Afraid of Rodents and Bugs? 2021 May Not Be Your Year

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Entomologists from Pest Defense Solutions’ parent company, Rentokil Provide their Pest Predictions for 2021

READING, Penn. (Jan. 4, 2021) — As if 2020 didn’t present enough challenges during the COVID-19 pandemic, 2021 could be a banner year for pests around the country.

To help residents prepare for 2021, entomologists from Rentokil used field knowledge and data to provide their predictions for pests in the upcoming year.

1. Rodents, Rodents Everywhere:

With shutdowns across the country, it’s no surprise that rodents are on the rise nationwide. Empty buildings, the scarcity of food and warmer winters have combined to create a rodent apocalypse.

“We’re seeing more rats in urban, suburban and rural settings because of the shutdowns,” said Marc Potzler, Board Certified Entomologist. “Food sources are cut off, and rats are having to travel to scavenge for food. We’ve seen rats out in public during the day, which is highly unusual.”

Warmer winters have also allowed for mice populations to boom in residential areas as it allows for a longer breeding season and there is a lower population loss due to hard freezes.

“Right now is the perfect time to rodent-proof your home,” said Potzler. “Make sure to repair any gaps on the exterior of your home, such as around garage doors, windows or pipes.”

2. Mosquitoes on the Move:

Mosquitoes populations have been increasing over the last few years. Aedes species, which are disease-carrying mosquitoes, are also moving to new areas. These mosquitoes can carry West Nile Virus, Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE) and Zika virus, among other diseases.

“There is an increase of mosquitoes across the country, but notably on the West Coast, and they are adapting each year,” said Eric Sebring, Associate Certified Entomologist. “We have seen evidence of behavior adaptation, where mosquitoes lay their eggs strategically to hatch throughout the season.”

Protect yourself and your family from mosquitoes by removing any standing water on your property. Mosquitoes can breed in as little as one teaspoon of water. Also, wear EPA-approved insect repellent while spending time outside.

3. Bed Bugs:

The chatter about bed bugs was quiet in 2020, but that’s not because they have gone away.

“As people begin to travel again, we will start to hear about bed bug infestations,” said Sebring. “Bed bugs can be dormant for several months at a time, so they can emerge when a food source, humans, become available.”

Bed bugs are considered hitchhikers, traveling from place to place on people, luggage, clothing and other personal belongings. Homeowners and businesses such as hotels, colleges, hospitals, senior living facilities, retail stores, and libraries have experienced problems with bed bugs.

If traveling, inspect the bed by pulling back the sheets to examine the mattress. Check your luggage before packing and unpacking, and look for signs of living or dead bugs the size of an apple seed or black fecal smears.

4. More Time Outdoors = More Pests.

From hiking to gardening to dining al fresco, there is no doubt that the pandemic has forced people to spend more time outdoors.

In 2021, we will see the outdoor pest pressures continue:

Ticks: Ticks are responsible for transmitting several diseases, including Lyme disease, to humans and animals. These small insects are found in grassy areas and in the woods, so it is important to inspect yourself and your pets after spending time outdoors. Cover as much skin as possible while outdoors, wear long pants, long sleeves, closed-toed shoes, and tuck pant legs into socks. Light-colored clothing will also help any ticks you pick up stand out.

Ants: “As soon as the weather starts to warm up, we will see an increase in ant populations,” said Tom Dobrinska, Board Certified Entomologist. “Most of the ants we are dealing with are odorous house ants. When spending time outside, make sure to clean up any food, water or sugary substances and ensure that your home is free of any holes or cracks for them to enter.”

Stinging Insects: Stinging insects, such as wasps and yellow jackets, emerge at the first sign of warm weather, and as warm weather seasons are getting longer, stinging insects have more time to create issues. Make sure you check for nests early in the spring as they are smaller and get early nest treatment. Make sure to keep windows and doors shut, and secure outside bins so stinging insects are not attracted to the contents.

5. Termites Aren’t Going Anywhere

Termites are a pesky problem, and unfortunately, are not going anywhere. Termites can cause extensive damage to structures, especially homes. As people are moving out of cities during the pandemic to more suburban areas, education about termite protection is key.

“We received more calls for termites this past year than we have in many years,” said Potzler. “It’s important to raise awareness for homeowners now to have proactive protection to keep from costly repairs in the future.”

6. Pests in the News:

There are a few pests that will continue to steal the limelight in 2021.

The Brown Marmorated Stink Bug is an invasive pest that has been making its way across the country since it was first introduced from Asia in 2001. Besides its pungent odor, this stink bug has become a nuisance for homeowners as it gathers in large numbers on the sides of houses and buildings and enters through small cracks in the home. “The brown marmorated stink bug is here to stay,” said Dobrinska. “We will continue to see this species emerge in late spring in large numbers.”

The Spotted Lanternfly will continue to wreak havoc across the Northeast and beyond. The invasive pest, first found in Pennsylvania in 2014, is spreading across the Northeast, with New York reporting its first sighting this year. The pest can significantly damage trees and plants.

“The Spotted Lanternfly is becoming a big problem in the Northeast, and it will continue to spread,” said Potzler. “It can be devastating for agriculture and is a nuisance for homeowners.”

The egg masses look like a smear of mud on trees and outside of homes. It’s important to scrape the egg mass off, put it in a bag with rubbing alcohol and throw it away, and then call the state department of agriculture.

The infamous “Murder Hornet,” also known as the Asian giant hornet, grabbed many headlines, causing homeowners to panic trying to decipher the difference between stinging insects in their yards and this aggressive species. The Asian giant hornet is the largest hornet species in the world, growing up to 3 inches in length. Currently, the Asian giant hornet has only been found in the Pacific Northwest.

“We know that there was one colony found and eliminated in Washington State,” said Sebring. “Unfortunately, if there is one, there will be more.”

While your chances of being stung by an Asian giant hornet are fairly low, the sting can be dangerous as the venom volume is higher, causing more pain. The hives are primarily built underground or in hollows in trees. If you suspect it is an Asian giant hornet or any stinging pests, call your pest management provider to assess the situation as soon as you spot activity.

What is Pest Seasonality?

Ants are a common seasonal pest in Albuquerque NM - Pest Defense Solutions

Here in Albuquerque NM, we deal with pest problems all year long. Of course, spring and summer sees an increase in pest activity, but pests are active in the fall and winter months as well. Pest seasonality is a term used to describe pest activity in fall, winter, spring, and summer. In order to better prepare yourself for an infestation, it’s important to know what pests are most common during different parts of the year. Following information released by the NPMA, the team at Pest Defense Solutions is here to share need-to-know info on pest seasonality in our area.

Pests in the Fall and Winter Months

Our mild and wet summer may mean a longer mosquito and tick season that may last through the fall months. Because we don’t experience the harsh cold winters that many parts of the country do, we can expect to deal with pest infestations through the winter months. One of the biggest pest threats this time of year is rodents, who will seek out shelter indoors this time of year. Ants and cockroaches may also find a way inside to seek out moisture that they may be lacking outside.

Winter pests in the South Central United States map
Rodent
Fly
Mosquito
Ant
Cockroach

Spring & Summer Pests in Albuquerque

Every spring and summer, you can expect pest activity to rise again. Our weather encourages all types of pests to reproduce and thrive throughout most of the year. Here’s the ones to look out for:

  • Flies. While mostly a nuisance, fly populations boom in the summertime and can quickly ruin your outdoor events.
  • Stinging insects. Bees, wasps, and hornets will construct nests near residential properties and can be a threat to families.
  • Termites. Our climate is a haven for termites, who swarm in the spring and are at full force in the summertime.
  • Mosquitoes. Mosquitoes lay a lot of eggs in standing water during the summer months, which is when they’re most problematic.

Pest Seasonality Prevention and Control

No matter what season it is, you don’t want to deal with a pest problem. The best way to prevent seasonal pests is to work with a professional pest control company that can protect you year-round. At Pest Defense Solutions, our exterminators will work with you to determine a custom pest control plan suited to the unique needs of your home.

6 Tips to Prevent Pests in Your Patio

Tips to stay pest-free in your Albuquerque NM backyard - Pest Defense Solutions

Whether you’ve had mosquitoes near your pond or ants covering your barbecue area, you know how frustrating pests in your backyard can be. This time of year, you’re likely looking to spend as much time outdoors before the weather and time changes. Pests can quickly ruin your time spent outside, which is why it’s so important to learn how to make your property less attractive to pests in the first place. At Pest Defense Solutions, we know that pest problems are common year-round here in Albuquerque. With our commitment to ensuring our customers are pest-free both inside and outside their homes, we’re sharing our top tips to prevent pests in your patio.

Tips & Tricks to Prevent Pests in Your Backyard

Pests can be a nuisance, but they can be dangerous, too. Mosquitoes, ticks, and stinging insects are three of the most common pest problems in backyards this time of year. To help pest-proof your property, implement the following tips:

  • Trim your lawn and shrubs. Overgrown grass or vegetation provides mosquitoes and ticks with shelter.
  • Learn to identify ant mounds and wasp nests. Even the tiniest nest can contain thousands of stinging insects.
  • Check wood structures. Termites and carpenter bees will damage your wooden decks or porches.
  • Remove standing water. Mosquitoes only need a half inch of standing water to breed.
  • Use an insect repellent. Insect repellent containing DEET will help repel mosquitoes and ticks.
  • Clean your patio or space regularly. Crumbs or spilled liquids will attract ants and other insects.

Pests to Lookout For in Your Outdoor Living Space

If you have an outdoor living space, you can be sure pests are going to explore it! Many pests are a nuisance to deal with, but a few can be more dangerous for you and your family. The pests you’ll see in your yard are mosquitoes, stinging insects (bees, wasps, and hornets), ants, spiders, ticks, fleas, and flies. Ticks and mosquitoes are especially concerning for their ability to transmit dangerous diseases to humans. For this reason, always be cautious about pests in your backyard and enlist the help of a professional when needed.

How to Get Rid of Pest Infestations in Your Backyard

Whether you have spotted a nest forming on your deck, an ant-hill near your garden, or mosquitoes breeding nearby, it’s best to contact your local exterminator for help with existing pest problems. At Pest Defense Solutions, we are dedicated to providing you with pest-free outdoor living. Contact us today to learn more!

Is COVID-19 Transmitted by Mosquitoes?

Mosquitoes do not transmit coronavirus. Pest Defense Solutions in Albuqueque NM

In the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, the team at Pest Defense Solutions is prioritizing the health and safety of our communities here in Albuquerque NM. New data is being released every hour about the nature of this virus, but there are still a lot of questions about who and what spreads COVID-19. We’ve seen a lot of inquiries about the possibility of mosquitoes playing a role in the spread. As of now, the CDC sites no evidence to date that suggests that mosquitoes and ticks are transmitting the coronavirus. These insects may be vectors for some of the world’s worst diseases. Thankfully, coronavirus is not one of them. Keep reading to learn more.

Infectious Diseases & Insects

There is currently no scientific evidence that mosquitoes and ticks transmit COVID-19. From what we know from the CDC, COVID-19 is likely being spread from person to person. This most likely happens from droplets from saliva or nasal discharge, often generated when an infected person sneezes or coughs. It can also be transmitted via contact with a contaminated surface and is increasingly considered to be an airborne virus. From what we know, coronavirus is best avoided by avoiding contact with infected persons. The diseases transmitted by mosquitoes and ticks are different, making it important to learn how.

How do Mosquitoes & Ticks Spread Diseases?

Ticks, fleas, and mosquitoes are vectors for infectious diseases, meaning they are organisms that transmit diseases to humans through bites. Ticks and mosquitoes are infamous for their roles in the transmission of historically deadly diseases around the world. It’s important to know what diseases these two insects can cause:

  1. Mosquitoes transmit a number of extremely dangerous diseases, from malaria and Zika virus to West Nile virus, chikungunya, yellow fever, and more.
  2. Ticks transmit Lyme disease, which is currently the most common vector-borne disease in the United States.
  3. If these vector pests feed off a diseased host, they can transmit pathogens that will infect other hosts it subsequently bites. This is how humans are exposed to the diseases mentioned above.

Pest Defense Solutions is Here for You

Thankfully, you don’t have to worry about mosquitoes transmitting COVID-19. Regardless of the pandemic, pest problems are still abound in our communities. It’s increasingly important to take caution in the presence of pests and to always enlist the help of a professional exterminator to prevent dangerous insects. Our team is proud to continue being able to provide essential pest control services during these trying times.

With information about COVID-19 changing every day, we want to encourage our customers to seek more information and follow guidelines released by the WHO and the CDC to better navigate this pandemic.

6 Important Pests of 2020

2020 pests to look out for in your Albuquerque NM home this year - Pest Defense Solutions

Hindsight may be 20/20, but when it comes to protecting your family and home against pests this year, you can be proactive with the help of Pest Defense Solutions. We are helping homeowners prepare for the upcoming pest season by offering insight into anticipated pest activity.

At Pest Defense Solutions, we have examined trends, company data and our own field experiences to determine the following six pest predictions. Additionally, we have provided preventative tips to help keep your home pest-free this year.


Mosquitoes

Disease-spreading mosquitoes, such as the yellow fever mosquito and the Asian tiger mosquito, have recently surged in some Western states. These mosquitoes, as well as the common house mosquito, spread diseases such as the Zika virus, West Nile virus, and Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE). A bite from a mosquito can also spread the parasite that causes heartworm in pets.

Homeowner Tips: West Nile virus and other mosquito-borne diseases, can increase with rising populations. And, mosquitoes only need one tablespoon of water to lay their eggs! To protect yourself and your family, dispose of any standing water around your home and always wear an EPA-approved insect repellent when spending any time outdoors.


Rats

Rat populations have increased over the past several years, and this may be partly due to warmer than usual winters. We can expect to see that trend continue as rodent populations, especially in suburban areas, increase. Warmer winters, a booming construction pipeline, lack of sanitation control, and lack of affordable housing are all issues that have advanced the swell of recent rat activity.

Homeowner Tips: To prevent rodents from entering your home, utilize the following prevention tips: Keep shrubs and trees cut back from home, especially thick ground cover that can serve as hiding places for rats. Ensure that trees do not overhang, touching the roof of your home. Seal any exterior openings larger than a nickel with rodent-proof material such as hardware cloth or flashing. Finally, seal and tie trash bags, placing them into garbage cans with tight-fitting lids.


Termites

Termites are one of the most destructive pests, causing homeowners in the United States $6 billion in property damages each year. These wood-destroying pests are a constant challenge for homeowners in the Western U.S., and this year, termites could prove to be even more damaging. The experts at Pest Defense Solutions have seen an increase in activity from subterranean and dampwood termites in many areas this year.

Homeowner Tips: Earth-to-wood contact provides an avenue for termites to enter homes and structures. To deter termites, eliminate soil to wood contact and avoid moisture accumulations near your homes’ foundation. Termites can be present for years before homeowners ever see signs of their activity, causing considerable and costly damage. Avoid these costs by having a termite protection plan in place. Speak to your pest control provider about risk and protection options for your home.


Cockroaches

Cockroach populations have increased dramatically over the past several years, due in large part to warmer weather and increased rainfall. Cockroaches carry diseases, infest stored food, and then spread these diseases through their excrement. Cockroach removal is vital as infestations can be serious if not taken care of in a timely manner.

Homeowner Tips: To deter an infestation, cockroach-proof your home by sealing small cracks and crevices around windows and door frames with a silicone-based caulk. Keep a clean kitchen, sweeping, mopping and wiping up any spills. Check that door seals, including the one on your garage, are in place and intact. If you’re experiencing cockroach problems, speak with your pest control professional to determine the best solution for your home.


Flies

If you have noticed more flies this past year, you are not alone. Although they’re more active in the summer, house flies reproduce year-round. Filth flies – house flies, bottle flies, flesh flies – generally live and breed near human habitats and their numbers have increased in recent years. Increasing population density, waste management practices that haven’t kept pace with growth, and a general trend toward a warming climate for the fly pressure all contribute to increasing this disease-spreading insect.

Homeowner Tips: The house fly and other types of “filth flies” are not only nuisance pests; they also have the potential to spread the disease to humans and animals. To protect yourself and your family, repair any damaged screens on windows and doors. Keep trash stored away from your home and make sure that all trash cans have tight-fitting lids.


Spiders

Spiders are carnivores, eating other insects and thriving in wet environments. Increased moisture leads to an increase in the insects that spiders eat as a food resource. Heavy rain and warmer temperatures have created the perfect conditions for insects and spiders to flourish. Although beneficial for our ecosystem, most people prefer spiders to stay outside where they belong.

Homeowner Tips: To keep spiders out of your home, keep food put away in tightly sealed storage containers. This will help eliminate ants, roaches and other pests, which will leave spiders with no food source. If the thought of spiders lurking is alarming, try changing your white outdoor light bulbs to yellow light bulbs, which attract fewer insects that can serve as food for the spiders. There are a few species of spiders that can live indoors and need to be controlled by spider removal experts.


The experts at Pest Defense Solutions agree that a proactive approach can help eliminate pest issues before they appear. With these pest predictions in mind, take time to evaluate your current pest control plan and make sure that you have the protection you need to protect yourself and your family from pests this year.