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Poets and songwriters have long noted that humans tend to fall in love in the springtime, but we’re not the only ones. Warmer temperatures, rainfall, and taller grasses present ideal conditions for several insects to find their mates in the spring. As you look around your home or spend time outdoors, you’ll probably notice that ants, crickets, cockroaches, and spiders are more active than usual. There’s also a lot happening in the insect world this time of year that we can’t see. Read on for interesting facts about how spring-loving bugs find their mates and reproduce.
Did you know the lifespan of a queen ant can reach up to 30 years? When warmer temperatures work their way in, queen ants take flight and mate with male ants in the air. The queen then scouts out a good location to found a new colony and lays her eggs. Because they need access to food and moisture, ants often select sites near homes or other structures for their colonies. Ant colonies range in size from hundreds to millions of worker ants, and every colony has at least one queen (sometimes several), whose only job is to increase the size of the colony through reproducing. The ants you see scrambling on your countertops for food are always the worker ants - once established, the queen never leaves her nest.
Crickets might be best known for their musical abilities. You've probably listened to a cricket’s serenade on a warm spring evening. This chirping sound is made when a male cricket rubs the tip of his wing against his teeth. For crickets, these songs function as a form of communication and certain songs signal their availability to potential mates. Yes, even crickets have “mood music.” Male crickets find their partners in the late spring but female crickets wait until the weather cools to lay their eggs, which they bury in the ground about an inch below the topsoil.
Because they have a relatively short breeding cycle, cockroaches mate during every season of the year. Female cockroaches carry their eggs in a small sac attached to their abdomen. The number of eggs varies by species, but many female cockroaches can carry 30-40 eggs at a time. In just a few months (or even weeks for some species), these eggs will reach adulthood. That means the average female cockroach can produce 200-300 more cockroaches within a year. These nocturnal feeders multiply rapidly, and because most of their activity takes place at night, an infestation can go unseen for a long time.
Male spiders take a major risk when they approach female spiders during mating season. Some female spiders attack males or even eat them after they mate. If the male is successful, the female spider weaves a sac and lays her eggs inside, sometimes up to 1,000. She then hangs the egg sac in a safe place, usually in an elaborate web of her own design, until the eggs hatch. However, some species (such as the wolf spider) attach the sac to their bodies until after the eggs hatch. If female spiders can make their way indoors for the winter, they may also lay eggs during that season. Those living outdoors prefer the warm temperatures of spring for their risky mating rituals.
Seasonal pest control can make a big difference in your ability to stop spring bug infestations before they start. At Homefront Pest Protection, our licensed pest control technicians know which seasonal pests to watch for, and we apply preventative maintenance to protect your home or business in advance. Contact us to talk about how we can help with any pest problems you’re experiencing today and how we can prepare your home or business for next season.