Although most pest infestations do not require the help of professional pest-control and pest-maintenance experts, the average Pittsburgh homeowner can help prevent them by understanding the forces that influence cam pest and rodent behavior.
The outside temperature has a huge effect on insects because they are cold-blooded and cannot generate their own body heat.
They either migrate for warmth at the onset of winter or hibernate by burrowing into the ground to find shelter.
This shelter-seeking instinct is what drives pests such as spiders, cockroaches and rats indoors during the cooler months of the year.
Warmer temperatures usually cause breeding that brings a lot of emotional turmoil to Pittsburgh homeowners when the weather warms up. Summer also attracts other pests including: mosquitoes, ants, wasps and other biting insects that ruin picnics and outdoor games.
They may also invade your Pittsburgh home in search of food.
Below is a list of insects that plague the Pittsburgh area during each season of the year.
Eight winter pests warrant caution. They are: ants; Bees and wasps; beetles; Cockroaches; mosquitoes; Ticks are spiders and termites.
More about each follows below.
Most ant species hibernate during the winter outside their colonies.
When the temperature drops in the fall, the ants themselves will roar and fatten up.
With excess weight, they can last for a long time without eating. Ants also close their colonies when cold weather arrives.
Ants close the entrance, huddle together and hide away to stay warm.
They usually don’t migrate indoors during the winter, but if their colony is already inside a building, they will stay there and be active when the temperature is warm enough.
Bees and Wasps
When temperatures drop, and pollen sources become scarce, bees and wasps respond in different ways depending on their species and life stage development. The bees return to the hive and gather around the queen.
Mother Nature allows their wings to vibrate, which maintains a tolerable temperature within the hive.
The colder it is, the smaller and tighter their huddles become. They also gain body strength by eating large amounts of honey.
Many wasps die in winter, but mated females survive by seeking shelter. Survival is difficult due to predators and lack of food sources.
An unusually mild winter can be a death sentence for a wasp species because the queen may emerge before a food source is available.
Bed bugs have a strong sensitivity to cold and can survive for days in below freezing climates.
They prefer very warm environments where their favorite host; That is, people sleep in their beds.
They can hide for long periods of time without moving anywhere, and they can survive up to 400 days without food.
Homes not only offer comfortable bedrooms with easy hunting, but also more room to hide thick, heavy winter clothes and linens. Holiday travel is a boon for bedbugs, as luggage, valises and bags provide the perfect vehicle for transportation. This is why pest-control and pest-management strategies initiated by Pestco are so important at this time of year.
Although roaches are extremely hardy pests that have been around since dawn, they don’t respond well to the cold.
They are active year-round in warm, moist environments, such as kitchens, where they can find both food and moisture.
Once temperatures drop, roaches often migrate to warmer locations, such as private residences and commercial buildings, both of which can be effectively serviced by our teams at Pestco.
When roaches are caught in the cold, they huddle for warmth or enter diapause, which slows metabolic rate, stops growth, and limits reproduction.
A roach’s response to cold is related to both its age and species. In many cases, the adults die when the nymphs enter diapause.
Different species react differently to extreme climates.
For example, German cockroaches seek food and warmth sources found in kitchens, while Oriental varieties prefer indoors and, unlike many other insects, breed in winter.
They also live in moist areas like drains or basements and are known to tolerate lower temperatures than other roach species.
American cockroaches generally prefer the outdoors, and brown-banded cockroaches prefer to live near heat-generating electric motors found in appliances and electronics.
They are known to seek high ground as well.
Many Pittsburgh homeowners mistakenly believe that mosquitoes disappear in the winter and don’t need to contact a pest control company to combat their growth until summer. This is a myth.
The response of mosquitoes to cold depends greatly on the species.
Generally, they prefer warm temperatures and cope with the cold by laying eggs in still water or soil, where they suspend their growth with diapause.
These eggs hatch in the spring and the insects become adults and multiply rapidly.
Ticks may be out of sight during the winter, but they’re not gone.
Studies indicate that only 20% of the tick population dies and others, depending on both species and life cycle stage, survive the cold months in diaphase or parasitically by attaching to a host.
A tick’s movement is completely dependent on its environment.
In woody or shrubby areas where they settle, ticks hide in leaf litter. Snow blankets act as insulation for dormant species by maintaining constant temperatures and, in the case of soft shell ticks, rely on living underground in snow or burrows.
Although most spider species do not migrate indoors when seeking warmth and shelter, our pest-control and pest-maintenance experts often find them there.
Reasons for this could be a female laying eggs near the house or spider anxiety following bugs attracted to light inside the house.
It is also possible that a male spider may enter a home after traveling longer than usual in search of a mate.
Outdoor spider species seek shelter in leaves or wood piles.
During diapause, they undergo a hardening process in which their bodies produce an anti-freeze compound not used in automobiles.
This lowers the temperature at which they freeze and helps them survive in extreme climates.
Termites do not hibernate. Subterranean termites will stay outside, but often burrow deep into the soil past the frost line to keep warm. Snow provides additional cover and warmth.
The colony waits out the winter and suspends egg production.
If the winter lasts longer than usual, or if there is not enough snow, the colony may die. Many warm species can do business ‘as usual’ as long as they find warmth and shelter for the season inside walls or under structures.
Spring and summer pests
Warm temperatures in early spring keep insects out of their winter habitat.
The combination of warmth and humidity brings out swarms of unwanted insects in Pittsburgh homes.
In addition to spiders, ants, and termites, spring insects include: cluster flies, stinging insects, and earwigs that hibernate underground during the winter and emerge to lay eggs during springing.
Summer brings its own parade of critters to Pittsburgh and Western Pennsylvania.
These include: mosquitoes, black, deer and horse flies, ticks, biting chiggers, yellow jackets, wasps and hornets, and both pavement and house ants.
Our pest specialists are extremely busy this time of year!
Autumn is known for its own variety of insects.
Black and red box bugs swarm around homes during the fall, and if they get in, they stain clothing, curtains, fabrics, and walls with their excrement.
Aggressive yellow jackets thrive in the fall months, as they’ve had all summer to grow their numbers.
Although lady bugs are beneficial garden pests, if they get inside a house, they emit a yellow secretion that stains clothes and upholstery, and in large numbers can make a house smell really bad.
Homeowners should seal all cracks and openings to prevent rodents from getting warm inside once fall arrives and temperatures begin to drop.
Stink bugs will also want to get into the residence and they also produce a very unpleasant smell.
Friendly Most Effective Pittsburgh Pest Control Service
It all started with the American dream of a Lithuanian immigrant named Milton Zlatnik, who first learned about pest control while serving in the United States Army during the tumultuous years of World War II.
In 1948, he purchased the first commercial air freshener distributorship from his brother-in-law, Bob Sarloff, who invented the world’s first fan-driven air freshener dispenser, which he named the Air Scent.
There, while working on accounts, Milton became aware that additional services beyond air fresheners could fit into standard company operations.
Soon after, he founded a commercial pest company, known as Pestco Professional Services.
Thus the burgeoning enterprise began its long and arduous climb across Greater Pittsburgh, western PA counties, and the surrounding tristate area.
Pestco’s focus has remained the same over the years; Namely, to provide experienced, responsive and uncompromising service to all its customers.
Our friendly and helpful staff helps all customers through the process of dealing with pest infestations, which can be both tedious and time-consuming.
We are equipped with the most modern and cost-effective pest control techniques for commercial, industrial and residential spaces.
Our highly trained and knowledgeable technicians understand that every infection presents its own problems and challenges, and they are prepared to face them all.
All are licensed by the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture and attend monthly workshops to keep them one step ahead of both insect and rodent behavior.
Give our teams at Pestco a call and start a procedure that will keep your facility and/or home free of pest infestations all year long!
Photo credit: Pixabay and Pestco