Have you ever wondered what impact the weather might have on pest infestations? Everyone knows that wasps are a summer pest, and you may have seen news articles recently about how spiders or rats are fleeing into people's homes for the winter.
So, what pests should you be on the lookout for each season?
As the world starts to slowly warm up, many pests become more active, having been dormant over the cold winter months.
- Cluster flies emerge from their winter hibernation and start to breed.
- Seagulls pair up and start to build their nests.
- Moth activity starts up again.
- Squirrels start to become more active and may start looking for new homes - this is the time they can start to venture into loft spaces.
Summer is time for many pests to breed extensively, and we all know that wasps are a constant summer presence.
- Wasps are constructing nests, laying eggs, and generally causing a nuisance. At this time of year, wasps can be rather aggressive as they're at their strongest.
- Bees are more active, with honey bees venturing out to gather nectar. Honey bees are extremely important to the ecosystem and aren't considered pests, but swarms may need to be relocated.
- Moths and houseflies multiply significantly in warmer weather.
- Fleas can become more prevalent, as pets spend more time outside and bring the pests in with them.
- Towards the end of summer, flying ants swarm to find their new mates and start new colonies. It happens in such a short space of time that often people refer to "flying ant day".
- Bed bugs are at their most active during the summer.
- Cockroaches are active all year round but may be more noticeable in the summer months due to an increase in heat and scent.
As the weather turns crisper and cooler, pests often start to wind down their breeding activities. But there are still plenty to pay attention to.
- Wasps become dozy and drunk; you may see them staggering around as they come to the end of their lifespan. They can still be aggressive, though usually less so than in the summer.
- Spiders become more prominent at this time of year. The only ones that are of concern in the UK are the false widow spiders, which are more active in autumn.
- Squirrels gather nuts for winter and start to seek shelter.
- The second breeding phase of cluster flies occurs.
The coldest months tend to be characterised by pests seeking warmth and shelter, encouraging them to come into houses and buildings.
- Spiders start to come into people's homes to escape the frost that destroys their webs, and to be warm enough to mate.
- Rats and mice start to move indoors as the weather gets colder, seeking food and shelter. Infestations increase at this time of year.
- Damage caused by squirells nesting in lofts is often discovered when people get out their Christmas decorations.