Ants, Beetles, Centipedes…Oh My! Yes, Spring Also Means Bugs
Utica, NY (WIBX) - The arrival of Spring brings along many household pests, and officials with the National Pest Management Association are warning about the dangers these creepy crawlers pose to many. Technical Director for the association, Jim Fredericks, says besides the nuisance of having ants, beetles, and even stink bugs in the home, more than 500,000 people are taken to the Emergency Room each year, due to allergic reactions from insect bites.
Fredericks said, "There are lots of allergies that are associated with pests, in particular there's been a lot of research with regard to cockroaches and how the cockroach droppings and the shed skins, the particles from that can actually cause people to have allergic reactions and can also make folks that have asthma, have attacks that will exacerbate existing asthmatic conditions."
Another pest that has a tendency to cause asthmatic conditions and allergic reactions in people are mice, and Fredericks says the protein found in mice urine, when they become air-born on dust particles can often cause serious health problems. He says house mice are a problem year round but as the weather warms they've already established shelter in a home.
"Mice have adapted to be able to live with humans and thrive with humans, and so once mice have become established within a home they often time won't leave, and so those problems that may have started in the autumn and winter will continue, as mice continue to reproduce and live in the home," he said.
Fredericks says many creepy crawlers like centipedes and millipedes are waking up with the warmer weather and are on the hunt for food. He says although they don't pose a serious threat to people, researchers are witnessing large migration of these types of creepy crawlers. "And when folks see this sort of thing, it's very disconcerting and often time they're not sure exactly what to do," he said.
Although insects and other house hold pests are interested in moisture, Fredericks says the rainy weather that many parts of the country are seeing right now, will cause them to seek higher ground and often those dry areas will be inside the house. "Centipede could potentially bite, but that's not something that they're interested in doing but in large numbers these things could be very disconcerting," he said.
This time of year stink bugs are also posing a problem for many. The brown marmoraded stink bug is a new pest that was introduced to the U.S. in the late 1990s, and Fredericks says it's believed that they were introduced near Allentown, PA, and have since spread throughout the mid-Atlantic. "These stink bugs are named stink bugs because they have a really off-putting smell when they're crushed or when they're alarmed, but they will travel to homes in the fall to seek warmth over the winter to hibernate," he said. Although they don't infest or reproduce in the home, they will enter homes this time of year, Fredericks said.
A recent survey of over 1000 pest management professionals found that beg bugs are multiplying in rapid numbers. Fredericks said bed bugs are a problem in every major city, in every state across the nation and also world-wide. The National Pests Management Association recently adopted a set of best management practices for bed bugs and Fredericks says it can be helpful for professionals who are dealing with bed bug, but also for homeowner who can review it to learn about the types of questions to ask.
A copy of the best practices document can be found at: www.pestworld.org. The document is available is English and Spanish. The website also provides useful tips homeowners can use to keep creepy crawlers outside of their homes.