Winter is typically a quieter time for service calls here at Steve’s Pest Control. But we’ve been busy training, learning new pest-fighting techniques and getting all of our equipment serviced and ready for what’s coming right about now – when those pesky dormant pests come out of hiding and begin to show signs of life in your home. What Springtime Invaders? As temperatures begin to rise, we typically field complaints about two main groups of pests: “non-seasonal” pests (such as mice, German roaches and bed bugs) that are active year round, and “dormant and over-wintered” pests that are emerging from where they’ve been hiding out on your property. Many people don’t realize that pests do actually hibernate within their homes, but several varieties do. Box elder bugs, cluster flies, clover mites and lady beetles actually build up fat storage in their bodies during the warmer months and use that to survive during winter hibernation. They hide out in your home in the fall, as temperatures begin to lower towards freezing. The creepy-crawlies survive the winter in areas you would expect – attics, crawl spaces, etc. – but also in less expected spaces. Just about any gap, crack, crevice or void within your home could serve as a winter hide out. Outdoor places can work too: low decks, overgrown vegetation and thick mulch can provide enough shelter for some pests to survive the winter cold. How do I get Hibernators out of Hiding? Once they’ve found a harboring space within your home and survived all winter, it’s nearly impossible to get rid of the problem for good. This is because what really bothers you as the property owner are the bugs that we can all see, not the ones still in hiding. We can treat those as we see them, but future generations may already be brewing back in the hibernation spot. So it’s important to understand that the best we can expect from a one-time treatment is pest CONTROL, but not IRRADICATION. To really get to the heart of the problem, home and business owners can look into a treatment program that’s customized for their property. Instead of responding to pests after they’ve taken hold (and if they’re bothering you enough to give us a call – believe us, they have), a treatment program is a planned service that treats your property for common pests BEFORE they become a problem. Service plans typically treat multiple times during the months when pests are considered “active.” This is usually spring through fall. The goal of these plans is to first get rid of any pests that are active, and then to prevent future infestations by creating a barrier to keep them away from your property for good. Some plans even offer additional benefits – our 5-Star Advantage plan also includes termite protection, plus a guarantee. With a professional service plan in place, you may never notice another pest in your home!