8:47 AM EST, February 29, 2012
You might be seeing more pest control trucks out on the road this time of year, because exterminators said they are busier than normal and the weather has something to do with it.
Several companies across the state said the mild winter and lack of moisture has some insects coming out sooner, and they are also seeing an increase in certain insect populations for this time of year.
Jim Cahill with Terminix on the northwest side said termite swarms, which typically begin showing up around the end of March 3, are already here. Additionally, they are seeing more carpenter ants, which are also unusual for this time of year.
Terminix has seen a 20 to 30 percent increase in new customer business over January and February of last year, and Cahill believes it has something to do with the mild winter. The hard freeze we typically get that kills off a lot of pests did not really happen this year.
Cahill said now is a great time to take a look around your home and do a little bug proofing.
"Keep the mulch down from around your house,” said Cahill. “You can make sure your gutter extenders are pushing water and moisture away from the house, make sure trees are trimmed so they're not hanging over the house. You don't wanna give the pest an avenue to get in. Also, make sure your cracks and crevasses along the foundation of your home and in the walls are sealed."
He said most reputable pest control companies offer an inspection of your home and property free of charge. They can tell you what you have, find the source of where they are coming from and take care of them for you.
As for mosquitoes, the winter weather does not really have an effect on populations. Marion County Mosquito Control said we may be seeing them sooner, but not necessarily more of them.
Heavy spring rains are typically the cause for an increase in mosquitoes in the spring and summer.