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 makes one want to jump, recoil, or shiver. In Brooklyn they have a word for it – skeeve – where you can literally feel your skin crawl.
Contrary to what most of us would like to believe, bugs, vermin, and other pests are rarely the result of uncleanliness – although that can be a factor. They are a fact of life, or rather a fact of human coexistence. They are even directly responsible for the presence of certain furry companions in human homes. While dogs became domesticated as an assistant to man in hunting food, cats – certainly the preferred pet of many a city dweller – eliminated pests (especially mice) from human habitats. And so was born one of the great interspecies relationships.
Adept as they are at keeping many kinds of pests at bay, cats aren’t the final word. Today we have exterminators – and a much better understanding of how to minimize (if not entirely eliminate) the presence of unwanted critters in our homes. But different 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.
All pests are not the same.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, on the one hand, are warm-blooded animals.They don’t want to be out in the cold, so they seek shelter often in homes and buildings for the winter. Insects crave a consistent water source, so they will seek that source inside in both cold and hot conditions, but especially during dry periods.