The Ultimate Guide to Seasonal Pests in Tallahassee
November 29, 2022
You may know that Tallahassee is a hot spot for pests. But do you know when they’re most active? Depending on the season, certain pests are more likely to come out of the dark and enter your home.
While all of these pests can be found year-round, there are certain times of the year where the fluctuations in temperature lead to more infestations.
Keep reading for our seasonal guide to pests in Tallahassee.
Fall & Winter
For many people, the last pests they want to find in their homes are spiders. Unfortunately, they just might have other plans this winter!
But it’s not because of the cooler weather. Winter is actually mating season for spiders, and they’ll often go inside homes looking for their perfect match. This means if you find one spider, there could very likely be another spider hiding from you.
Are Spiders Dangerous?
While your gut reaction to seeing spiders may be to run away screaming, you are likely much more dangerous than the spider in front of you. Very few spiders are harmful, and your reaction is more related to disgust than the actual presence of danger.
Winter is just the time when rodents like rats and mice like to crawl into your home and find refuge in the attic. The most common ways rodents get into homes are through electrical wiring, cracks, holes, and gaps in your foundation, the garage door sweep, and through the chimney.
The best way to prevent rodents is to keep them out of the above entry points. This is a process called exclusion, which can also be done by a pest control company. The best materials to use for rodent exclusions are steel and copper mesh, steel hardware cloth, concrete, mortar, and caulk.
Little fleas can’t survive in temperatures below 46.4 degrees F, and they don’t hibernate, so they need a place to go. Their best option is to catch some warmth on your furry friend!
You’ll find that more of your pets have fleas during the holiday season, and you might even catch some flea bites yourself. This means it’s extra important to ensure your pets are on flea (and tick) medication, and that you’re watching for potential signs of fleas and flea bites.
Signs Your Dog or Cat Has Fleas
- Your pet is scratching more than usual.
- You see teeny tiny specs on their fur–this can be the fleas themselves or flea dirt (flea-digested blood).
- Little red bumps on your friend’s skin
A pest we all know quite well. Ants are most comfortable in temperatures between 75 and 95 degrees, and as Tallahassee reaches regular high temperatures of 68 degrees and lows of 40 degrees, they need a solution.
And the solution is your home! Common ants in Tallahassee like ghost ants, sugar ants, pavement ants, big headed ants, acrobat ants, and pharaoh ants see your home as the great escape from the chilly winter.
I mean, imagine if you had to live outside all winter long. While it may not be the worst winter in the world, you would probably get pretty cold during some nights.
Now imagine being a practically microscopic ant. They may be the strongest insects, but they sure aren’t invincible.
How to Keep Ants Out During the Fall & Winter
- Ensure your foundation has no ant-friendly openings. Check for gaps around windows, and holes and cracks on your foundation (use caulk to seal ‘em up).
- Keep up with sweeping and mopping the floors and cleaning your kitchen counters to avoid attracting ants.
- Keep that cookie jar closed! Make sure all food is in airtight containers.
- Try using citrus smelling cleaning sprays to repel ants, or light herbal or citrus candles (only do this if you don’t have an ant problem in your home).
Silverfish are little outliers, considering they aren’t warm-blooded like many pests. They don’t change their internal temperature, so as it cools down, they enter an anti-freeze state called diapause to handle the weather.
This means they don’t need to hibernate during the winter, and while in your home, they don’t have to search for the coldest spots.
How Do I Prevent Silverfish in the Winter?
To prevent silverfish in the winter, use a dehumidifier. Since silverfish love moisture, making your home drier will make it unfriendly to these tiny bugs.
Also keep starchy foods sealed up–oats, cereals, flours, and sugars are just a few examples of their favorite foods, so be sure to protect your pantry from silverfish.
Subterranean termites are the most common species of termites you’ll encounter in Tallahassee. These termites live underground, so when winter comes, they simply dig deeper in the ground to find warmth from the cold.
When spring comes, they climb right back up, still underground but closer to the surface. Using mud tubes, they can reach the food (wood) in your home.
Drywood termites are uncommon in Tallahassee because since they live above ground, they’re unable to survive the cooler weather of the winter. This is why they typically live in hotter climates like in South Florida.
Similar to termites, ticks usually live underground or in dens for the winter. Spring is when they get back out on the terrain and get ready to hunt for blood.
How to Prevent Tick Bites
- Make sure pets are on tick medication
- Wear tick repellent when in wooded areas
- Mow your lawn frequently and keep leaves raked
- Put a barrier of wood chips or around patios, playhouses, and between your lawn and wooded areas, about 3 feet wide.
While you may just associate ticks with camping and hiking, you can find them anywhere in Tallahassee. So whether you’re going on a walk at Lafayette Heritage Trail or a shopping spree at Railroad Square Art District, there’s still always a chance you could get a tick bite.
And although you definitely don’t need to apply tick repellent to go shopping, you should still always be on the lookout for any hitchhikers.
- Yellow jackets
Why Are Stinging Insects in My Yard?
Stinging insects are usually around due to standing water sources, like untreated swimming pools and ornamental ponds, and food sources like pollen in your yard.
Your yard could also be the perfect place for stinging insects to nest. We often find that if nests are not on the foundation of the home, they’re on trees. Trimming back tree branches can help reduce options for these insects to nest.
You can reduce standing water by bringing inside or regularly emptying items that pool water like toys and potted plants. Remember to replace bird bath water frequently and cleaning out gutters to prevent them from clogging and pooling water.
Mosquitoes are similar to the above category, except they bite humans instead of sting. The reaction is not painful as much as it is irritating and itchy.
To remove mosquitoes from your yard, follow the same tips as above. The main element that’s different is that mosquitoes don’t form nests like bees and wasps do, you mainly need to worry about where they lay eggs: In water.
So make sure to remove those standing water sources! This practice is your best ally at preventing mosquitoes this summer.
Bed bugs are indoor pests, so unlike most of the other pests we’ve talked about, they’re able to survive through the winter.
However, they’re huge fans of the higher temps, and they give them a bit more energy. So during the summer, they’ll be more active, wanting to feed and breed more.
How Do You Prevent Bed Bugs in the Summer?
The first step to bed bug prevention is awareness. Know the signs of bed bugs and common hiding spots so you can be prepared to act if you find them in your home.
If you have an infestation, you can find bed bugs anywhere in your home such as in crevices of furniture, behind picture frames, and in mattresses, box springs, headboards and footboards.
You should also watch out for bites–bed bugs will bite in small clusters. Look for clusters of tiny red dots, or blood to identify bed bug bites. They often bite at night, so it’s common to find them upon waking up.
It’s important to wash bedding to prevent bed bugs. Also regularly inspect laundry hampers and baskets, as they can lay eggs in them.
Year-Round Pest Control in Tallahassee
While pests may be active during some seasons more than others, pest control is a year-round process. Rodents, spiders, fleas, ants, silverfish, termites, ticks, stinging insects, mosquitoes, and bed bugs can all be found during any time of the year.
Native Pest Management has year-round pest control treatment plans. Our general home pest control services ants, cockroaches, millipedes, silverfish, and pantry pests.
We will come to your house quarterly to eliminate the pests in your home and apply preventative treatments. The beauty of this service is that it saves you all the time and money you could spend on trying and potentially failing to get rid of these pests yourself.
We also recommend that you request an annual termite inspection. Termites are the most costly pest in the world, so you may be saving yourself tens of thousands of dollars by catching termite evidence early.
Native Pest Management is all about prevention, a.k.a arguably the most important part of pest control. Even if you don’t have pests in your home, you can still act now by setting up a preventative treatment plan, or scheduling an inspection for termites or rodents.
Call us today to set up your treatment plan or schedule your free inspection!