Hindsight may be 20/20, but when it comes to pests this year, Ehrlich Pest Control is looking into its crystal ball to help homeowners proactively defend their homes against pest infestation.
Ehrlich Pest Control used our field experiences and examined trends and company data to determine the following six pest predictions. Along with the predictions, we are offering some quick tips for homeowners to help keep their homes pest-free in the new year.
Mice populations have increased over the past several years and this may be attributed to warmer than usual winters. With warmer weather predicted again for the winter of 2020, mice activity may boom, which is bad news for homeowners. Mice are year-round pests that invade homes looking for two things: food and shelter.
Homeowner Tips: Mice can fit through a crack or hole one-fourth of an inch or larger – or about the width of a pencil. To prevent an infestation, rodent-proof your home by sealing small cracks and crevices with a silicone-based caulk. Exterior gaps of ¼-inch or larger can be repaired with copper mesh, hardware cloth or metal flashing.
The Spotted Lanternfly
An invasive pest that can cause significant damage to trees and plants, the spotted lanternfly was first introduced to Pennsylvania in 2014 from Asia. Regrettably, this insect is still spreading and has been found in counties in Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey, and Virginia. By the end of the year, the spotted lanternfly will be more abundant in these areas and may even spread to neighboring states.
Homeowner Tips: Anyone can help to deter the spread of this pest. If you sight a spotted lanternfly, crush it. If you find eggs on trees, scrape them off to destroy the eggs. Above all, report the sighting to your state Department of Agriculture.
Changing climates cause dramatic effects in the pest world, and with mild winters, experts are seeing more yellow jacket and hornet nests. Female yellow jackets and hornets are able to overwinter in freezing temperatures and will invade homes, structures, and manmade or natural voids. When temperatures rise in spring, stinging insects will surface from their hiding places, ready to start populations earlier in the year.
Homeowner Tips: Yellowjackets and hornets can overwinter, so they may be out and about at the first sign of warm weather. Be on the lookout for stinging pests, utilizing a professional pest control service as soon as you spot activity.
With the rise of popular outdoor activities, like hiking and camping, and years of warmer than usual winters, humans and their pets are likely to encounter ticks this year. The Lone Star tick, the deer tick or black-legged tick, and the American dog tick are ticks of special interest. Nearly 50,000 cases of human tick-borne diseases such as Lyme Disease, Ehrlichiosis, and Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever were reported in 2018. Pets may also be at risk for some of these diseases.
Homeowner Tips: When spending time outdoors, wear an EPA-approved insect repellent. It’s also recommended to wear long pants, long-sleeved shirts, and socks, in areas where ticks may be active. During and after outdoor activity, check for ticks on yourself and any family members, including your pets.
Mosquitoes thrive in warm weather, and their populations increased in 2019. If we have another relatively warm, wet winter and spring, we could experience another boom inactivity by late spring and early summer. Areas of the Mid-Atlantic and Midwest are predicted to have above-average rainfall, while most of the U.S. is predicted to be warmer than average this winter.
Homeowner Tips: The risk of mosquito-borne diseases, such as the Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE) can increase with rising populations. To protect yourself and your family, dispose of standing water from your property and always wear an EPA-approved insect repellent when spending time outdoors.
Termites are the most destructive pests in North America, causing $6 billion in property damage each year. According to experts, the two main weather factors that affect termite populations are temperature and rainfall. With warmer and wetter weather predicted for spring, the termite swarming season will be ramping up soon.
Homeowner Tips: To deter termites, eliminate earth to wood contact and avoid moisture accumulation near your home or structures’ foundation. Since termites can cause such extensive damage, raising homeowner awareness around the need for proactive protection for their homes is critical to prevent costly repairs.
The experts at Ehrlich Pest Control agree that a proactive approach is the first step any homeowner can take to prevent pest issues. With these 2020 pest predictions in mind, take time to evaluate your current pest control plan and ensure that you have the protection you need to protect yourself and your family from pests in 2020.