Common spring pests and how to prevent them

Spring is the most beautiful time of the year. Flowers are in bloom, the sun starts to shine, and we can finally do away with our winter coats and scarves. It’s not just people who enjoy spring, pests also like to come out and play as the weather warms up. Here’s our guide to some critters you’re likely to come across as well as some spring pest control tips to keep your home safe and pest-free. 

 

Ants

When spring arrives, ants are desperately seeking food and shelter following the cold winter months. Our homes are warm and dry, providing shelter from the elements, and they’re also full of food. Generally speaking, ants in the UK pose no direct threat to our health (unless they’ve walked on something dirty and then have access to your food, in which case you may get sick). The problem with ants is their huge numbers – it’s rare that you’ll ever find just one ant on its own, and some colonies can contain as many as 30,000 ants! 

 

How to prevent them?

Since food is what draws ants to your home, it’s important to do some spring cleaning. Rogue crumbs and open food packaging will entice ants into your kitchen, so empty all of your cupboards and clean them from top to bottom. Take this as an opportunity to check the expiry dates of any dry goods, such as herbs and flour – if it’s out of date, throw it away. Expired food only serves to attract unwanted pests. 

 

Cockroaches

Cockroaches are a hardy pest, posing a problem throughout the year but especially towards late spring when the weather is at its most temperate. Cockroaches need food, shelter, warmth, and moisture – making them a common sight in kitchens and bathrooms. Outside of our homes, cockroaches can usually be found dwelling around sewers and will often find their way into your home via drains and piping. 

 

How to prevent them?

Eliminating water from a kitchen or bathroom is virtually impossible, for obvious reasons. However, you can minimise the amount of moisture in your bathroom by taking the time to dry it more carefully after you shower or use the sink. Similarly, don’t leave wet towels or items of clothing lying around, and ventilate the room carefully both during and after a shower so that steam doesn’t build up and leave the room damp. Additionally, check for any leaking pipes under your sinks and bathtub(s) – these are hotspots for cockroaches and must be fixed immediately to prevent an infestation. 

 

Flies

Spring is the time of year when flies are searching for a safe place to lay their eggs. As you may have guessed by now, your home is the perfect setting. It’s warm, dry, has dark corners to hide in, is safe from predators (unless you have the odd spider lurking around), and has a large food supply. It doesn’t get much more fly-friendly than this. There are many species of fly, but they all like to lay their eggs in the same kind of conditions; slightly damp and often near (what we would consider) waste. 

 

How to prevent them?

As with ants, it’s important to keep your house clean to help prevent flies from settling in. Empty out cupboards, diligently vacuum every corner of the house, and use strong (but safe) chemicals to wipe down surfaces, especially near bins or where food is kept. Furthermore, certain oils and scents, many of which are rather pleasant to us, are pungent and actively repel flies. Soak some cotton wall balls in fragrances such as lavender, citronella, peppermint or eucalyptus (or a combination) and leave them dotted around the house in corners and the back of cupboards. It’s another weapon in the fight against pest invaders. 

 

Moths

After being relatively dormant during the winter, moths also look to lay eggs in the springtime and are especially attracted to certain materials found in our clothing and carpets. There are several reasons for this: one being that clothes in wardrobes and carpets under furniture provide dark and safe places. The other reason is that moth larvae feed on the fabrics, especially those made from animal products such as wool. This is why older clothing that you haven’t worn (or even touched) in years may have holes all over it – it’s evidence of moth larvae activity. 

 

How to prevent them?

The solution is to thoroughly and regularly clean areas such as the carpet beneath your sofa (which may not have seen the light of day for months or years). The back of your wardrobe and any drawers with clothing should be inspected, dusted, and vacuumed. The more regularly you can do this, the less time moths will have to lay eggs and for larvae to develop undisturbed. Check out our guide to signs that you have a moth infestation for tips on recognising moth larvae – the sooner you realise you have a problem, the sooner it can be solved. 

For more tips on keeping your home free from pests, check out our blog where we regularly post helpful guides to help you stay one step ahead of pests. However, sometimes you don’t see the signs until it’s too late, and before you know it you have a full-blown infestation. When this happens, get in touch with us. One of our pest control experts will quickly pay you a visit to assess the situation and offer an effective solution. Here at Inoculand, we’ve been providing pest control to London for over 10 years.