There are indeed four seasons in Philadelphia. Along with their varying weather patterns, they bring about several types of pests.
In this guide, you’ll uncover:
- The pest types according to various seasons
- How the weather attracts different kinds of insects
- Identifying characteristics of each pest
- Why nuisance birds are so hard to eliminate
What Summer Pests Are the Worst in Philadelphia?
Along the Delaware River are hundreds of inlets and reservoirs, from Biles Island to Chester Creek. These slow-moving waterways are excellent breeding sites for mosquitoes, and the sheer size of them makes control virtually impossible.
For those reasons, it’s up to each homeowner to devise a plan for managing this biting pest. Bug zappers and UV light traps work well. But sometimes, you may need your yard sprayed when your property becomes overrun.
During the summer months, several species of wasps make their presence felt in the Philadelphia area. Here are a few examples:
- Paper wasps
These stinging pests typically show up in late summer when their nests are well-established. Wasp colonies are usually small. However, some species can build nests as large as a basketball.
Paper wasps are typically docile and won’t attack unless you disturb their nests. So it’s best to leave them alone if they aren’t bothering anyone.
In contrast, the German yellowjacket will fiercely defend its territory, and it will do so by stinging you multiple times if you get too close. So, it’s best to let the pros handle their removal.
What Fall Pests Are the Worst in Philadelphia?
As temperatures start to cool and the air dries out, flies tend to invade indoor spaces. One female can lay up to 500 eggs in her lifetime, and it’s generally within decaying matter such as rotting food, sewage, or fecal matter.
Eggs typically hatch in a day or two. However, in cooler climates, it can take up to a month. After that, flies live from two to three weeks on average.
Boxelder bugs are true bugs found in boxelder, maple, and ash trees. They are about a half-inch long, dark grey, and have bright red veins on their wings. In addition, they’re sometimes incorrectly identified as stink bugs.
Scientists don’t classify the boxelder bug as an agricultural pest. However, these pests sometimes cause damage to fruit trees during the fall.
What Winter Pests Are the Worst in Philadelphia?
Rodents such as mice and rats are year-round pests in Philadelphia. Also, due to their rapid reproduction rate, they can take over an entire home in a matter of days, and it can be even faster if food and water are plentiful.
Most spiders in Pennsylvania are harmless. That goes for the common house spider as well as the wolf spider. Both species look scary but are non-poisonous to humans.
Other species of spiders found in Philadelphia are:
- Broad faced sac spider
- Parson spider
- Cellar spider (daddy longlegs)
These common arachnids tend to relocate indoors during the cold winter months. They inhabit wood sheds, storage spaces, as well as heated attics and basements.
What Spring Pests Are the Worst in Philadelphia?
Etymologists first discovered spotted lanternflies in Berks County in 2014. Since then, this invasive species has spread to most of Pennsylvania. You can also find them in these states:
- New Jersey
- New York
- West Virginia
You can identify adult spotted lanternflies by looking for these characteristics:
- One-inch long and 1/2 inch wide
- Gray wings with small black spots
- Nymphal stages have white spots
- Adults have bright, crimson hind wings
Spotted lanternflies are planthoppers, meaning they resemble the jumping behavior of grasshoppers when searching for food. Although they can fly, hopping from leaf to leaf is the preferred method.
Spotted lanternflies cause over $345 million in damage each year to the Pennsylvania economy. They can also wreak havoc on residential trees and plants. So, if you notice this flying pest in your neighborhood, it’s best to report it to the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture.
Starlings and other pest birds can be a problem for residents living on the outskirts of Philadelphia. You can also find them roosting in large suburban trees as well as buildings within urban centers.
In most rural areas, starlings are beneficial for the environment. They keep insect pests to a minimum, which helps farmers preserve crops. However, they become pests due to their large numbers.
Starlings are a challenge to control since they’re so highly adaptable. Also, their overwhelming populations make it impossible to trap them. So, it’s best to seek the advice of a professional when trying to eliminate them from your property.