Fall Blog

October 4, 2009

Saturday morning my attention was caught by thousands of quarter-inch fairies fliting across my yard. Those fairies were Eastern Subterranean Termites swarming from the remains of roots or a tree trunk below the soil surface. Of even greater fascination to me, were the over twenty anoles (the little green lizards so abundant in our area) pouring in from every direction to feast on the easy prey.

My point is that if you keep your eyes open, or even if you don't, there will be a lot of pest activity happening over the next month. Most people think that summer is bug time; bugs are truly content outdoor in most conditions and summer suits them fine. What causes fluctuation in their habits is heavy rains (especially followed by sunny, steamy mornings), nights that get nippy and people activily altering the bugs' enviroment. These conditions are most prominent in the Spring and Fall.

Some of these conditions are uncontrollable. The weather will cause many to see a slight uptick in roaches, earwigs, pillbugs and other occasional invaders trying to make their way in (hopefully unsuccessfully).

Many things can be effective in stopping this exodus out of their natural home:

People love to enjoy the perfect weather with open windows; only open windows with tight fitting screen.

If you are alternating summer and winter clothes or bringing in plants that lived outdoors all summer, use your garage as a staging area to be sure no ants or roaches have made their home in those items and will emerge as soon as they are brought indoors.

Understand that the shorter, darker days will make your well lit homes enticing, as well as the fact that cockroaches don't see like us, but more like an infrared camera. On these cooler days, your toasty home, your car pulling in, or even your body as you walk to the mailbox, will be an attractive destination as they look for a warm home to overwinter.

Lastly, many people take advantage of the kinder weather to do larger yard jobs, such as renewing mulch, extensive hedge trimming, removing trees, etc. that will drastically alter the behavior of the pests nesting there.

If this wasn't clear already, we are the termite, mindlessly doing what we do every fall when conditions are prime. The bugs are the lizards, drawn to and seizing the oppotunity that has been presented. Fortunately, where the termites have no resources to counter the attack (although they handle losing hundreds by sending out thousands), we do! The services I perform should stop 95-100% of the onslaught. The exceptions are the activities I illustrated in which you give them access without passing through the perimeter barrier I have created.

Just a note, I love the cooler weather, so I'll happily take the extra work for these lovely, comfortable days. Robert