Christmas in July? (AKA: Just here chilling...)
Yup, it’s the beginning of July and the start of summer (in the northern hemisphere at least) and with climate change, it has been much warmer than usual. So it’s time to be thinking about the winter, right?
All joking aside, with pest control, it is prudent to start thinking a season or two ahead for preventative measures. It does sound silly to be thinking of winter cold temps and snow and ice in July, but this is a great time to think ahead. As you are dealing with the summer problems (spiders and ants and termites, oh my!), think ahead to the fall and winter problems that are right around the corner.
Exclusion is key, particularly for those fall invaders like rodents, boxelder bugs, lady beetles, cluster flies, and more. Wherever pests are getting in now, they will be getting inside in even bigger numbers in autumn. Checking glue boards and traps by doors and other openings will show where many of the exclusion opportunities are. Start working on customers now to get these sealed up. Providing this info now gives them some time, and multiple reminders, to get this done before the fall invaders start accessing the structure. It also allows for prioritization: getting the biggest openings sealed up, or the most risky openings sealed first can help get the most return on investment.
Bonus – sealing up those openings helps with temperature control and energy savings by sealing up the structure.
Sanitation is important too, but maybe not from a food standpoint. Cleaning up the habitat will help to reduce summer issues, and thereby keep populations lower into the fall. I live in the area where the Joro spiders are numerous. By continuously knocking down webs around the house, I can move those spiders away from the house and in lower numbers. In the fall, I won’t have as many spiders entering the house because there won’t be many around my house. Rodents are similar: keeping vegetation low and cut back from structures makes that “zone” less appealing to rodents. They will go further away and not present as much risk of entry in the autumn. Look for trees, vines, and large bushes that provide a pathway up the sides of buildings. Just like exclusion, starting communication with the customer now gives them more time (and you more opportunity to remind them!) to get these issues fixed.
Bonus - sanitation of the habitat will often reduce food resources as well as safe living areas.
Another point to consider is monitoring. There are likely many monitoring devices out in both commercial and residential accounts and summer is the time to start really analyzing that data and keeping track of how quickly captures are increasing (population increases) and where issues are happening (hot spots). With this information, additional traps can be set out, focused inspections can be performed to find sanitation or exclusion opportunities, and targeted treatments can be done on key areas to reduce pests. The key here with monitoring devices is to read the results and respond with appropriate actions. If this is done early, before populations become widespread, interventions can be much smaller, easier, and with faster results.
Bonus - monitoring over the years will give an idea of when fall pests (and spring and summer pests!) are going to happen so you can predict when issues are going to start.
Go ahead and throw your “Christmas in July” party. Then get to work thinking ahead to fall and winter. Is your pest plan ready for all four seasons? If not, we can help you with that and help you anticipate the next seasonal issues. Contact us here!
360 PFCS – your urban pest control consultants.