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Mild Winter Means More Bugs Come Spring

Many parts of the country have experienced a milder than normal winter with less snowfall and shorter freeze seasons than in years past. From Texas to Chicago, some of the country’s most unpredictable climates have recorded warm, unseasonal winter months. What could be bad about that?

Unfortunately, milder winters often lead to particularly bug-heavy springs and summers, specifically in warmer regions of the country. Without hard freezes to kill off colonies and with flora opening up earlier than normal, bugs have a plethora of places to live and eat.

Carpenter ants are, historically, the best indicator of the type of bug season a city’s likely to have. The earlier these pesky bugs are seen around homes the more prolific insects of their kind can be expected to be – and the trend continues to all kinds of species, not just ants. To swarming insects like wasps and bees to terribly destructive pests like termites, warm weather is a good thing.

Termites and other fast-breeding species enjoy mild climates more than other bugs because it means they’ve got more time to reproduce. This fast turnaround can mean more bugs to feed and control and lead to colonies that have more stability come next winter. It’s important to be vigilant if you notice any signs of termites in or around your home as this season’s crop could be worse than normal.

Mosquitoes are also a worry. Scientists have been working on controlling the dreaded West Nile Virus from coast to coast and milder weather brings more biting mosquitoes nationwide. Traditionally a “summer pest,” mosquitoes are being seen earlier than ever before in some parts of the country, particularly in the Southeast.

Homeowners can control how the early onset of insects impact their surroundings, which is good news. Standing water is perhaps the greatest risk factor when it comes to bugs – mosquitoes are notoriously drawn to water and other insects use it as a source of nourishment. As snow melts and dew condenses it’s a good idea to keep puddles mopped up and bird baths empty during the bug breeding season.

Also important is keeping your yard and home clear of debris that might attract nesting bugs, termites specifically. Keeping gutters clear is one of the easiest steps homeowners can take to ensure their home stays bug-free all spring and summer.

And, of course, it’s a good idea to have a pest professional come out once a year to inspect your property and provide you with tips and solutions for your yard and home. Pesticides and organic materials work best when applied earlier in the season.

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