Pest pressures here locally in SoCal resemble an ever-rotating carousel of pest issues; each season rather has its perennial pests that return or escalate, occasionally en masse, roughly the same time each year.
It is common to find ants, rodents and even black widow spiders all year round here in SoCAl. However, black widow spiders for example, like many other pests have a peak season where they are more abundant than at other times of the year–May through October in the case of the black widow. Winter commonly sees an upswing in rodent issues as cooler weather drives them inside for shelter.
As Pest Management Professionals (PMPs), we see the onset of the pea-sized Orb weaver spiders out in the field starting around the month of May. They typically are not noticed by the homeowner until September when they’re scene dangling from large round symmetrical webs that extend from shrubbery or tree canopies above. By this time they are roughly the size of a quarter and nearly at the end of their cycle which occasionally extends through November.
Spring: Warmer spring weather invite bees, Argentine ants, and other pests into your home and yard. Common spring pests include: termite swarmers, carpenter ants, fire ants, pillbugs, spiders, aphids, wasps, fleas, ticks, box elder bugs, gophers and moles.
Summer: More bees, wasps, and yellow jackets, as well as ants, earwigs, millipedes, crickets, and springtails, brown widow spiders, black widow spiders, water beetles. Bed bugs, fleas, tics and German cockroach activity spikes, scorpions especially in new development areas and in homes located in foothill like surroundings.
Fall: Orb weaver spiders, beetles, rodents, stink bugs, box elder beetles and other overwintering pests begin to move indoors as temperatures drop and cooler weather approaches. These pests like to use walls, voids, basements and attics as their winter retreats. Termites are very active this time of the year, so too are gophers. It is particular important to be on the lookout for droppings and gnaw marks, indicating rodent infestation. Rodent control and exclusion work begin to significantly trend up during fall.
Winter: Warmth indoors attracts pests into your living spaces; rain and cold weather drive ants, rodents, silverfish and spiders inside. Pests can also be brought inside on plants, firewood, and other items. Rodents are especially problematic due to colder temperatures outside. Taking proactive steps can help reduce overwintering pests:
- Check to see if there are any gaps around windows and doors and including garage doors.
- Make sure windows are in good repair and do not have any openings.
- Seal gaps around the area where pipes and electrical/cable lines enter the home.
- Look for openings around soffits, eaves, attic fans, windows and vents in the attic used for ventilation. Many times these areas are not screened, allowing overwintering pests inside.
These pest-proofing measures will also serve to suppress pest incursions yearlong.