Springtime is just around the corner which means the welcomed respite from the cold, pleasantly cool days, longer hours of daylight and beautiful blooming flowers. However, it also means the arrival of a number of common spring pests. Rodale's Organic Life handbook reported that carpenter bees, ants and ticks are among the most frequent spring invaders. Here's what you need to know about these bothersome invaders and how to keep them out.
The carpenter bee looks quite similar to the bumble bee and the two are often confused. As opposed to the furry abdomen and yellow markings, carpenter bees have bare, shiny black abdomens and are slightly larger than the bumble bee, according to the University of Kentucky Entomology. Also different are the nesting habits. Carpenter bees overwinter as adults and emerge in the mid- to late-spring. Male carpenter bees will often hover around homes, looking for females to mate with and although they can be aggressive, they are not harmful since they lack stingers. It is the female carpenter bee that you must be wary of as it can cause a painful sting.
Prevention: Carpenter bees prefer wood that is unpainted and weathered. One way to keep them away from the wood furnishing of your home is to coat window sills, eaves and door frames with paint or varnish. Keep garbage cans shut and away from your house.
Although ants aren't much of a problem or nuisance when they're outside, once they've found a way into your home it's a different story. There are several hundred types of ants and more than two dozen that have been classified as pests, according to the National Pest Management Association. Perhaps the most common pest there is, almost every homeowner will experience ants at one time or another in his or her life. Often thought of as harmless, ants are actually capable of damage, food contamination and even biting.
Prevention: Keep all food sources completely closed and sealed. Monitor all plants and tree branches near your home as this can be a means of entry for ants. If the situation gets out of hand, it is best to call your local pest prevention professional.
Ticks are one of the most well-known pests related to illness - Lyme disease. Tiny, small, black and blood-sucking pests, these ticks can really take a toll on one's health. When the weather starts to get warm again in the springtime and people begin to spend more time outside, they're more likely at risk.
Prevention: Rodale's Organic Life advised performing a full body check when you come inside, keeping your grass mowed, using insect repellent and installing a deer fence around your property to keep out the animals that ticks latch onto.