What You Need to Know About Mosquitoes This Spring

Every spring, Savannah residents look forward to warmer weather. When people come out to play, mosquitoes are ready to ruin the fun. During April and May, I receive many calls from customers asking what they can do to keep mosquitoes off their properties and away from their families. In most cases, a strong defense is the best way to minimize infestations. There's always a chance that pests will arrive from other areas, but you can make your yard less hospitable to adult mosquitoes as well as the eggs and larvae.

Warning Signs of Mosquito Infestations

Mosquito populations ramp up in May and hit their full stride in June when nighttime temperatures stay above 60 degrees and daytime highs exceed 80 degrees. High humidity, increasing rainfall and warmer temperatures all contribute to surging mosquito infestations in the spring and summer.

Depending on the species, adults may awaken from hibernation, or eggs that were deposited the previous fall will hatch. Antifreeze compounds allow some mosquitoes to survive the winter chill. Dormant eggs can withstand frigid temperatures and prolonged droughts. Once the weather warms up and there's enough moisture, they spring to life.

Mosquito Breeding Grounds

Preferred habitats vary depending on the species. There are also substantial differences in their behavior. For example, Aedes albopictus, the Asian tiger mosquito, lives near people. It deposits eggs in man-made containers, and it seldom travels more than 300 feet from its home, which may also be your house. Other mosquitoes will fly several miles to find food and mates.

The one thing that all mosquitoes have in common is that their eggs, larvae and pupae need moisture to hatch and molt. When conditions are right, mosquitoes can reach adulthood in just 12 days. Most female mosquitoes lay several hundred eggs at once, so the populations swell quickly.

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What Climates Do Termites Thrive In?

Termites are found in all states except Alaska. Termites can do significant damage to a building before anyone knows they are there. The climate of Georgia and other subtropical southern states is ideal for termites, with high humidity, ample rainfall and abundant food sources. Georgian homeowners spend between $200 million and $300 million every year on repairs to damage caused by termites.

The good news for Savannah homeowners is that the highly destructive Formosan termite is not common in the area. However, two other types of termites, the subterranean termite and the drywood termite, are active in Savannah and other areas of Georgia. Eliminating the conditions termites require to thrive is the first, and most important, step in effective termite control.

How Termites Thrive

Termites require moisture and food to survive. They seek out wood, objects that contain cellulose and moist areas. They eat wood as well as plastic, paper, books and other plant-based materials. They require moisture to keep their bodies from drying out. 

Savannah's moist, warm climate is ideal for termites. In addition, areas within a home in any climate can provide optimum conditions for termites to live. Wet or decayed wood, contact of wood with soil and pooled moisture around foundations are favorable conditions for termites. 

Termites are social insects, forming nests with thousands of individuals. Subterranean termites build mud tubes that connect nests in the ground to food sources up to several hundred feet away, giving 24-hour access to your home. When conditions are right, they swarm and create new nests. Warning signs of termites include mud tubes with the insects inside, damaged wood and clusters of wings near wooden windows, doors or furniture. 

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Bed Bug Myths

A worldwide source of frustration, bedbugs infest dwellings ranging from hotels to apartments and single-family homes. While it is true that the bugs do bite, there is a lot of confusion about these parasites. Keep reading as we dispel some of the more popular myths.

Myth #1 - Bedbugs prefer unsanitary conditions

While bedbugs can thrive in dirty locations, cleanliness is not a deterrent. These parasites are attracted to carbon dioxide, warmth and a source of blood. The condition of your home does not matter.

Myth #2 - Bedbugs are only found in bedding materials

Although most often found in bedding material, the insects also may hide in carpeting, draperies and upholstery as well as the crevices of furniture and molding. Bedbugs will hide in any place situated close to people. 

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2018 Pest Control Tips

The world of pests and extermination continues to change every year. Invasive species reach new areas, insects evolve rapidly and humans find innovative ways to combat them. It's vital for Georgia residents to learn about these developments so that pests don't gain the upper hand. To reduce the likelihood of an infestation and eliminate any problems as quickly as possible, please follow these tips:

1. Handy mobile apps may help you banish pests. For instance, the free PestPro software makes it easier to recognize specific bug species. If you find a plant with a disease or parasites, you can identify the problem with a program called OpenPD. On the other hand, we don't recommend using smartphone apps to repel mosquitoes with ultrasonic sounds. Studies have found that this technique doesn't really work.

2. The popularity of desktop computers continued to fade in 2017. Notebook PCs save space and offer greater versatility, but they also increase the risk that you'll transport pests from one place to another. Unfortunately, bedbugs and various mites have been known to take up residence in laptop computers. Ventilation grates and keyboards provide them with convenient hiding places. Remember to carefully inspect unfamiliar surfaces, and think twice before putting this equipment on motel furniture!

3. Recent weather trends have exacerbated pest problems in Georgia and numerous other parts of the world. Meanwhile, it has become increasingly hard to kill parasites like fleas, lice and bedbugs. It's crucial to remain vigilant and take preventive action against a wide range of pests. Set aside a few hours to seal cracks, replace rotten wood and fix window screens. Before you buy a house, pay an exterminator to fully inspect it. Remember that any secondhand or rented furnishings could harbor vermin.

4. More and more pest control companies offer eco-friendly options. Be sure to learn more about these solutions and consider using them. Chemical-free treatments may involve botanical ingredients, traps or extreme heat. They reliably eliminate pests while safeguarding the health of people and pets. Pest control firms are also using the latest technology to upgrade their services. Don't be surprised when an exterminator arrives with a tablet computer or even uses a drone to inspect wasp nests!

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