As if 2020 wasn’t bad enough with the COVID-19 outbreak, we will be seeing a lot of rodents everywhere in 2021 according to lead Entomologists. With shutdowns across the country, it’s not surprising that rodents are on the rise nationwide. Empty buildings, the lack of food and warmer winters have combined to create a rodent disaster.
“We’re seeing more rats in urban, suburban, and rural settings because of the shutdowns,” said Marc Potzler, Board Certified Entomologist. “Food sources are cut off, and rats are having to travel to scavenge for food. We’ve seen rats out in public during the day, which is highly unusual.” Warmer winters have also allowed for mice populations to expand in residential areas as it allows for a longer breeding season and there is a less population loss due to hard freezes.
“Right now is the perfect time to rodent-proof your home,” said Potzler. “Make sure to repair any gaps on the exterior of your home, such as around garage doors, windows or pipes.”
Also to look out for in 2021 are bed bugs. As people begin to travel again, we will start to see bed bug infestations. Bed bugs can be dormant for several months at a time, so they can emerge when a food source, humans, become available.
Bed bugs are considered hitchhikers, traveling from place to place on people, luggage, clothing and other personal belongings. If traveling, inspect the bed by pulling back the sheets to examine the mattress. Check your luggage before packing and unpacking, and look for signs of living or dead bugs the size of an apple seed.
More Time Outdoors Means More Pests
From hiking to gardening to dining outside, there is no doubt that the pandemic has forced people to spend more time outdoors.
Ticks are responsible for transmitting several diseases, including Lyme disease, to humans and animals. These small insects are found in grassy areas and in the woods, so it is important to inspect yourself and your pets after spending time outdoors. Cover as much skin as possible while outdoors, wear long pants, long sleeves, closed-toed shoes, and tuck pant legs into socks. Light-colored clothing will also help any ticks you pick up stand out.
As soon as the weather starts to warm up, we will see an increase in ant populations according to lead Entomologists. Most of the ants we are dealing with are house ants. When spending time outside, make sure to clean up any food, water or sugary substances and ensure that your home is free of any holes or cracks for them to enter.
Stinging insects, like wasps and yellow jackets, appear at the first sign of warm weather, and as warm weather seasons are getting longer, stinging insects have more time to create problems. Make sure you check for nests early in the spring as they are smaller and get early nest treatment. Make sure to keep windows and doors shut, and secure outside bins so stinging insects are not attracted to them.
Termites are an annoying problem, and unfortunately, are not going anywhere. Termites can cause extensive damage to structures, especially homes. As people are moving out of cities during the pandemic to more suburban areas, education about termite protection is important.
The Brown Marmorated Stink Bug is an invasive pest that has been making its way across the country. Besides its poignant odor, this stink bug has become a nuisance for homeowners as it gathers in large numbers on the sides of houses and buildings and enters through small cracks in the home. We will continue to see this species emerge in late spring in large numbers.
The Spotted Lanternfly will continue to cause problems across the Northeast and more. The invasive pest is spreading across the Northeast. The pest can significantly damage trees and plants.
The famous Murder Hornet also known as the Asian giant hornet, got a lot of attention in the media, causing homeowners to panic trying to distinguish the difference between stinging insects in their yards and this aggressive species. The Asian giant hornet is the largest hornet species in the world, growing up to 3 inches in length. Currently, the Asian giant hornet has only been found in the Pacific Northwest.
Although your chances of being stung by an Asian giant hornet are relatively low, the sting can be dangerous as the venom volume is higher, causing more pain. The hives are primarily built underground or in hollows in trees. If you suspect it is an Asian giant hornet or any stinging pests, call your pest control company like Budget Pest Control to assess the situation as soon as you see activity.
If you suspect you have an infestation, your first step should always be to call a qualified and licensed pest professional like Budget Pest Control. They have the tools and know how to properly identify your pest problem and recommend an appropriate course of treatment. They can also recommend DIY steps to prevent future problems. Contact Budget Pest Control today for a free estimate or more details. 412-318-4912