Our world is filled with millions of insect and other animal species, all of which have incredibly distinctive appearances and qualities. When it comes to pests that can affect food processing facilities, it’s easy to forget about those unique situations in which unlikely insects and unlikely insect attractants can lead to increased pest activity.
Specifically during the fall, there are a number of pest activity scenarios that can take facility managers by surprise. Continue reading to learn the five things you may not know about fall pests:
- Light Paint Colors Can Cause Pest Activity. Many fall pests, especially lady bugs and stink bugs, are attracted to walls with light paint colors. Going forward, consider using darker paint colors on the exterior of your building to help prevent increased pest activity during autumn.
- Invasive Insect Species Can Turn from Helpful to Problematic. Through the years, many non-native insects have been introduced within the United States to act as biological control agents against specific pest insects. For example, the Asian lady beetle was brought to the United States in 1988 to help reduce native aphid populations that can ruin crops and other types of vegetation. Unfortunately, these lady beetles became a major issue in many areas of the country when void spaces including attics in buildings were invaded as overwintering sites. Coincidently, many of these invasive insect species are most active during the fall. Keep an eye out for invasive insects like lady beetles, and contact your pest management professional as soon as you spot an increase in activity.
- Some Insects Are Attracted to South- and West-Facing Walls. Many fall pests such as stink bugs and box elder bugs are associated with the south- and west-facing walls of a structure where the sun hits. These insects congregate here to seek warmth from the sun, so consider taking extra precautions against their activity on the south- and west-facing walls before they crawl inside.
- Pest Rodents Breed Rapidly. A female house mouse can give birth to a half dozen babies every three weeks, and produce up to 35 young per year. In the same year, the female house mouse’s offspring and her children can give birth. This means that, when left unnoticed, a rodent infestation has the potential to grow out of control — and fast. Work with your pest management professional to ensure a rodent control program is in place as soon as you become suspicious of rodent activity on your property.
- Box Elder Bugs Can Leave a Big, Colorful Mess. While box elder bugs don’t pose any serious health risks, they can make a big mess. Their droppings, which are reddish-orange in color, are unsightly and often leave stains on furniture and other equipment. Help keep box elder bugs out of your facility by sealing all cracks and crevices, installing weather stripping and door sweeps and reducing vegetation on your property.
Now that you know about these five unique facts, consider speaking with your pest management professional to learn what you can do to control the amount of fall pest activity on your property.
Patrick Copps is Technical Services Manager for Orkin’s Pacific Division. A Board Certified Entomologist in urban and industrial entomology, Mr. Copps has more than 35 years experience in the industry. For more information, email Mr. Copps at [email protected] or visit www.orkincommercial.com.