Spring is springing in the Treasure Valley and it is a beautiful time. It also means the bugs will be coming out from their hiding places…possibly into your home. Because we had such a mild winter this year, it is likely that we will be seeing more bugs than last year. Here are the common pests that you might encounter as it warms.
Box Elder Beetle. We have lots of box elder trees in the valley and they come with their own beetle. These beetles are in search the warm surfaces of south and western facing areas. They are harmless, but can get mettlesome by numbers, covering entire surfaces of buildings and decks.
Ants. Spring is when they begin to emerge. They are generally harmless, but quite irritating. Though they tend to stay outside, they do come inside and will stay if it’s warm and definitely make your home theirs if there is any trace of food available. Keep your counter surfaces and cabinets clean and food in air tight containers. If that doesn’t work, ant traps may be necessary. After that, a professional may have to deal with the infestation.
Mosquitoes. If you ever doubt the power of an individual, one mosquito can ruin your sleep. They are annoying and can be quite troublesome with the potential of carrying and spreading sickness. Mosquitoes tend to be a more noticeable problem in areas near water. There are many repellents available. Essential oil blends are often very effective and generally safe for pets.
Earwigs. These insects are rarely harmful to humans, despite their menacing appearance. They generally prefer the outside, hiding in damp places, such as under rocks, mulch, or debris piles. They eat other insects, as well as decaying matter, which is why you often see them under cardboard and debris. To keep them out of your home, keep at least 1 ft space between landscaping mulch and grass and the foundation of your building; keep your home warm and dry (they prefer damp and wet), and don’t leave any pet food or water bowls outside overnight.
Spiders. Striking fear into the hearts of people round the world with their creepy crawly ways, spiders may not be your favorite. Most spiders are harmless and truly are more scared of you than you are of them (really). However, in the summer even black widows and hobo spiders might make their way into your home. Spiders are generally more solitary animals and more common in areas with construction. Again, essential oils in the corners and doorways can prevent them from coming in. The internet abounds with other ideas of varying intensity, as well.
Flies. From spring until fall, with a climax in September, the flies will fly…and pester you. Harmless, except for the toll on mental sanity, flies are more or less a pest to live with. Keeping food covered and areas clean, window screens in good repair are the best prevention from attracting more. Fly paper can also help to catch those that do get in.
You are the solution…at least the first part. Most lease terms include “normal insect control” as part of your responsibility to maintain the property you live in. (You can find it in your lease with Prestige Property Management in Item 37.) You must do your due diligence to make sure your cabinets and counters are clean and not inviting insects or other critters with crumbs or spills. Also, see if you can find where the pests are coming in so that you can work to stop their access to your space. Then, get out your bug spray, fly swatter, or shoe and control the pest. (Click here for some natural pest control ideas.)
One bug is not necessarily a sign of infestation, but you don’t want the problem to continue without treatment. Let your landlord know if any screens have holes or tears that are letting bugs in so that the screens can be repaired. If your bug problem persists after you have done your due diligence to make sure your area is clean and normal insect abatement has not worked, then call your property management company to have a professional come and take care of the problem.
We are partners in the care of the property and resources for each other to ensure your comfort. We’ve made it easy for you to let us know of an issue that needs to be addressed! Just go to the Tenants page on our website and make a maintenance request. We’re here for you.