HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT)-- It may be March Madness in your bracket, but it's also March Madness for bugs and insects.
"It started up over the weekend when we started getting into some warmer temperatures," said Kenneth Creel, a regional extension agent for the Alabama Cooperative Extension System. His work specializes in home grounds, gardens, and home pests.
"Ants and termites, [the warm temperatures] signal it's time to reproduce," he said. "Then the winged reproductives leave the colony."
And that means they could end up in your home or garden seeking food, water, or shelter. Shawn Levie, sales manager at ATEC Pest Control in Huntsville, said it's important to take preventive steps including exclusion work, yourself.
"Seal up any kind of entry points around the doors or windows," he recommended, "and make sure the water is draining away from the house."
General Manager at ATEC Pest Control, Jason Campbell added, "Caulking around any kinds of water pipes or anything like that [would help.]" He also recommended cleaning gutters and spraying pesticide around the foundation of your home after doing landscaping or laying down pine bark or mulch.
Campbell and Levie say nother important step is knowing when to call in a professional. That would be if you find more than just one or two bugs that concern you.
"Then you might want to bring in a professional to get their opinion," said Levie.
Creel said we should also expect to see snakes come out this time of year, and after the water reaches 40 degrees Fahrenheit, mosquitoes can multiply rapidly. But he cleared up a common misconception for us about the effect of unusually cold or snowy winters on insect populations the following summer.
"It's going to have nothing to do with the ultimate population of insects this summer," he said. "All it'll do is delay [when] they become active."