Bug Forecast 2011: Don’t Get Bugged Out
Termites, ants and other pests thrive in moist conditions, and they’re expected to be especially prevalent across America this spring. Just how bad your pest problem will be this spring depends on several factors, including the region where you live and your most recent weather. To help potential insect victims, Dr. Bob Davis, Entomologist and a Scientist at BASF, the world’s largest chemical company, recently released a video at (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yHeOmNxgU_g) providing an outlook for America’s pest problem.
In the video, Dr. Bob discusses the following:
• The “Bug Forecast” in your city – what bug activity to expect and not expect this spring – including termites, ants, bed bugs, ticks and fleas
• Preventing the threat of a bug invasion in your home or yard regardless of the “Bug Forecast” in your area
• Checking your home and yard for insect infestations
• The warning signs and costs of a termite-infested home – according to the University of Georgia, termites cost Americans over $1 billion annually
• How to stop ants from marching into your home
Additionally, Dr. Bob offers the following pest outlook by U.S. region:
• Termites - The threat of termite infestations could intensify this spring with some forecasts predicting average-to-higher temperatures and a season of intermittent rains with warming temperatures; conditions that are ideal for termites. Termite swarms occur when winged termites leave the nest to form new colonies – often right after a rainfall. But termites also can reproduce right in their own nests. In fact, during years of reduced swarms, a single subterranean termite colony might split into multiple smaller ones underground, Davis said.
• Ants - With its hot, humid summers and temperate winters, the South offers ideal conditions for a wide range of pests, including many species of ants. Ant populations are expected to grow across the South this spring, bolstered by an influx of feisty foreign invaders. For example, the “Caribbean crazy ant” had only recently been seen in Texas, but has already begun to spread to multiple counties in Southeast Texas and may now be in the neighboring state of Louisiana. These ants are aggressive enough to drive out the native ants.
• Termites - One frequent menace is the Western subterranean termite. This native pest can enter structures through cracks less than one-sixteenth of an inch wide, including the tiny openings in concrete slabs, around drainpipes, and between the slab and a home’s foundation. Swarming can occur in the spring, but smaller swarms may occur throughout the summer and fall.
• Ants - The wet conditions also will create a field day for ants, including the highly invasive Argentine ant, whose massive colonies can be found along the West Coast and parts of the Eastern and Gulf Coast states. Also, Red imported fire ants have invaded parts of the West, expanding their range every year. They are extremely resilient and have adapted so well that they can survive both floods and droughts. Fire ants are known to become ferocious if their nests are disturbed, and their painful bite carries venom that can be lethal to some individuals.
• Termites - Moisture increases the odds for termite invasions, especially in Midwestern states such as Missouri, Iowa, Ohio, Indiana and Illinois. The southern parts of the Northern states, such as Wisconsin and Minnesota, may also see increased termite threats, particularly from the Eastern subterranean termite – the most common and widely distributed termite in North America. This native pest feeds on cellulose materials, including structural wood, wood fixtures, paper, books and cotton, and will even attack the roots of shrubs and trees.
• Ants - In the colder northern-tier states, carpenter ants are a greater threat to homeowners. Carpenter ants – which are one of the larger ant species in the United States – prefer to nest in trees next to homes, but they’ll come inside to nest if they can’t find enough wood outside. Another threat is the invasive “odorous house ant,” so named because it smells like a rotten coconut if it’s smashed. Indoor nests can be found in wet areas, such as bath traps, under toilets, in wall voids near hot water pipes or heaters, and in crevices around sinks and cupboards.
• Termites & Ants - Common culprits include the Eastern subterranean termite and the black carpenter ant.
• Bed Bugs - Though we can’t blame weather patterns for this one, another pest that continues to attract headlines along the East Coast is the bed bug. Once believed to be virtually eliminated from the United States, this ancient enemy is back and New York, Cincinnati and other Midwestern to Eastern cities have been especially hit hard. Scientists aren’t exactly sure why, but they suspect one cause is the rise in international travel to countries where bed bugs are still prevalent.
Get informed and take precautions to ensure you don’t become the next bug victim. To learn more about the Bug Forecast for 2011 and view the video visit http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yHeOmNxgU_g, The Ant Institute at http://www.antinstitute.com/ or The Termite Institute at www.termiteinstitute.com.
Tags: Termites , Ants , Bedbugs , Fleas , Forecast , Infestation , Exterminator , Bugs , Bug Forecast , Dr. Bob Davis
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