Why Ants and Spiders Invade Your Home in the Summer

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Summertime is full of all kinds of fun things that are unique to the season: lakes, ponds, and oceans get warm enough to swim in, backyard barbecues come back in fashion, and travel and adventure are just a car ride away. It does, however, have its drawbacks: the heat can at times be oppressive, the humidity brutal, and- you guessed it- pest invaders come out in droves to ruin your summer fun. Two of the worst perpetrators? Ants and spiders. So why does the summer bring out these tiny (and sometimes not so tiny) nuisances, and what can you do to stop them this summer? That’s just what we’re here to tell you.

 

Ants and Spiders to Watch Out For

Before we get too deep in the weeds about local ant and spider behavior patterns, let’s do a shallow dive into the breeds of spiders and ants that you should actually be on the lookout for in the Capital District and Adirondack Region; identification is key when it comes to understanding any kind of pest infestation:

 

Spiders

Many of the spiders that reside in this region are mostly harmless; breeds like the wolf spider, garden spider, sheet web spider, and daddy long legs can be irritating and sometimes even frightening, the threat that they pose is minimal. There is, however, only one confirmed poisonous spider in upstate New York that you should keep an eye out for: The Yellow Sac Spider.

Pale-yellow in color (as their name implies), these spiders are small and may appear innocuous; however, beware their bite! They can cause cramping and nausea, and are usually accompanied by a painful sore. These sores can take a while to heal, and although the bites aren’t fatal, they are uncomfortable enough that you’ll certainly want to avoid them if possible. Avoid blindly rustling around in old leaves and loose bark, and if you’re moving rocks around for whatever reason, do so cautiously; these are places that Yellow Sac Spiders like to sleep and hide.

Ants

There are six breeds of ants that are common in upstate New York:

Acrobat Ants: Although not dangerous, Acrobat Ants can be troublesome for property owners, because they can cause short circuiting in electrical equipment. These ants have a distinctive heart-shaped abdomen,and are able to “stand” on two legs (kinda cool).

Citronella Ants: More of a nuisance ant than anything else, this breed swarms in large numbers, and will quickly establish colonies in your home if they aren’t taken care of promptly. They are known for the unusual lemon scent that they emit when feeling threatened.

Odorous House Ants: Brown or black in color, these small ants are another nuisance ant; they will swarm to desirable foods and ultimately contaminate it, so despite their relative harmlessness, they’re not something you want infesting your home, either. They are unique for their pungent aroma that emits when squished.

Pavement Ants: Yet another nuisance ant, this smaller sized ant can sting and bite, but rarely do so; the main concern when it comes to Pavement Ants is their tendency to nest in pavement cracks and infest buildings. This breed is also one that has the dreaded flying ant variation--yuck!

Pharaoh Ants: Unlike the ant breeds previous, these ants are much more than just a nuisance; they are capable of spreading disease and can dish out painful bites, and can cause serious damage to wood structures in their nesting process. Light reddish-orange with black streaks on the abdomen, these ants are small, but pack a punch; pay particular attention to the coloring to determine if ants in your home or business are pharaoh ants, or a different breed.

Carpenter Ants: Well known for their destructive tendencies, carpenter ants are a larger size than most ants, either black or tan in color, and are what we call an economic pest; while they do not physically harm humans, they can cause major structural damage to any wood in or on your property, which can be costly if not addressed promptly.

 

So, Why Do Ants and Spiders Come Out in the Summer?

Ants show a startling increase in number during the summertime because they hibernate during the winters, which makes the summer their peak season to forage food for the not-so-distant hibernation period. Ants are going to be even more drawn to your space if you don’t take careful measures to avoid attracting them; try to vacuum often to suck up any stray food crumbs that may be around the house, and carefully wipe down counter tops, kitchen tables, and any other surfaces you typically eat on so that you aren’t leaving even the tiniest food for an ant to gravitate toward. If you tend to leave dishes in the sink overnight, or forget food out on the counter, DON’T! Even more than some loose crumbs, unsecured food or a dirty plate will look like a five-course meal to an ant, so be cautious and mindful of cleaning and keeping food in secure areas like cabinets and pantries.

Spiders likely don’t actually invade your home in the late Summer, but have actually been in hiding in your house for quite a while--eek. Their visibility increases in the late summertime in part because late summer is mating season for male spiders (yea, gross), and the summer is also the time when many other pests that spiders like to eat, such as mosquitoes and flies,

become much more active. So they’re looking to reproduce, and take advantage of an all-you-can-eat insect buffet--not the most comforting fact, but the truth all the same.

 

I’ve Already Got an Infestation: What Now?

Thomas Pest Services offers comprehensive pest control plans, both for private residences and commercial spaces. Our residential Complete Care Plan includes every other month service, which means interior and exterior treatments, monitoring, and targeting problem pests. That’s not just ants and spiders, it’s a whole range of common pests- from wasps to mice- and of course, ants and spiders. Commercially, our Integrated Pest Management program is built with your specific company in mind; that means our specialists will do whatever it takes to build the most effective program to stop that ant or spider infestation in its tracks, from habit modification to 24-hour monitoring protection.


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