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For Floridians – what does a wetter winter mean?

Rumor and the TV weather-people tell us that El Nino is on the way this winter.  El Nino brings with it a wetter winter with some milder temperatures at the beginning of the winter.  If this is true, the combination of warmth and wetness may bring a higher incidence of ants, termites, cockroaches and mosquitoes.

What to do now

Now is the time to start preparing for the wetter winter we are expecting.  Make sure to caulk up or seal up any openings in the house.  For this you will need to get on your hands and knees and think like a bug!  Look for tiny openings around the pipes coming into the house and feel for breezes coming in around windows or doors.

You might also wish to call an exterminator and have some pre-treatments done.  Exterminators can also help you do a thorough review of your house and look for any early warning signs that you might be targeted by bugs this winter.

What to do mid-winter

Always keep an eye open for any incidence of bug infestation.  Although many insect colonies slow down by mid-winter, there are always those seeking shelter from the external forces or the cold or wet winter weather.  They also come inside searching for easy sources of food and water.

Not only will bugs be interested in your house, but so will the bigger varmints.  These include raccoons, squirrels, bats, and more.  Keep an eye on your attic, your basement and your sheds.  Regularly check on places that you might not frequent during the winter or that might appear abandoned.  Abandoned places are perfect homes for many winter critters.

What to do in the spring

Get rid of bug-attractive outdoor habitats.  This includes making sure you have no standing water anywhere on your property. Old tires, bird baths, and clogged gutters provide the perfect environment for all kind of pests to breed and grow.

Keep an eye on your yard. Should you have had an infestation over the winter, you’ll start to see it during the growing season in the spring.  This could include patches of dying or brown grass or it could include holes in the yard or previously healthy plants eaten up and dying.

It might be time to put out some traps and bait stations.  This is an especially good idea if the ant population seems to be exploding.  They love to find great food sources and putting out some bait is a good way to keep them from targeting your house.

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