06/16/2017 | Big Bad Bugs of Summer
Summer is the season of the bug. Even here in the city, bugs of all kinds get bigger, more aggressive, and more active as the temperatures rise. A lot of bugs go through the mating stage of their cycle around now, which means more movement than usual. The heat also means bugs will be looking for shade or nice, air conditioned offices. You know, like yours.
A lot of the pest infestations we treat start in the summer, when windows are open and people spend more time outside. New York’s old buildings tend to provide the perfect cover for resting and mating during hot summer days. Even better, the people inside those buildings tend to provide all kinds of tasty food. Here are some of the most common summer bugs you might see in your office this season.
Ever wonder why you don’t see ants around in the winter? As temperatures fall, ant’s bodies start to slow down. Around the time freezing temperatures first occur, ants enter a hibernation-like state where they remain stationary in a warm place and wait out the winter. To survive their hibernation, ants need to store up a lot of food. That’s where summer, and your office, come in.
Ants spend summer frantically preparing for cold weather by seeking out food and shelter. They’ll eat just about anything. They’re particularly attracted to grains and sugary foods they can break down easily and carry off. You’ll find ants in your office kitchen, bathrooms, or around window sills. The best way to keep them out is to frequently and thoroughly clean your kitchen surfaces and cupboards.
Wasps look a little like bees, but they’re really quite different. Wasp nests only last one year, which means a Queen needs to find and raise a nest from scratch every year. To do that, they have to move fast! When a Queen makes a nest, they start laying eggs to produce workers. By late spring or early summer, these workers will be fully developed and ready to help build the colony. To do that, they’re going to need food. Lots of it.
Wasps are attracted to sugar and protein. They’ll mark locations where they find it, so they can return. Look for nests and swarms of wasps near your dumpster. Watch for plumbing leaks and gaps in window screens. Make sure you clean spills thoroughly. Don’t leave garbage in your office overnight. If you find a wasp’s nest on your property, let us know right away.
The common cockroaches here in America originally hail from Africa, so it makes sense that they love heat and humidity. As you may remember from last year, sometimes it makes them jump for joy! The hotter and more humid it gets, the more active cockroaches become. The reason they move indoors is to access sources of moisture like plumbing leaks, leftover drinks, or runoff. Just like every other kind of pest, cockroaches also come out looking for food.
Cockroaches tend to hide in dark, enclosed, and humid places. Look under appliances like your fridge, oven, or microwave. You could also find them in garbage, pantries, or under boxes in the basement or warehouse. To prevent cockroaches, find and seal up openings in the walls and frames with steel wool, foam, or caulk. Pay special attention to gas lines. Cockroaches can squeeze in tiny spaces, so you have to be thorough.
Summer is a busy time for termite colonies. The queen lays up 30,000 eggs a day, and the colony reaches “swarm size” and starts aggressively searching for food sources. Termites easily rank among the most dangerous pests for businesses, because they eat through and damage wood. Even if your business doesn’t work with wood, building damage termites incur could cost you a lot of money and time to repair. Depending on the scale of the damage, termites could even shut your whole building down.
Termites burrow up into buildings from underground, so you’ll usually find them in the basement or the ground floor. Look for “mud tunnels” between the ground and the foundation of the building. Termites build these mud tunnels and use them to climb up into the wooden foundation, where they can feed. Test any wood you’re worried about to see if it sounds hollow inside. Try to prevent wood from touching the ground whenever possible by using plastic or rubber covers.
Bugs are an inescapable part of living in New York City, but they don’t have to be an inescapable part of your building. A little extra effort and coordination can keep even the most determined of insect invaders from darkening your bright summer days.
And of course, if you find out you have an infestation, call Assured Environments right away. We’re New York’s #1 commercial pest control company for a reason: we’ve helped thousands of businesses, and we’re happy to help you too. Have a great summer!