For Northeastern and Southeastern Pennsylvania residents, spring means warm weather, short sleeves, and blooming flowers. And for most, that annual spring clean.

Unfortunately, the turning of the season also marks the return of some seasonal pests.  We’re talking mosquitoes, ants, termites…should we go on?

As you begin your spring cleaning, it’s the perfect time to practice proper yard pest control and protect your indoors against any potential unwanted visitors.

Let’s discuss the importance of spring pest control, what pests to expect, and, finally, seven tips to help stop this problem.

The Importance of Spring Pest Control

As the weather gets warmer, spring cleaning is not just about reducing clutter but also about pest-proofing your home.

Likewise, many spring pests bring a whole host of new challenges, from mosquitoes that spread their own forms of disease to termites that damage homes and wood furnishings.

If you dealt with ants the past year, chances are they will also reemerge as the weather warms and reconnect with old pheromone trails they left behind.

Therefore, getting an early start on spring pest control will ensure your home is protected from spring pests, as well as summer pests.

Common Spring Pests in Pennsylvania

The warm weather wishes us goodbye to nuisance pests like rodents but opens many homes and yards to a scourge of increased insect activity. Here are some of the most common and dangerous spring bugs in NEPA.

  • Termites: March is the opening of termite swarming season, and those April showers provide the perfect environment for termites to assault wet and decaying wood on your property leftover from last fall. While termites are active year-round, spring is the perfect time to perform an inspection.
  • Ants: Ants with existing pheromone trails tend to re-emerge after the cold weather subsides. If you spot ant hills, eliminate them immediately with boiling water. Carpenter ants are especially dangerous as they will damage softwood similarly to termites.
  • Bed Bugs: While bed bugs aren’t technically seasonal pests, we do tend to get a lot more calls for bed bugs this time of year as people start to travel again. Be on the lookout for bed bugs when you travel or purchase any second-hand furniture.
  • Boxelder bugs. Boxelder bugs are dark gray with a jaunty red stripe. As their name implies, they usually feed on boxelder trees. These insects are not destructive to your home or property, nor do they carry disease. They are simply a nuisance for homeowners.
  • Mosquitoes. Mosquitoes are among the first insects to emerge in early spring and have a short list of endearing qualities. These insects have stealth-like biting behavior that creates itchy, swollen spots on our skin. They are also known for carrying diseases like malaria and West Nile virus (likely because of their attraction to standing water). Yard sprays are the only true cure for mosquitoes.
  • Asian lady beetles. Often mistaken for the standard ladybug, Asian ladybeetles are usually found in homes in warm weather. They are usually brown or dark red in color and have a distinctive M-shaped mark on the top of the head. While not destructive, these insects can give off an unpleasant-smelling yellow liquid when they sense danger.
  • Cluster flies. These larger versions of the typical housefly can be a nuisance. The cluster fly gains entry to a home through cracks in siding, under eaves, or around windows and like hanging out in attics in large swarms. Although irritating to many homeowners, fortunately, they are not destructive.
  • Kudzu bugs. Similar in size to the lady beetle, kudzu bugs enjoy feeding on kudzu, wisteria, and soybeans. At times they will find their way into a home looking for food sources and are often found around window and door frames. Sealing any cracks or crevices and installing screens are effective deterrents for these insects.

How to Identify Bugs On Your Property?

Certain pests, especially new species, such as the spotted lanternfly, can be difficult to identify.

Some important features to keep in mind, include:

  • Body color or markings. Some insects look very similar, with only subtle differences to tell them apart. Taking a photo that you can inspect more closely later can help identify the correct species. Think of the black widow spider, which most people know to stay away from if they spot red..
  • Body type. Most insect species have distinct body characteristics, such as wings, antennae, thoraxes, and mandibles.
  • Habitat. What kind of environment did you find the insect in? Insects like ants can dwell in homes and yards, but others, such as termites and cockroaches, tend to end up in basements.
  • Size. Insect size plays an important role in differentiating gnats from mosquitoes, ants from other species, and cockroaches from beetles.

If you find an insect out in the wild or somewhere in your home and are unsure of the type, take a photo of the insect.

There are countless insect identification guides available in both hard and digital copies that can help you learn more. You can also search for your findings using a tool like Google Images to identify the species.

7 Spring Pest Control Tips to Conquer Seasonal Pests

1.  Know Your Enemy

Pest management can be difficult if you don’t know what to expect. While some pests are around yearly, certain culprits are more active in the spring. Some pests, such as termites and rats, start their mating season during this time of year. Failure to combat these pests now can lead to significant trouble in the future.

As the weather turns warmer, other pests start to become more active. Indoor bugs like ants begin searching for food, and spiders emerge to hunt the ants. Therefore, you will need to customize your pest control plan to target bugs both inside and outdoors.

2. Inspect Your Exterior

First, start with an exterior inspection of your yard and property perimeter.

Look for cracks in siding and flashing where snow has melted and separated exterior components. These cracks can be open invitations to hungry pests.

Likewise, inspect ponds, bird baths, and gutters for standing water to eliminate mosquitoes. You’ll also want to watch your shed, which can be a magnet for wood-eating insects.

3. Inspect Your Interior

After inspecting your property’s exterior, the next step is to examine the interior. Spring cleaning is more than just washing your curtains.

This is the best time to check over any decorations you brought in from the holidays for any stowaways. Attics and basements are two prime spots, as well as any areas where your home utilities are kept.

Damp basements are a draw for insects like silverfish and spiders, while attics are prime spots for nesting animals like rodents. Be thorough, and make sure no pest made its way inside.

4.  Maintain Your Yard

As the snow melts and temperatures rise, it’s time to look at your yard. The fall and winter leave potential pest hazards behind debris, dead leaves, melted snow, and mud. Any damp wood or thick overgrowth can house any potential spring pests, such as termites. Clear out any clutter and give your yard a fresh cut to disturb any established habitats bugs might have set up.

5.  Monitor Food & Waste

Be mindful of how you store food and trash. While the threat of mice and rats is over, you must contend with ants, which is often harder. Keep your food stored in air-tight containers, including pet food, and all trash receptacles sealed. Clean up dishes and spills quickly, and make sure your outdoor garbage (dumpster or trash can) is closed.

6.  Control Moisture

The transition to spring often means dealing with much moisture: rain, snow, runoff, and overflow. Pests are drawn to water either because they are searching for a drinking source or because they thrive in a damp environment.

Leaky pipes, blocked gutters, and pooling water can be a draw to many different creatures. While you can’t help how much it rains (or snows) be sure to keep your gutters clean and maintain your plumbing.

7.  Keep Things Clean

There is a reason they call it spring cleaning! It’s the best time of year to clear out any potential dirt and clutter gathered over the winter. Clutter and build-up can lead to serious pest problems.

Extra junk means more areas for pests to hide and unkempt homes are perfect opportunities for all manner of rodents and insects. Keep your home clean and tidy if you want to keep pests out or give them a reason to look elsewhere.

Contacting A Professional

Spring is an ideal time for fortifying your home against a potential pest invasion. Follow these easy tips to enjoy a pest-free home. With a fresh start to the season, you can get a jump on home improvements, repair any cracks and crevices, and maintain a tidy yard.

Following these pest control tips is a great way to deter any unwanted house guests; however, even the most vigilant homeowner can face a pest management problem.

If you suspect you may have an infestation, contact a professional pest control company for a thorough inspection.


Are DIY pest control methods effective?

Depending on their application, DIY pest control methods may be somewhat effective against spring pests. Common tactics include using essential oils, organic insecticides, and homemade traps.

Is professional pest control safe for pets and children?

Yes, professional pest control is safe for pets and family members. Your exterminator will always alert you to the dangers of any products they prescribe and create a plan to protect vulnerable members of your house from accidental exposure.

How often should I schedule pest control treatments?

Monthly or quarterly pest control treatments offer the best defense against pests. Products like Sentricon only need to be used once per season, whereas mosquito yard sprays may require monthly spraying. Our pest control plans are designed to provide year-round relief against all pests with a mix of monthly and quarterly treatments.

Is it normal to see an increase in insect activity during spring?

Yes, it’s normal to see increased pest activity, especially as many pests leave diapause to forage for food once more.

Are there any risks associated with DIY pest control methods?

Yes, even organic insecticides can be dangerous if mishandled. That’s why it’s important to read directions carefully and always consult with a professional. The last thing you want is for an infestation to grow out of control.

What are some natural ways to repel mosquitoes?

Some natural mosquito repellents include:

  • Sprays containing DEET or picaridin
  • Wearing long sleeves
  • Installing outdoor fans at high speeds
  • Mesh mosquito netting
  • Certain essential oils, such as citronella