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Spring Pest Series: Watch Out for These!

Long autumns and milder-than-usual winters make for happy humans, but unfortunately they also make for a bug-heavy spring. As the weather warms up, insects warm up too, emerging on spring days both inside and outside your home. You might come across some unwelcome critters as you’re doing spring cleaning and yard clean up. Here are two bugs commonly found in our area to watch out for this spring:

Boxelder Bugs

Boxelder bugs are very common in Chicago and the surrounding suburban areas. These half-inch, oval-shaped bugs are black with three red-orange stripes behind their heads. Chances are you’ll find them on trees, rocks, woodpiles, and other structures. On nice days they like to sun themselves on warm exterior walls. They also like to sneak into your house through vents, around window frames, beneath siding, or any other tiny crack.

While these bugs may look scary, they rarely bite. The bigger threat is the mess they make. Their feces stain carpet, walls, and fabrics, and a smashed bug gives off a pretty foul odor. They wake up in late winter and early spring and start looking for food. Boxelder trees are their favorite, although they’ll occasionally feed on other plants and trees as well.

Springtails

Much smaller than boxelder bugs but no less annoying are tiny springtails. These one-eighth-inch long, grayish-white insects have no problem slipping through the smallest of foundation cracks or other gaps in your home. They’re motivated to move in when the soil gets too wet or too dry outside. They are good climbers and are attracted to bright lights. They may also come in through pipes and drains or even in the soil of potted plants.

Springtails are found in abundance in soil and there can be tens of thousands of them per cubic foot in your yard. They like to ‘travel in groups’ and will likely enter your home in large numbers. However, they often die quickly indoors as they lack the necessary humidity and food for survival and can be vacuumed up.

Spring is a good time to work to prevent these and other invaders from entering your home. Try to seal any cracks around windows or in your foundation. Remove any standing water, wood piles, or debris that may be near the house. For the best prevention possible, call the professionals at Pointe Pest Control. Our highly-trained technicians will eliminate any existing insects and protect your home from future invaders by establishing safe and effective barriers. Call us today.