Whether in a single-family home or an apartment building, every homeowner has experienced that moment: he or she turns on the kitchen light in the middle of the night to see a huge water bug scurry across the counter, or hear the sound of tiny rodent feet scampering behind the wall. It’s a feeling that can make you jump, recoil, or shiver - but contrary to what most of us would like to believe, bugs and other pests are not necessarily the result of sheer uncleanliness (although that can certainly be a factor). Vermin are a fact of life, or rather a fact of human coexistence. And changing seasons bring different types of pests, so knowing what to expect and when can give us higher mammals an edge in keeping our homes pest-free - even with the coronavirus pandemic complicating the process, along with just about every other aspect of maintaining multifamily buildings.
Even though having outside contractors coming into common areas and private units represents a health risk, an unchecked pest problem does too. Rodents and roaches produce allergens that can cause respiratory distress, and biting and stinging pests can trigger reactions in some people severe enough to require hospitalization - so foregoing regular visits from the exterminator out of concerns about COVID really isn't advisable. According to the National Pest Management Association (NPMA) "Although many businesses in communities worldwide have had to close their doors [because of COVID-19]...professional pest control has been recognized as an essential service by the United States Department of Homeland Security. This means [that] most pest control companies in the US are still working hard to protect our food supply and our critical national infrastructure, while also continuing to reduce the threat of pest-borne disease to homes and businesses."
So make certain your pest control professionals are well-versed and fully trained in CDC-compliant safety measures (masking, social distancing, and so forth) and let's take a look at some of the seasonal wildlife they'll be doing battle with as summer draws to a close.
Different pests may become more common at certain times of year, primarily due to climatic conditions. “Mother nature is unpredictable,” says Armando Martinez of Pest Control Chicagoland in Chicago. “Weather plays a big part. In the fall, we see an increase in occasional invaders such as centipedes, millipedes, silverfish and spiders. Rats and mice are occasional invaders, too, and often move indoors in the fall.” They don’t live in harmony though, he explains. “You can see both in one building, but not in the same part of the building.”
Rodents don’t want to be out in the cold, so they seek shelter often in homes and buildings for the winter - and this winter in particular may be a doozy when it comes to furry home invaders. According to the NPMA, the disruption of human movement patterns during the pandemic has also disrupted how some pests behave too - particularly rats and mice. In regions where many - if not most - people are staying indoors, there's less human traffic to deter rodents from venturing out (sometimes in broad daylight) to seek food and water. In the case of larger cities like New York or Chicago, the closure of restaurants - and the resulting empty dumpsters and trash cans - meant that a key food source for rats and mice disappeared almost overnight. Being the resourceful creatures they are, says the NPMA, "Without proper, ongoing pest control efforts, rodent populations will move from areas where businesses are closed, to areas where food and water are readily available,'...including residential buildings.