especially on the 2nd floor.