dead leaves

This last week in Chicopee, Ludlow, Hampden, Enfield, Somers, and Windsor has been surprisingly cold. So why should you be worried about pest prevention with such cold weather? It’s a common misconception that lower temperatures mean lower pest threats. Besides the pests that persist in cold temps, now is a crucial time to be preparing your home for Spring. Here’s what you need to know:

Mosquitoes

It’s a common misconception that mosquitos do not survive the winter. The temperature may be dropping but mosquitos aren’t going completely away. Depending on the breed of mosquito, the way they live through the colder months varies.

The mosquito known for transmitting Zika, the Yellow Fever Mosquito (Aedes aegypti), will lay eggs in very shallow water—as shallow as ½ and inch. The adults die when the temp drop below 50 degrees, but the eggs enter a suspended state until the temps rise again. More concerningly, these eggs can already be infected with Zika, allowing the disease to survive to the next year.

Culex Mosquitoes, commonly known for carrying Eastern equine encephalitis (EEE) and West Nile Virus, will survive winters because the adult females enter hibernation. These adult mosquitos can carry diseases even while in a suspended state.

Carpenter Ants

Ants may be out in full force during the spring and summer, but did you know that carpenter ants are active year-round? That’s right, while other ants die off or become dormant during the winter, carpenter ants can stay active so long as their nests are warm enough. Colonies located in a nice warm location (like the walls of your home!) can therefore thrive all year long.  Carpenter ants chew through wood to create tunnels and nests and prefer wood that is wet or decaying. Considering they can do serious damage to the structural integrity of a building, it’s important to recognize the signs that carpenter ants have invaded. Believe it or not, in an average size colony, you can hear them in the walls or ceiling as they chew!  Also, look for sawdust on the basement floor and sill areas along with dead or live ants!

Fleas

Fleas are parasites that feed on the blood of any warm-blooded body, and range in size from 1/12 to 1/6 of an inch long. They are reddish-brown with six legs and are found throughout the United States. The most common type of flea is the cat flea, which usually feeds on cats, dogs, and even humans. They live for approximately 100 days, during which each female can produce over 400 offspring.

Statistics show that sales of flea medication for pets drop by nearly 20% in the wintertime, as many people don’t realize that the threat of fleas is still alive and well during the colder months even though it’s an important time for the pest prevention.  Consider that it’s not an uncommon occurrence for an indoor cat to catch a mouse with fleas and then get infested with fleas!  If you have a cat because you get an occasional mouse in the house, you might want to use a flea treatment on your pet.

Also, fleas are a common transmitter of some diseases, and flea bites cause painful, itchy bumps on humans and pets. Therefore, it’s important to take precautions against fleas year-round. Use our tips to tell if your pet has fleas.

Things feel itchy.  We know pest prevention. Call us at 413-566-8222 or contact us today. We have the knowledge and the services necessary to help keep your home pest-free!

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