Bug Expert: Early Spring Can be a Pest!

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STOW, Ohio -- Spring has arrived early in Northeast Ohio. The trees and flowers have come in, and the insects have come out.

Dale Hodgson, a board certified entomologist with Rose Pest Control, said our mild winter and our recent above-average temperatures have brought the bug population out about a month ahead of schedule. "Right now, the insects I'm seeing, the most are ants, carpenter bees, yellow jackets, which is another stinging insect and paper wasps," Hodgson said.

Landscaper Michelle Reese, with Beds by Design, has also noticed a lot more bugs already.  "Well just now getting out starting to mow. There are a lot of gnats because the grass is still wet and dewy.  Mosquitoes are starting to come back real bad already," said Reese.

Insects are small, but they can cause big problems. "Carpenter bees on unpainted wood  will bore a perfect 3/8 inch hole into the wood and lay eggs in that, and they will also pack pollen in those holes," Hodgson said.

He says this is the time for spring cleaning and exclusion. Insects like to live under dead leaves, so they should be moved away from the house.  And, exclusion means keeping the bugs from getting into your house. Hodgson suggests sealing up holes, cracks in the foundation or crevices where bugs could gain entry into your house.

Hodgson also suggests changing outside light fixtures, especially ones near doors, from a white to a yellow bulb. "Yellow does not attract as many insects. There are less insects that are attracted to that light," he said.

He said mosquitoes have also made an early return, but will be much worse in about a month.  Hodgson suggests clearing out gutters of any standing water. While these are all simply ways to try to keep bugs away, Hodgson says they are worth it. "It's better to keep pests out of your home than to get them out of your home."