Spring is here, which means the weather is warming and the flowers are blooming. However, this time of year also brings a less pleasant change… insects. As we come out of winter, bugs throughout the Mid-South TN area are waking up and searching for new places to infest. Knowing how to protect your property from common swarming insects this spring will help you prevent an infestation from taking root.
What is a Swarm?
A swarm is a natural phenomenon where a large group of insects of the same species gather and move together as a group. In the spring, many pests throughout the Mid-South TN area swarm to find food and mate. Insect swarms can be visually striking and scary to encounter, but most don’t pose a threat to your safety. That said, a swarm can often lead to a full-blown infestation, so it’s still important to keep an eye on any pests that swarm on or near your property.
Common Swarming Pests in Mid-South TN
Dealing with a year-long pest infestation can be a frustrating and costly ordeal, especially when it all begins with a one-day swarm. That’s why it’s essential to take preventive measures to keep swarms from escalating and turning into full-blown infestations. To help you avoid this problem in the Mid-South TN area, it’s crucial to be aware of the common swarming pests that tend to emerge during springtime:
Roughly 1,000 different ant species throughout the United States begin growing wings and forming swarms in the spring. Most do so to establish new colonies, which is why you don’t want to let them settle into your home or garden. Ants are not usually toxic, but they can be bothersome to find all over the place – especially inside of your kitchen. Here are some tips to help you prevent ants from settling into your space:
- Keep your counters and floors clean
- Store leftovers in airtight containers
- Clean food scraps from your kitchen sink
- Repair broken pipes or other moisture problems
Though termites look awfully similar to ants, they’re a much bigger problem for home and business owners. These tiny insects are capable of chewing through crucial wooden structures, which can ruin the stability of your building and lead to thousands of dollars in repairs. Most termites seek damp or damaged wood, which they use for food and nesting. To catch an infestation before it can wreak havoc on your property, look for these warning signs:
- Long mud tubes along the floor or wall
- Small holes or tunnels in wood
- Discarded wings or dead insects
- Piles of “frass” – similar to sawdust
- Live insects or swarms on your property
Not sure if it’s a termite or an ant? Look at the wings and antennae; if the wings are all the same size and the antennae are straight, then you’re likely dealing with a termite. If you still aren’t sure what pest is invading your property, get in touch with a professional! Taking care of a termite infestation is a time-sensitive situation, and every minute you wait can cost you. A professional will be able to correctly identify the species and create a personalized plan to eliminate the pests from your space.
While honeybees and bumblebees are valuable pollinators and play a crucial role in maintaining a healthy ecosystem, encountering a swarm of these stinging insects in or around your home can be a frightening experience. Fortunately, there are steps you can take to prevent bees from swarming on your property:
- Eliminate food sources: Contrary to popular belief, bees don’t just feed on pollen and nectar. They are also drawn to other sugary substances and may circle any food you leave out. Clean up after your picnics or barbeques to deter them from invading your yard.
- Seal cracks or gaps in your home: A buzzing nest in your attic is the last thing you should have to worry about. Bees typically look for quiet and sheltered areas to nest, which makes easily-accessible homes the perfect environment. Seal any potential openings that lead indoors.
- Disrupt or remove standing water: Bees need water to survive, and they can sip from tiny puddles. Go around your yard and eliminate any puddles you can find. Look in places like garden pots, playground equipment, wheelbarrows, and gutters.
If you notice a swarm of bees on or near your property, contact a professional right away. Bees play a crucial role in our local ecosystem, so we strive to protect the insects while keeping them away from your space.
Despite looking so similar to bees, hornets and wasps display very different behaviors. Most are aggressive and capable of stinging multiple times, which makes them a huge threat to small children, pets, and people with allergies. Wasps typically have a more angular body than bees with a thin, pinched waist. They also lack the fuzz that bees are known for, and may have white or orange markings in addition to yellow. To prevent wasps from establishing a colony in your home or yard, follow these tips:
- Clean up spilled food or crumbs, even in your yard
- Don’t leave your picnic or barbecue leftovers out
- Store your trash in tightly lidded bins
- Keep your pet food bowls clean or indoors
- Regularly check for the signs of a nest
Should you discover a wasp swarm or nest nearby, do not approach the insects. They can lead to painful stings or potentially dangerous situations, which is why these infestations are always best left to the professionals. Contact an expert right away to have a quick and safe wasp removal process.
Pest Control Experts in Mid-South TN
Notice swarming pests in your home or garden? Call the professional exterminators at Inman-Murphy, Inc.! We understand how disconcerting it can be to encounter a large group of flying insects, which is why we offer fast response times and quick solutions geared toward long-term results. All of our technicians are fully licensed, certified, and well-versed in handling local pest species. Whatever problem you’re facing, our team knows how to come up with a personalized solution that will keep your property pest-free for good. Contact us today for a free quote!