Just in time for the annual spring cleaning certain pests may welcome themselves in your home or yard, making your life miserable. The little home invaders usually hide in dark corners where you may not be able to spot them until there is an infestation.
Serious problems with insects vary from region to region, says Lynn S. Kimsey, Ph.D., Professor of Entomology, Director, Center for Biosystematics, and Director, Bohart Museum of Entomology. In general, pests become more active at a temperature above 60 F, she adds. “The warmer it is, they more active they are, and the more of them come out.”
You could be walking next to a nest and be completely unaware of it. Nests can sometimes be found in the ground, but it’s hard to tell, especially if there is a lot of vegetation, says Howard Russell, entomologist, Department of Plant, Soil and Microbial Sciences at Michigan State University. Wasp nests are found in trees and can also be difficult to see, he adds. “You may be able to hear the buzz.”
Anytime you see lots of activity with one insect type you can assume there is a nest nearby, Kimsey says. In the spring, colonies of insects are usually small and they are easy to get along with, Russell adds. Still, problems can occur.
Repellents can be very effective in protecting you from certain pests, especially ticks, Russell says. Apply them to clothing and they can last a very long time or until you wash it, he adds.
Humans are not the only ones who face problems when certain pests become active. Plants are also a target.