Fall pests are starting to creep in and are crawling into our homes and businesses! Follow these 9 simple tips to ensure your pest-free Halloween holiday season!
It’s almost that time of year when an unsettling chill clings to the air and ghosts, goblins, the undead, cinematic madmen and all manner of creepy crawlies, some with many, many legs, cross the foreboding landscape, seeking chills, thrills. , prey, and sometimes, just food and shelter.
The latter is still not comforting, as bugs and insects in the world outnumber zombies, ghosts and humans by 200 million to one.
Their development from egg to adult is uncomfortably fast, and our entomologists at PestCo estimate that there are 400 million insects per acre! Could this translate into the plot of a new All Hallows Eve horror movie?
This pagan holiday has many symbols associated with the ancient world and especially the Gaelic festival of Samhain, which marks the end of the harvest season and the beginning of the dark half of the year.
Spiders and the intricate webs they weave are particularly associated with Halloween because of their association with witches, a belief that dates back to the Middle Ages, and the ominous presence of their webs in dark, forlorn cemeteries and neglected, abandoned homes.
Black cats and rats are also considered evil companions of witches and warlocks.
Pittsburgh insects that love the fall months
While countless pests can enter our homes and disrupt our lives at any time of the year, those that favor the fall months are known as “overwintering” or “overwintering pests.”
Our pest-control and pest-management experts identify six different pest species near Pittsburgh that residents should be aware of. They include spiders; Big bug in the box; ladybugs; mice and rats; Stink bugs and yellow jackets. More on each group follows below.
The most common species of arachnids known in and around the Pittsburgh area are: cellar spiders (AKA Daddy Long Legs); Brown Recluse; The wolf and the house spider. Below is information on each type.
The Cellar Spider (Daddy Long Legs)
This family of spiders has more than 1800 species divided into 94 groups. About 20 of these species are found in the United States and Canada.
Pittsburgh homeowners can easily identify them by their unusual and somewhat disturbing appearance, which is caused by their unusually long, thin and elongated legs.
They do no harm to humans, but their loose, irregular webs, often found in corners of eaves, windows, crawlspaces, and ceilings, can be bulky and unsightly.
Brown recluse spider
Although not native to Pennsylvania, these arachnids are sometimes transported in boxes across state lines. Brown recluse bites can be very serious and are often overlooked because the initial bite is painless.
These tiny spiders range in size from a quarter of an inch to an inch in width. They are easily recognized by their chocolate brown color and the distinctive violin-shaped pattern on their backs.
Grass (funnel) spider
Very common throughout Pittsburgh and Pennsylvania, their name comes from their spinning webs, which are long and cylindrical with a funnel on one side that allows food sources to enter.
Wolf spiders can be identified by the dense covering of fine hairs around their bodies, which is probably how it got its name. They are brown to gray in color and have no distinct pattern on their backs.
Although they are venomous, their bite is not nearly as severe as that of the brown recluse. Pennsylvania is home to two of its largest hogna species; namely H. carolinensis And H. sprinkle. They range in length from 18 mm (3/4 in) to 35 mm (1 3/8 in) short, and are commonly found on the ground and in boards, rocks, and outdoor wood.
They will bite humans, but their venom does not cause serious reactions and usually causes short-lived pain and redness.
The most common species in North America, these spiders are small, reaching no more than a quarter of an inch in length. They are light gray in color. Their venom is not dangerous, but their bite can be very painful for up to 16 hours.
If you are unsure of which species of spider may have bitten you, consult your physician, and if you see more than one, contact Pestco immediately and schedule a home inspection.
These black and red swarming insects are often found on the warm side of your home during the fall months. They can be a major problem indoors as they stain curtains, fabrics and walls with their excrement.
Fall yellow jacket
The Halloween season brings a number of these very unpleasant, aggressive stinging insects to the Pittsburgh area for comfort. As temperatures drop from the summer, these buntings spend the entire summer building up their numbers, and will be very visible as they look for ideal overwintering spots for nesting.
If it’s your home they choose, chances are you’ll be contacting our pest-control and pest-maintenance experts next spring.
Ladybugs are considered sweet and cute and have their place in Mother Nature’s pecking order as devourers of aphids that destroy garden plants. However, once they are visible on doors and window screens, it’s time for professional reinforcements to prevent them from entering your home.
In a similar fashion to box elder bugs, ladybugs emit a yellow stool that is an ugly yellow color. It will stain clothing, fabrics, and upholstery, and by and large, ladybugs have the ability to stink up any home.
Rats and mice
Mice live year-round and usually nest outdoors, but cold weather prompts them to seek shelter somewhere warm. They love to live With humans though the feelings are far from mutual. A warm home provides access to everything they need to survive.
The brown marmorated stink bug has a most imaginative yet unbelievable moniker and the smell it emits is long-lasting and extremely unpleasant. This insect will take shelter when the temperature starts to drop, and precautions should be taken to make sure it doesn’t become part of your Halloween window and door decorations, or worse… your home decor.
How to have a pest free Halloween
Our team recommends the following tips to enjoy a pest-free Halloween
Replace torn screens and caulk all gaps
This will act as a barrier for insects that want to enter through cracks, small holes and openings left unattended.
Cut back tree branches and shrubs that touch your home
They can act as “bridges” for unwanted guests with lots of legs. Trim their backs and prevent unwanted intrusions.
Wait until closer to Halloween to carve pumpkins
Although difficult because carving a Halloween pumpkin involves so much care and effort, it is recommended to wait a few days before the holiday to do it. This is because insects are attracted to them once they are open and exposed.
Install yellow or sodium vapor lights in exterior fixtures
Yellow color repels insects.
Rake leaves and remove them from your yard
Leaf piles provide perfect hiding and nesting places for many insects, and while jumping in leaf piles can be Halloween fun for kids, insects shouldn’t be part of the game.
Woodpiles keep a safe distance from the house
Wood piles are also great hiding places for insects, and piles too close to your home are an invitation for pests.
Make sure the decor is not providing a haven for pests
Due to the fact that seasonal decorations are usually stored in outdoor spaces such as basements and attics, when they re-emerge they harbor some unwanted guests; Namely, insects that like to breed in their warm, dark folds.
Also, don’t store pulp in cardboard boxes, as insects love it. Opt for plastic containers instead.
Visit before wearing a Halloween costume
Everyone knows that the real fun at Halloween is, of course, dressing up time. Pest-control and pest-maintenance experts at Pestco warn that insects may like to join in on the fun, whether it’s new clothing or items in storage.
Clothing can harbor unwanted insects, and bedbugs in particular, like to ride on clothing. A good wash before wearing is always a helpful consideration.
Don’t leave candy out for trick or treaters
Even wrapped candy emits an attractive smell for hungry insects. Our team cautions that leaving candy in boxes or crates outside the house may mean the doorbell doesn’t have to ring and interrupt what you’re doing to answer it, but in the end, it may be more trouble than it’s worth. .
Call Pestco to ensure a pest-free Halloween!
Follow these tips above, and all in all have a safe and happy Halloween. Avoid ghosts and goblins but don’t hesitate to call our team Pestco Professional Services If unwanted critters invade your home!
Photo credit: Pixabay