You’ve probably figured out the answer yourself, but many of our customers still ask us, “When is the worst time for house infestations?”

See, house pests thrive off two things – warmth and food. You would think that summer is the worst time for spotting pests. But here’s a secret:

Most pests enter your home in the fall, hibernate during the winter, and come out to play during the spring.

That makes the winter a most critical time for pest infestations. Let us explain.

Bugs don’t like the cold. A main survival tactic for bugs is to bunk up with humans (an attic is far more spacious than a tree log!). Or, they’ll lay their eggs just before winter, and during these months the babies will develop past their immature stages and into adults.

By the time spring rolls around, they’re all grown up and ready to roam. That’s why spring is such a popular time for seeing crawlers around you house.

Below are some pests that are particularly plentiful in the spring. Even seeing a few can be a problem, as a nest probably isn’t far away. These can also cause major structural damage to your home. In 2014, bugs cost an estimated $20mil in damage.

So, if you see these, you’ll want to take action immediately:

Bedbugs

Remember what we said about hibernation? Bed bugs can go up to a year or longer without eating. Once the weather warms, they are eager to go out and feast. In that, they need to sleep within 8 feet of their meal, that being you.

Bedbugs bring two big problems – they spread quickly (females can lay five eggs per day), and they are very resilient. Pest control companies use a variety of ways to eradicate them.

The key though? Early detection.

A trail of ants climbing blades of grass

Ants

Living in Portland, you’ve probably seen two types of ants – carpenter and sugar. Carpenter ants can cause major structural damage to your home, as they can chew through wood.

Sugar ants, while not considered a structural pest, can be a nuisance. There is even a species of ant called an Odorous House ant.  Have you noticed what happens when you step on them? They stink! Some people even say they smell like urine.

The trickiest thing with ants is their reaction to store-bought sprays – many over the counter sprays act as a repellant and can make your situation worse.

Box Elder

Box elder bugs are fortunately not biters, at least not typically. The biggest issue they pose is the stains they leave around your house, like your curtains, clothes and other light surfaces. That’s their feces!  

The exterior of your home is typically the area most visibly affected by box elder bugs. You’ll want to prevent an infestation from happening by sealing all potential entryways. If you detect an infestation, do not handle it yourself. They can invade in numbers so large that people often use vacuum cleaners to try to suck them all up, or bomb affected areas. This is usually a battle that can’t be won.

Rodents

Rats and mice do not hibernate. They do breed less in the winter, which is a good sign, but they are still active.

Spring is when they get busy. For one, this is when they start storing food for winter months. They also start to wander and look for new homes.

Rodents, bed bugs, box elders and ant infestations bring major problems, and you definitely don’t want to wait on tackling these. In some of these cases, handling this yourself can bring on further subsequent damage.

Get started early on prevention or eradication by calling a professional. We know a lot about many bugs out there, and the best ways to get rid of them while still preserving the integrity of your home.

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