Current Pest Activity Marks Brink of Spring
Orkin Branches Report on Active Pests and Predict Increases Due to Mild Winter
Spring pest season is here, and with it may come increased pest activity due to the mild winter, according to experts from Orkin, Inc., the Atlanta-based pest control leader. Several Orkin branches throughout the country report that as winter rodent activity tapers off, they currently see — or predict — an early emergence of spring pests like ants and termites.
“Warmer temperatures, plus moisture from rain and melting snow, provide ideal conditions for pests,” said Ron Harrison, Ph.D., technical director for Orkin, Inc. “In some regions where the winter temperatures did not drop low enough to hamper pest survival and reproduction, homeowners may see more spring pests than usual this year.”
Even Orkin branches in cooler regions like Chicago expect a spring uptick in pest activity, as this year’s snow cover actually shielded underground pests from chilly above-ground temperatures. With more pests surviving the winter, homeowners should expect increased activity throughout the spring and into mid-summer when the heat reaches its peak. Rodent activity, on the other hand, may seem to decline as the weather warms and pests move from their winter hideaways inside homes and businesses to the warmer outdoors.
While the winter has impacted regions across the U.S. differently, Orkin branches throughout the country indicate that rodents, ants and termites are currently the most consistently active pests.
According to one New York City area Orkin branch, winter rodent activity will soon taper off from 20 calls to 5 – 10 calls per month with the arrival of spring. The branch anticipates 200 – 300 termite calls and 30 cockroach calls each month when the weather warms. Overall, the branch expects a 20 percent increase in calls this spring over last spring.
In the Southeast, ants and termites are already active, with one of Orkin’s Atlanta branches reporting an estimated 32 Argentine ant calls per month. The branch anticipates the same or higher level of spring pest activity this year due to warm weather conditions. Orkin’s West Palm Beach, Fla., branch currently receives around 30 termite calls per month — a 10 percent increase over past years.
While winter rodent activity is beginning to slow in the Midwest, ant activity is on the rise. Orkin’s Skokie, Ill., branch, located outside Chicago, averages more than 600 ant calls per month in the spring. The branch expects 30 percent more calls this spring than last spring since more pests survived the winter.
Orkin’s South Houston branch, one of three local Orkin branches, continues to experience winter rodent activity — fielding 60 calls per month. By the end of April, the branch anticipates per month averages of 30 – 35 calls for crazy ants and 30 – 40 calls for fleas. Crazy ant activity may double from last year, as the pest reproduces quickly and has continued to spread across the region.
In the Northwest and southern California, rodents are a year-round issue, while ant activity dramatically increases in the spring. Beginning in March, Orkin’s Seattle branch averages 100 – 150 ant calls per month. Local experts anticipate more ants this spring due to the milder winter. By the end of March, Orkin’s Glendale, Calif., branch in suburban Los Angeles will average 300 ant calls per month, which is typical for the spring.
Local Orkin branch managers emphasize that pest activity is weather-dependent and may change based on sudden temperature swings in early spring. While the specific pests and levels of activity vary by region, rodents, ants and other pests are on the move with the change in season.
About Orkin, Inc.
Founded in 1901, Atlanta-based Orkin, Inc. is an industry leader in essential pest control services and protection against termite damage, rodents and insects in the United States, Canada, Mexico, Central America, the Middle East, the Caribbean and Asia. With more than 400 locations, Orkin’s almost 8,000 employees serve approximately 1.7 million customers. The company serves homeowners and numerous industries including food and beverage processing, foodservice, hospitality, healthcare, retail, warehousing, property/facilities management, schools and institutions. Learn more about Orkin on our website at www.orkin.com. Orkin is a wholly owned subsidiary of Rollins, Inc. (NYSE: ROL).
CAUTION CONCERNING FORWARD-LOOKING STATEMENTS
This release contains statements that constitute “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These forward-looking statements include the Company’s expectations regarding spring call levels for pest activities. The actual results of the Company could differ materially from those indicated by the forward-looking statements because of various risks and uncertainties, including without limitation, general economic conditions which may adversely affect our services and weather conditions that may affect our operations. All of the foregoing risks and uncertainties are beyond the ability of the Company to control, and in many cases the Company cannot predict the risks and uncertainties that could cause its actual results to differ materially from those indicated by the forward-looking statements. A more detailed discussion of potential risks facing the Company can be found in the Report on Form 10-K filed by Rollins, Inc. with the Securities and Exchange Commission for the year ended December 31, 2008.