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Ticks expected to boom this spring



The National Pest Management Association (NPMA) released its bi-annual Bug BarometerTM, an indicator of the pest pressure and activity that Americans can expect to see in their respective regions of the country based on weather patterns and long-term predictions, as well as pest biological behaviors. According to the group’s team of entomologists, pest activity will generally be in full force thanks in large part to both leftover moisture and mild conditions in various parts of the country.

“This year’s La Niña brought unusual moisture, sleet and snow to southern areas that are typically much warmer and drier this time of year, while conversely, areas like the Northwest that are usually colder in the winter had much milder weather,” said Jim Fredericks, Ph.D. “Residual moisture is a prime attraction for pests, especially home-damaging termites and mosquitoes known for transmitting disease, and conditions are ideal for when these pests typically flourish in the springtime.”

Meanwhile, areas that experienced drier, hotter conditions than normal have paved the way for other pests. “Tick populations will continue to boom with the onset of even warmer weather ahead,” said Fredericks.

Based on this analysis, the National Pest Management Association’s Bug BarometerTM is forecasting a busy spring and summer for pests:

Northeast & New England: The area experienced extremely cold weather and several heavy snowstorms. If colder weather persists into spring, expect rodents to continue moving indoors for warmth and food. However, as warm temperatures eventually return, ticks could once again become a major concern throughout the area.

Great Lakes, Ohio Valley & Midwest: The lower half of this region saw colder, drier conditions. Look for ants to be out in full force this spring as drier conditions drive them indoors in search of moisture. When warmth and moisture do finally return to the region, ticks will be on the rise.

Southeast: Despite an unseasonably cold winter, mosquitoes will rebound quickly due to the accumulation of moisture in the region. Expect termites and cockroaches to similarly thrive as it gets warmer.

North Central U.S.: Prepare for ticks to do well in this region thanks to warmer-than-average winter temperatures. Flies and ants will also thrive due to unseasonably high temperatures.

South Central U.S.: After an unusually cold and wet winter, termite pressure will be high in parts of this region where moist conditions persist into spring. Cockroaches and other crawling pests will also be a concern as the temperature rises.

Northwest U.S.: Exceptionally warm winter weather made it easier for last year’s ant populations to survive the winter and begin to expand their colonies in the spring. Ticks will also take advantage of warmer spring temperatures, giving populations a jumpstart before the summer months.

Southwest U.S.: As temperatures continue to rise following an unusually warm winter, look for ants and cockroaches to become a major concern in and around homes as they seek out food and water.

For more information on NPMA’s Bug BarometerTM or to learn more about protecting against common household pests, visit

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