It's officially spring and many of us are looking forward to rising temperatures, and blossoming flowers and plants. As the earth seems to awaken from its winter hibernation, insects are also awakening from their dormancy. Be on the lookout for these four pests over the coming weeks.
Ants spend the winter hunkered down as a community, forming clusters to generate body heat and protect the queen. The onset of spring means it’s time to stretch, move, and get to work. Traffic in and out of the colony resumes as they seek food sources. Once a food source has been found, ants will head back to the colony to alert the rest of their tribe. On their trek home, ants will emit a scent that marks their path, making it easy for others in the nest to follow in their footsteps and get a bite.
Earwigs are ominous insects because of the old superstition that they crawl into people’s ears while they’re sleeping. However, there is no scientific evidence to support this claim. The pincers located on their abdomens don’t aid in making them less intimidating but, appearances aside, earwigs do not carry diseases and pose no known threat to humans. They congregate together in large numbers and emit a foul-smelling odor as a defense mechanism. If they are picked up or handled, they can use their pincers to pinch you. However, they don’t transmit venom and the pain from the pinch is fleeting. Earwigs spend the winter burrowed into the ground with female earwigs laying their eggs within the burrows in the spring.
Wasps are easily one of the most intimidating insects to encounter any time of the year. Paper wasp queens take shelter from the winter cold and then emerge in the spring to build their nests and lay their eggs. Paper wasps are not known to be aggressive by nature, but they will become defensive if their nest is threatened. Their defense mechanism is their sting, which can occur multiple times because they do not release their stinger after they attack. Their stings are painful and carry the risk of an allergic reaction. If you spot a nest on your property, call an expert to remove it; do not try to do so on your own.
It doesn’t take the spring equinox to bring mosquitoes out of dormancy. They can awaken when temperatures begin hovering around 50°F. While mosquitoes serve as food for other organisms within the ecosystem, they can transmit life-altering diseases to humans like Malaria, West Nile Virus, and Zika. As such, it is vital to be aware of the danger mosquitoes pose and take precautions to protect yourself and your loved ones.
Need help fighting the bite this spring? Contact your local Mosquito Squad today!