Raking leaves isn’t the most fun fall activity, but if you leave those leaf piles too long, you may have some unforeseen consequences. In this post, you’ll learn how leaving leaves could cause some pest issues.
Leaves provide hiding places for pests
Pests are always on the lookout for food, shelter, and water; leaf piles can provide both food and shelter. The problem is, many of us don’t always get around to the fall chores like we should, and this can lead to pest issues.
Unfortunately leaves tend to fall all over your yard as the seasons change, and sometimes where they accumulate can cause more problems. One area to be on the look out for is if leaves start falling right next to your home.
As your home ages and shifts over time, cracks and entry points can start to appear. On top of that, as temperatures change, pests will start to look for new shelter and warmer places.
When close to the ground, leaves can mask those entry points as well as provide shelter for these pests. If pests are already hanging out near your home by entry points, it doesn’t take much for them to find their way in.
Fallen leaves also provide warmth and shelter for pests
Along with being a great hiding place for pests, leaf piles can also create a warm area for pests to hide out. Most pests either die off, go into hibernation, or find new shelter as the seasons change and temperatures drop.
Leaf piles can actually provide safety and warmth for pests as the seasons change. The piles of leaves can create a barrier and insulation for pests allowing them to survive longer throughout the colder months.
For some pests like moles, it can let them stay closer to the surface and cause more damage to your yard. For other pests like ticks, it gives them extra warmth to live much longer into the fall and in some cases even throughout the winter.
As the temperatures drop, some pests also become more aggressive in their search for food and hosts, in the case of wasps and ticks. This could mean your family may be at risk from attacks from these and similar pests.
Fallen leaves can also create food sources for pests
Cleaning your gutters of fallen leaves should be another fall cleanup priority for property owners. Removing leaves from gutters can help keep away potentially harmful pests as well as being good for the gutters.
Many pests can live and breed in fallen leaf piles, and with leaves in your gutter, it can also accumulate standing water as well. This creates a perfect, living, breeding, and feeding ground for many pests.
The standing water can be home to mosquitoes laying eggs, pests like earwigs finding a home, and even a feeding ground for wasps. Adult wasps usually feed on sugary substances, but their young larva often feed on other insects.
Decaying leaves can become a great food source for many pests as well.
So by creating a nice home for insects with leaving falling leaves behind, many wasps like to hang out as well to feed their young. With this easy access to food nearby, this can also lead to wasps building nests near your home.
In addition to that, with temperatures dropping in the fall, wasps become more aggressive, which can further put your family at risk.
Leaf piles can also allow pests access to food sources they wouldn’t otherwise be able to reach. Most pests are avid climbers and these stacks of leaves can allow them to reach new food sources as many are disappearing during the fall months.
This means pests can survive longer throughout the year and increases their chances of getting into your home. Do yourself a favor and make fall clean up a priority around your home to help reduce pest activity.
In addition to clean up, we recommend having some barrier treatments put in place around your home to reduce issues of pests entering ad breeding in your home this fall.
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