April was the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) “Invasive Plant Pest and Disease Awareness Month.”
If you missed it, don’t worry; the pests will let you know they’ve arrived.
Around the country, the emerald ash borer and gypsy moth are emerging to wreak havoc. Each year, the USDA says just these two pests cause $40 billion in habitat destruction. We don’t even want to mention the damage from mice, pigeons, bedbugs, and roaches.
In Nevada, spring brings an emergence of flying insects, scorpions, ants, snakes, mice, and more into our yards and sometimes into our homes. Let’s look at what pests are active this time of year. As the warm weather increases, what should you look for and how should you fight back?
Nevada Spring Pests
Ants, crickets, scorpions, and snakes all love the weather we’ve been having. As the temperature rises, these creatures look for shade and water. As reptiles, cold-blooded snakes are particularly vulnerable to temperature extremes. Be cautious if there is debris in your yard such as old wood; dangerous snakes will seek shade there along with scorpions on the hottest spring days.
If you’re doing spring clean up in your Nevada yard it’s always best to wear gloves, long pants and boots as a safety precaution. Desert pests are all around us and some of them can be quite dangerous. If you can, keep your yard as free of debris as possible, which will help make it less attractive to these creatures.
This time of year we also see an increase in roaches, crickets, centipedes, spiders, earwigs, and bees. Our goal is to keep them outside where they belong, but we’re often called to eradicate bee or wasp nests that are too close to a home.
Interestingly, the sprays and powders used to eliminate most pests simply don’t work on one of the most prolific pests we see in Nevada. Traditional sprays or powers work when the creepy crawly touches it, which kills them, but the chemical can also be taken back to a nest to wipe out more of the unwanted pests. Scorpions, which are simply everywhere out here, walk on the tips of their legs so they can walk through chemicals and not have it soak into their bodies.
For this reason, scorpions are as tough to eradicate as bedbugs, roaches, fleas, and mice. Cleaning debris away from the home is the best way to keep them from setting up a house in your yard. Make sure you trim old deal palm tree fronds and don’t let leaves or other plant materials collect in the yard.
Keeping a well-maintained yard is a great deterrent to any insect, but inside the home, keeping it clean is crucial.
Ants typically invade the home in the spring. If you see a trail of ants marching across the counter, it’s time to call us. When you actually see these pests it means there is more going on than meets the eye. Checking the crawlspaces as well as around the home for any gaps are important ways to keep these creatures outside where they belong.