Cicadas are fascinating insects known for their distinct buzzing sound and periodic emergence in large numbers. While they play a vital role in ecosystems, their presence in and around our homes can be a nuisance. In this blog post, we'll delve into the world of cicadas, discuss their impact on our homes and health, explore effective pest control measures, and highlight the valuable assistance provided by Heat Wave Pest Control, a trusted pest control company serving Austin, TX, and surrounding areas. So, if you're dealing with a cicada invasion or want to prevent one, keep reading!
A cicada is an insect whose species belongs to the order Hemiptera. These fascinating creatures are known for their unique buzzing sound, which is produced by the males to attract mates. Cicadas have a distinct appearance, with large, elongated bodies, transparent wings, and prominent eyes. They are generally large in size, ranging from 1 to 2 inches in length.
Cicadas are divided into two main groups: annual cicadas and periodical cicadas. Annual cicadas emerge every year, while periodical cicadas have synchronized mass emergences that occur every 13 or 17 years, depending on the particular species used. These periodic and annual cicadas emergencies often create a spectacle, with thousands of cicadas emerging simultaneously, covering trees, shrubs, and even the ground.
While cicadas are mostly harmless to humans, their large numbers and the noise they produce can be disruptive. Additionally, their discarded exoskeletons or shells can accumulate in large quantities, especially in trees and shrubs. This can create a messy appearance and may require cleanup.
Cicadas are primarily found in outdoor environments, particularly in trees and shrubs where they lay their eggs. However, it’s not uncommon to find cicadas in and around our homes. Here are some common areas where cicadas lay eggs and may be found indoors:
1. Windows and doors:
Cicadas are attracted to sources of light, and they may accidentally fly indoors through open windows, doors, or gaps around them. It’s not uncommon to find cicadas buzzing near windows or clinging to window screens.
2. Cracks and gaps:
Cicadas can squeeze through small openings in walls, foundations, or vents. Inspect your home for any cracks or gaps and seal them to prevent cicadas and pests from entering.
3. Outdoor furniture:
If you have outdoor furniture near trees or shrubs, cicadas may land on them or seek shelter beneath them. Check your yard and patio furniture for any dead cicadas, or their discarded exoskeletons.
4. Walls and ceilings:
Cicadas can sometimes find their way into wall voids or ceiling spaces. If you hear the buzzing sound of a cicada but can’t locate it visually, it may be hiding a deep hole within the walls or ceilings.
5. Attics and crawl spaces:
These dark, secluded areas can attract cicadas seeking shelter. Inspect your attic or crawl space for any signs of cicadas or their exoskeletons.
Remember that cicadas are more commonly found outdoors, and their presence indoors is usually accidental. If you have a significant infestation of cicada bugs or notice an unusual number of cicadas inside your home, it may be necessary to seek professional pest control assistance to address the issue effectively.
Cicadas do not pose a direct threat to human health in terms of carrying diseases. However, it’s important to note that cicadas can still have an indirect impact on human health, especially for individuals with respiratory conditions or allergies. Here are a couple of potential health concerns associated with cicadas:
Cicadas shed their exoskeletons or shells as they molt and grow. These discarded exoskeletons, which are often found attached to trees, shrubs, or even outdoor furniture, can trigger allergies in sensitive individuals. Coming into contact with these exoskeletons or inhaling airborne particles from them may cause symptoms such as itching, skin rashes, or respiratory distress.
2. Asthma exacerbation:
For individuals with asthma, the presence of adult cicadas, and their discarded exoskeletons can potentially trigger asthma symptoms. The airborne particles released from exoskeletons or the buzzing sound of adult male cicadas may act as irritants, leading to respiratory difficulties or asthma attacks.
While the impact on human health is generally minimal, it’s important to take precautions if you or someone in your household has allergies or respiratory conditions. Minimizing exposure to cicadas and their exoskeletons, especially during periods of peak cicada activity, can help reduce the risk of allergic reactions or asthma exacerbations.
The best time to call a pest control company for a cicada infestation depends on several factors, including the severity of the infestation and the specific goals you have in mind. Here are some scenarios where contacting a pest control company like Heat Wave Pest Control would be beneficial:
1. Large-scale infestation:
If your property is experiencing a significant influx of cicadas, with a high number of individuals present and causing disruption, it’s advisable to reach out to a pest control company as soon as possible. Professional pest control experts have the knowledge and resources to effectively manage large- stray cicadas infestations and mitigate the impact on your property.
2. Landscape damage:
Cicadas can cause damage to trees, shrubs, and plants when the females lay their eggs. If you notice extensive damage to your landscape, such as wilting or dying foliage, it’s a good idea to consult with a pest control company. They can assess the extent of the damage, provide appropriate treatment options, and help restore the health of your plants and healthy trees.
3. Allergic reactions or health concerns:
If you or someone in your household experiences severe allergic reactions or respiratory distress due to the presence of cicadas, it’s important to prioritize your health and safety. Contacting a pest control company can help address the infestation in a manner that minimizes the risk of allergic reactions or exacerbations of respiratory conditions.
4. Future cicada season and prevention:
If you want to take proactive measures to prevent future cicada infestations, consulting with a pest control company is a wise choice. They can provide recommendations and implement preventive strategies to protect your property from cicadas during their periodic emergencies in early spring.
Preventing cicadas from entering your home can help maintain a pest-free environment. Here are some effective measures you can take to minimize the chances of cicadas finding their way indoors:
1. Seal openings: Inspect your windows, doors, and foundation for any gaps, cracks, or openings that cicadas could exploit. Use weatherstripping, caulk, or other suitable materials to seal these gaps. Pay attention to areas around window and door frames, door thresholds, and utility entry points.
2. Install window screens: Use fine mesh window screens on windows and doors to create a physical barrier that prevents cicadas from flying into your home while still allowing fresh air circulation. Make sure the screens are in good condition and properly fitted to the windows and doors.
3. Limit outdoor lighting: Cicadas are attracted to light sources, especially during their active periods. Consider reducing outdoor lighting or using yellow or sodium vapor bulbs, as these are less attractive to insects. Minimizing outdoor lighting near entrances can help deter cicadas from flying toward your home.
4. Close doors and windows: When cicadas are prevalent in your area, keep your doors and windows closed, especially during the early morning, late summer and peak activity periods of cicadas. This reduces the likelihood of cicadas accidentally entering your home.
5. Use door sweeps: Install door sweeps or draft stoppers on the bottom of exterior doors to create a tight seal and prevent cicadas and other animals from crawling or flying underneath.
6. Maintain tree and shrub distances: Trim tree branches, and foliage away from your home’s exterior. By keeping trees and shrubs a reasonable distance from your yard and house, you reduce the chances two species of cicadas landing or accessing your home more easily.
7. Repair damaged screens: Inspect and repair any damaged window screens or screens on vents, ensuring that there are no gaps or tears that could allow cicadas to enter.
8. Use repellents near entrances: Apply insect repellents or natural deterrents near doors, windows, and other potential entry points to discourage cicadas from approaching. Citronella, peppermint oil, or neem oil can be effective natural options.
9. Cover vents hot tubs and openings: Install mesh screens or covers over attic vents, hot tub,, exhaust openings, and other openings that could serve as entry points for cicadas.
10. Seek professional pest control assistance: If you’re dealing with a persistent cicada problem despite your preventive efforts, consider contacting a professional pest control company like Heat Wave Pest Control. They have the expertise and knowledge to handle cicada infestations effectively and can provide targeted treatments and strategies to keep cicadas at bay.
Getting get rid of cicadas can be challenging due to their large numbers and the nature of their life cycle. Here are some methods you can try to manage cicadas on your own:
1. Physical removal: If you have a few cicadas inside your home, you can use a vacuum cleaner or broom to gently sweep them up and dispose of them outdoors. Be careful not to crush them, as their bodies can leave behind stains.
2. Use insect repellents: Apply insect repellents around entrances to deter cicadas from entering your home. Look for repellents specifically designed for flying insects. Natural repellents like neem oil or peppermint oil can also be effective.
3. Netting or barriers protect trees: If you have valuable plants or trees in whole yard that you want to protect from cicadas, cover them with fine netting or mesh to prevent young cicadas’ from laying eggs on them. This can help reduce damage to your vegetation.
4. Avoid bright clothing: When spending time outdoors during periods of high cicada activity, avoid wearing bright or floral-patterned clothing, as these can attract cicadas.
If you’re unsure about how to effectively handle a cicada infestation or want professional assistance, don’t hesitate to reach out to Heat Wave Pest Control for expert advice and services tailored to your specific situation.
Heat Wave Pest Control specializes in pest management, including cicada control. When you contact them, their trained professionals will assess the severity of the infestation and develop a customized cicada rain plan tailored to your specific needs. They utilize safe and eco-friendly methods to manage cicada populations while minimizing the impact on your home and surroundings.
In conclusion, dealing with cicadas pests can be a daunting task, but with the assistance of a professional pest control company like Heat Wave Pest Control, you can regain peace and tranquility in your home. Remember, prevention is key, so take the necessary steps to protect your home from cicada invasions. For more information and expert advice on pest problems, consult the following resources:
Don’t let cicadas disrupt your daily life or cause damage to your property. Contact Heat Wave Pest Control today for a consultation or inspection. Their experienced team will provide the best solutions to prevent or control cicada infestations effectively. Enjoy a pest-free home and a peaceful environment!