Treating for Top Summer Pests
Pests are a nuisance that can cause costly damage. Read on to learn best treatment practices for adding pest management services and treating top pests.
August 18, 2021
As a landscape contractor, you’re well aware of the upswing of pests in the spring and summertime. The National Pest Management Association forecast employs entomologists to project seasonal pest pressure based on weather patterns, long term forecasts, and pest behaviors. Prepare your customers and boost business with pest management services.
Ticks live all over the United States, but are most common in the Northeast, mid-Atlantic,and Upper Midwest based on Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reporting. Ticks can spread germs with lifecycles up to 3 years, and the CDC states that ticks are spreading more disease in recent years. In the Northeast, New England, and the north Central U.S. the warm, wet spring led into a mild, wet summer which has caused tick populations to thrive. The mild Great Lakes spring followed by a warm and wet summer and increased rainfall in the Northwest also shows an increase in tick activity.
Best treatment practices depend on the type of tick, but a good first line of defense is to eliminate sources of standing water, repair all holes that could serve as entry points into the property, and using LESCO Tick Free insecticide.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), mosquitos spread more diseases than any other type of insect and are responsible for several million deaths and hundreds of millions of illnesses a year. West Nile virus, Eastern equine encephalitis (EEE), and Zika are the most common diseases spread by mosquitos in U.S. Higher temperatures and increased rainfall in the spring and summer across the U.S. leads to more mosquito activity across regions. Higher temperatures in the north Central U.S. will also lead to more stinging insects overall. Mosquitos are resilient and can survive in all kinds of climates, but particularly thrive near water. Many home landscapes are conducive to mosquito breeding.
To treat for mosquitos, check for standing water on customer’s property and remediate problem areas quickly. These can span between lawn drainage issues and much smaller ones. Mosquitos can lay eggs within little amounts of water, such as water collection in flowerpot saucers and even fallen leaves within the landscape. Once all sources of water are dried out or removed, put down insecticide like LESCO Mosquito Free insecticide. If you need any help regarding drainage services, visit your local branch or our drainage resource center today.
Termites, also known as “silent destroyers,” chew through wood undetected. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) states that termites cause billions of dollars in damage each year, and homeowners spend around two billion a year in treatments. Often these treatments and repairs are not covered by homeowner’s insurance. Northeast/New England may see higher termite activity due to wet spring and summer and the warm, wet spring south Central U.S. can possibly start early termite activity. Additionally, the rainy spring and summer in the Southeast create ideal conditions for infestation.
Note that each state has specific license requirements to apply termiticides. This licensing is usually governed through the State Department of Agriculture. Be sure you have the correct licensing before you begin offering termiticide services.
To treat for termites, begin with an initial inspection and report. Once a thorough inspection has been done, put a chemical soil treatment around perimeter of building. Depending on the structure and the damage inflicted, organize termite baiting and/or colony extermination. After extermination, begin working on any building modifications and maintenance needed and complete regular follow up inspections to ensure the infestation does not return.
Ants are attracted to moisture and humidity, two common summer conditions. A hot summer in Northeast and New England will bring more ants inside buildings, as will drier conditions in the South and upper Midwest. Wet conditions in South and the mild spring in the Northwest will lead to thriving ant populations. In the Southwest, cooler conditions and increased spring/summer rainfall could bring ants indoors.
To treat for ants, eliminate standing water around customer’s homes and inspect gutters and downspouts for proper function. Moist, decaying wood is prime nesting for carpenter ants. Once you’ve ensured good drainage and cleared out any stumps or branches from the yard, also check pathways and driveways for pavement ants. If you’ve noticed ants in a customer’s lawn, put down insecticide such as Syngenta Advion Fire Ant Insecticide.
Cockroaches are weather resistant and can trigger allergies and asthma with their saliva, droppings, and decomposing bodies. They are difficult to kill: they can live for a week without a head, live without food for a month, not breathe for 40 minutes, and run up to 3 mph. There are 4,000 different species worldwide, but the most common is the German cockroach. The warm, wet Southeast summer will lead to increased outdoor cockroach populations that may move into structures, and the drier south-Central U.S. summer could drive cockroaches indoors in search for moisture. Cockroaches are often linked to disease; they’re known to spread at least 33 different bacteria (including E. coli and salmonella), six kinds of parasitic worms, and at least seven other human pathogens. Additionally, cockroaches breed at a rate of up to six generations a year.
Because the quick growth and unsanitary nature of cockroaches, treatment should take place immediately. Seal all entrances to building/structure (especially around utility pipes) and ventilate crawl spaces to prevent excess moisture. Put down insecticide like Advion Gel Cockroach Bait. Be sure to also check for and eliminate any sources of standing water near the property.
Springtails are also called snow fleas. These pests are common around moist areas like pools with vegetation close by, leaky pipes, and any standing water. Snow fleas will not cause structural damage or spread disease but are still a nuisance and could indicate a larger moisture issue. Southwest’s cooler conditions and increased spring/summer rainfall could let springtail populations prosper.
To treat for snow fleas, first look for any moisture issues surrounding clients’ homes. If found, fix immediately. Remove any decaying matter from yard (i.e. wet logs or continuously damp piles of soil) as these attract snow fleas. Seal up any entry points that could allow indoor access and tighten leaky A/C drainpipes as well.
Stock Up at SiteOne
Pest management is an easy add-on to your business and provides immense value to customers. Check with your local SiteOne branch for learning opportunities and supplies to get the job done, as well as our Pest Management resource center.