Thursday, August 23, 2012

Hot, dry summer drives pests indoors

The heat only makes pests more of a problem! Read this article from and remember to call your local Servall Professionals to prevent and get rid of ALL your pest problems!

There was a bright spot in the scorching, parched summer that sent scores of moisture-seeking pests indoors — at least the moles weren't too bad.

But expect them to resurface soon, local pest control experts say, and you may have seen some already. They'll create another headache for homeowners after months of higher-than-normal sightings of critters and insects, including the poisonous brown recluse spider.

"With the lack of water, everything's coming inside," said Rick Isenmann, owner of STL Pest Control. He's received so many calls for service that he has doubled his staff this summer, to four from two.
The summer of pests started early and hasn't let up, he said. Termites usually start swarming in mid- to late April, but this year they started in late February.

"The brown recluses are really bad this year because we really didn't have a winter," Isenmann said of the poisonous spiders, which usually die in cold weather. "It really never got really cold out, and they kept multiplying."

And the insects they rely on as a food source also fared well, meaning the spiders had plenty to eat, he said.
Brown recluses are nothing new — a study found them in about 70 percent of homes that were sampled in the state, according to the University of Missouri Extension. The six-eyed spider typically covers an area about the size of a quarter when standing.

But as their name indicates, they usually stay away from people, which is good. People who are bitten will see a small white blister at the site of the bite, which will swell and become hard to the touch, according to the extension service. The tissue dies and sloughs off, leaving a sunken, ulcerated sore.

This summer's heat drove spiders out of their normal hiding spots when attics became unbearably hot, said Jason Everitt, staff entomologist and technical director for Rottler Pest and Lawn Solutions.
Stinging insects, such as yellow jackets and paper wasps, as well as bald-faced hornets, are also more common, he said.

Last week, Everitt and Shawn Stone, a Rottler residential technician, went to the Ladue home of Mary Dubuque to coat the house with a barrier treatment and to make sure her house is pest-free.

"We don't want to see anything in our house," Dubuque said, adding that her teenage daughters scream at the sight of any bug. This summer, they saw spiders (not brown recluses) in the garage and some silverfish, which are small, wingless insects.

Meanwhile, ants continue to enter houses in search of water, said James Trager, a biologist at Shaw Nature Reserve who researches ants.

Ants are likely to be found around plumbing. The most common type of ant spotted indoors is the odorous house ant, which is black, tiny and fast.

"If you crush one, you find out why they're called odorous. They're quite smelly," Trager said.

And they're tough — they're among the more drought and heat tolerant of the ant species in the area.
The lingering effects of this year's drought on insects down the road could be minimal, said Mike Arduser, natural history biologist with the Missouri Department of Conservation.

"They can recover instantly," he said.

But there's a perk to the dryness — less standing water means fewer places for mosquitoes to breed.
"It has been the most mosquito-free summer I've ever experienced," Arduser said. "And I like it."

As always Servall Termite & Pest Control is here for all of your pest control and home repair needs. Contact us today at one of our four convenient locations or visit!



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