By Scott Bloom, Senior Property Manager and Owner, Columbia Property Management
Spring is a time of new beginnings, but it can also bring unwelcome visitors into your home – pests like ants, crickets, and other insects. As the weather changes, these creatures are often on the move, looking for food, water, and shelter. If you’re seeing them show up inside, don’t lay out the yellow brick road for them. You can take some simple steps to keep these pests out.
Ants are one of the most common springtime pests. They, along with cockroaches, can enter your home through even the tiniest cracks and crevices and once they find a food source, they can quickly become a nuisance.
According to the National Pest Management Association, ants are most active in the spring and summer months, as temperatures warm up and they become more active. And they found that 63% of pest control professionals consider cockroaches to be a problem in the spring.
Other pests that may be a problem in the spring include termites, spiders, and stink bugs. Termites can cause significant damage to your home if left untreated, so it’s important to watch for signs of an infestation, such as mud tubes or wood damage, and get a quality pest control company out ASAP. Otherwise, you may be treated to the horror of a termite swarm indoors. If you’ve never seen this, it is like watching a horror film of seemingly never-ending streams of insects coming out of the woodwork.
Spiders can be a nuisance, but most are harmless. Stink bugs are not harmful to humans, but they can emit a foul odor when disturbed or crushed (hence the name). Stink bugs are attracted to light and warmth, and often enter homes and buildings through small gaps and cracks in windows, doors, and walls. Once inside, they may congregate in large numbers on walls, ceilings, and other surfaces.
Controlling stink bugs can be a challenge, as they are resistant to many conventional pesticides. Prevention is often the best approach.
It takes more than clicking your heels three times to slow the roll of insects and other pests. So here are some tips to keep control of insects inside your home.
- Seal up any cracks and crevices. Use caulk or weatherstripping to seal any gaps around doors, windows, and pipes.
- Keep your home clean. Pests are attracted to food and water, so make sure to clean up spills and crumbs and fix any leaks.
- Store food properly. Keep food in sealed containers, and don’t leave pet food out overnight.
- Use traps and baits. Store-bought traps and baits can be effective in controlling ants and other pests. Place them where the entry points are, and replace them regularly. Often with ants, they will dissipate after a few weeks.
- Contract a pest control company or exterminator, if necessary. If you are a renter, contact your landlord or property management company to let them know as well. In some cases, they should be covering that expense.
Ultimately, even though pests like ants, cockroaches, termites, and other insects can be a problem in the spring, there are steps you can take to keep them out of your home. By sealing up cracks and crevices, keeping your home clean, storing food properly, and using traps and baits, you can reduce the likelihood of an infestation. If the problem persists, contact an exterminator or request pest control services from your landlord or property management company.
- National Pest Management Association: Ants. https://www.pestworld.org/pest-guide/ants
- National Pest Management Association. (2019). Spring Bug Barometer https://www.pestworld.org/multimedia-center/infographics/2019-springsummer-bug-barometer-infographic
- National Pest Management Association: Cockroaches. https://www.pestworld.org/pest-guide/cockroaches
- National Pest Management Association: Termites. https://www.pestworld.org/pest-guide/termites
*This article was written with the assistance of AI technology, and the final version was fully edited by Scott Bloom.
Scott Bloom, Owner and Senior Property Manager,
Columbia Property Management
Bloom founded Columbia Property Management in 2012. CPM’s goal is to provide a powerful, personal level of service to our clients. We focus on smaller landlords, professionally managing their assets, so they can succeed by investing in rental real estate.
Scott is an active member in multiple professional organizations including the National Association of Residential Property Managers (NARPM) and serves on the property management committee of Greater Capital Area Association of REALTORS® (GCAAR).
For more information and resources, go to www.ColumbiaPM.com