With the arrival of spring comes a major increase in insect and pest activity. Eggs are laid, babies are born, and creatures are in search of water and food after a long winter. Oftentimes, this search brings them into contact with your yard and home. While there are many different springtime pests, here are three that our customers often have problems with:
Appearance: Ladybug beetles, often known as ladybugs or ladybirds, are approximately 7 mm long and can range in color from yellow to orange to red, with varying numbers of dark spots. Asian ladybird beetles are common household pests. They can be hard to identify because they are multicolored, but they have an “M” shaped mark behind their heads.
Behavior: Most species are very beneficial and eat garden pests like aphids and mealybugs, but some, like Asian ladybird beetles, have a nasty habit of overwintering inside structures. During the fall, they will congregate on sunny buildings and try to enter. Once indoors, they will crawl along windows and doors searching for humidity and warmth. They will often settle inside walls, crawl spaces, attics, and basements for the winter. Many people may not even realize they have a problem until spring comes and the ladybugs begin to be active again.
Control: Although they are generally helpful bugs, they can become a nuisance in homes, release an unpleasant odor when smashed, and leave yellowish stains on walls and clothing. Control of ladybugs begins with sealing the exterior of the home to prevent entry in the first place. If they have already entered the home, a vacuum, broom, or light trap may help get rid of them.
Appearance: Centipedes are well-known for their many legs. The house centipede is the most common pest species. It is long and flat and usually has 15 pairs of legs, with one pair on each body segment. The body of the house centipede is only 2.5-4 cm, but the length and number of legs may make it appear significantly larger. The house centipede is brownish-yellow in color with 3 dark stripes down its back and light and dark bands of color on its legs.
Behavior: Centipedes are very fast arthropods that hunt and eat a variety of insects. They will happily feed on roaches, silverfish, carpet beetles, and more. During the spring, they are especially hungry, and will enter homes in search of these insects. While it is great that they eat these pests, centipedes have a creepy appearance and are usually unwelcome visitors in homes. They like to live in damp, dark areas, so they can often be found in laundry rooms, basements, bathrooms, etc.
Control: Centipede control also starts with sealing the exterior. Once that is complete, work to get rid of other pest infestations that may be attracting them to your home. It is also important to get rid of excess moisture by fixing leaky pipes and faucets and using a dehumidifier, if necessary.
Appearance: Earwigs are long, slender insects with 6 legs, antennae, 2 pairs of wings, and pincers protruding from the back of their abdomen. They are typically light to dark brown and ¼-1 inch long.
Behavior: Earwigs were once believed to crawl into a person’s ear when they were sleeping and tunnel into the brain. This has proven to be a myth, and earwigs are generally considered harmless. They spend the winter in ground burrows and will lay their eggs when spring arrives. These baby earwigs will go in search of food and may enter homes. They are attracted to moisture, dust, and leaves. In homes, basements and crawl spaces are the most common places to find earwigs.
Control: Prevent and control earwigs by removing their harborages from around your yard and home. These areas might include: leaf piles, decaying logs or branches, firewood, and damp areas that are shaded from sunlight. It is also important to ensure proper drainage in your yard by cleaning gutters and downspouts and fixing leaky pipes and faucets.
If you are having trouble with spring pests, the experts at GTA Toronto Pest Control are here to help. We offer guaranteed low prices and a 100% satisfaction guarantee. For pest control in Toronto, Vaughan, Brampton, Mississauga, and surrounding areas, contact GTA Toronto Pest Control today.