Spring Pests to Watch Out for in 2023

Spring Pests to Watch Out for in Massachusetts, Rhode Island, New Hampshire, Maine and New England for 2023.

Springtime pests including beetles, wasps, and more.

Spring is like the rollercoaster track that brings pests out of hibernation and straight into their summer of mischief. With the mild winter we’ve had in the Northeast this year, get ready for a “spring shower” of unwanted guests! Read on to see our pest forecast for this spring in the Northeast, along with pest prevention tips…

Ants & Termites

The Ants Go Marching One by One

The ants go marching one by one, hurrah, hurrah
The ants go marching one by one, hurrah, hurrah
The ants go marching one by one,
The little one stops to suck his thumb
And they all go marching down to the ground
To get out of the rain, BOOM! BOOM! BOOM!

As the song goes, the ants do go marching one by one in the springtime, foraging for food, and potentially a new nesting spot. They’ve hibernated all winter, and they do what anybody would do after a long nap – go and look for a snack. These little guys are hungry, and it will take more than a magnifying glass to get rid of them if you aren’t prepared. Ants are often the first pest homeowners see in the spring to kick off the pest-warm season. So if you see some foraging around your home, just know there’s a whole colony where that came from! 

Carpenter Ants vs. Pavement Ants – Carpenter ants have distinctive antennae while pavement ants do not.

Carpenter Ant vs. Pavement Ant

Pavement Ants

Think of those little brown or black ants you usually spot around springtime. They’re often seen around cracks in the pavement, hence their name. These little guys are known for building their homes underground and scouting around for food. They’re into all sorts of snacks, like sweets, greasy stuff, and bugs. They’re not exactly the best house guests though, as you’ll most likely find them snooping around your pantry. And once they’re in, they’re tough to get rid of!

Little Black Ants

You’ll most likely spot these tiny dark-colored ants scurrying around by early spring. They’re pretty common and can be found almost anywhere – in your yard, on your driveway, or even inside your house. While they’re not exactly dangerous, they can be a bit of a pain, especially if they start invading your kitchen or living space. In contrast to pavement ants, little black ants prefer nesting indoors. So, keep an eye out for those little critters to keep them from overstaying their welcome!

Carpenter Ants

These are the ants you should be worried about. They’re pretty big compared to other ants, around 1/4 to 1/2 inch long, and come in black or red. They’re called carpenter ants because they like to build their nests in wood, and they can cause some serious damage if left unchecked. While they don’t eat wood like termites do, they do chew through it to make nests. Carpenter ants also tend to be more active at night, so you might not even realize you have a problem. If you see these guys hanging around or find some sawdust-like material, it’s time to call in pest control experts.


Every year around springtime, termite treatment becomes one of our most-requested services. Simply put, once homeowners see support beams looking like swiss cheese, it quickly becomes priority #1. Termites feed on wood, paper, and other materials that contain cellulose and can even spread diseases and contaminate food sources. In order to prevent termite infestations, it’s important to be aware of the signs such as hollow-sounding wood, wings near windows or doors, and piles of sawdust.

Mosquitoes & Ticks

Springtime marks the return of two sworn enemies to humans – mosquitoes and ticks. These pesky little creatures get their wings, so to speak, starting in the spring, and they quickly become a major nuisance. That’s why it’s best to spray for mosquitoes and ticks early on before their populations have a chance to rebound. If you don’t take action in the spring, you’ll be swatting and scratching all summer long.

But it’s not just about the immediate relief – thinking even further down the line, populations become extremely aggressive in the fall when it starts to get cold and resources become more scarce. This is when they become especially desperate, and much more likely to bite humans and pets as a result. 

So, if you want to keep yourself and your furry friends safe, it’s important to take preventive measures as early as possible. Use repellents, wear long sleeves and pants, and keep your yard clean and tidy to minimize the chances of mosquito and tick infestations. And if you do notice an uptick in their activity, don’t hesitate to call in the pros to help you get things under control.

A backyard bucket full of water shows termite larvae incubating.

Precautions: Mosquitoes & Ticks

When it comes to these pests, there’s more to worry about than just pesky mosquito bites and ticks on the family dog. Mosquitoes are well-known spreaders of dangerous diseases, such as EEE (Eastern Equine Encephalitis) and West Nile Virus, which pose a serious threat to you and your family. In some cases, these illnesses can be life-threatening, making it all the more important to take preventative measures to avoid getting bitten in the first place.

Ticks are no less dangerous, as they are known carriers of many diseases, including Lyme Disease. A bite from an infected tick can transmit the bacteria that causes Lyme Disease, which can lead to serious long-term health problems if left untreated.

Given the risks associated with mosquitoes and ticks, it’s essential to take precautions to minimize your exposure to these pests. Wearing protective clothing, using repellents, and being mindful of your surroundings when spending time outdoors can all go a long way in reducing your risk of bites and illness. And if you do happen to get bitten, be sure to monitor the affected area closely and seek medical attention if you experience any unusual symptoms. With a bit of awareness and some careful planning, you can keep yourself and your loved ones safe from the dangers of mosquitoes and ticks.

Bees, Wasps and Hornets

Comparing honey bee, hornet, wasp, and yellowjacket.“April showers bring May flowers” … and bees!

Typically, stinging insects aren’t as prevalent until the summer and fall when they’ve nested, expanded their colonies, and finally become more aggressive in their quest for resources. But if you’re vigilant and know which species to watch out for, you can beat them to the summer fun early in the spring.

Fortunately, not all insects that buzz around in the spring are out to sting you. Some are harmless pollinators, such as bees and butterflies, which play an important role in our ecosystem. By learning to recognize different stinging insects, you can better protect yourself and your family.


BOLO: Watch out for these stingers!

Carpenter Bees

Carpenter bees used exposed wood to burrow into and lay eggs. They bore into wood and can cause damage to decks, porches, and other wooden structures. They can also sting if disturbed, so it’s important to take precautions when dealing with them.

Paper Wasps

Paper wasps are not the most aggressive stinging insect, but one of the most obtrusive. It’s their nests, which look like small, gray, papery umbrellas that are often found in places that are too close to home for comfort. Paper wasps build their nests out of chewed wood and saliva, and they feed on nectar and other insects. They are most active during the warmer months of the year, and they will defend their nests if disturbed.


The European Hornet and the Bald-Faced Hornet are two species of hornets that have stingers and aren’t afraid to use them. The European Hornet is the largest hornet in the Northeast, with a reddish-brown body and yellow stripes. The Bald-Faced Hornet is native to North America and is black and white in color. It builds large paper nests in trees or on building eaves, and it is known for its aggressive behavior when defending its nest. Both species of hornets can be dangerous if provoked, so it’s important to be aware of their presence if you’re outdoors.


Yellowjackets are another trigger-happy stinging insect. They typically nest underground near food sources and will defend their nest to the death. In fact, they’ll even sting humans repeatedly, unprovoked! What’s this guy’s problem? You’ll want to walk the other way if you see one of these stingers in your neighborhood.

What you can do to get pest free before the summer…

Drain the Swamp

We’re looking at you, mosquitoes. These pests don’t need a still lake to lay eggs. Even a small bucket or puddle in your backyard can become a breeding ground for these pests. To prevent mosquitoes, be sure to drain standing water, keep the area clear of debris and clutter, and clean gutters.

Keep it Tidy

Keeping your yard tidy is an important part of preventing pests from taking up residence. Remove any debris that may have accumulated over the winter, as this can provide shelter and easy access to food for pests. Make sure to keep your lawn mowed and trimmed, and remove any dead plants or branches that could be used as nesting material. Additionally, make sure to store any food or garbage in sealed containers to prevent pests from getting access to it.

Batten Down the Hatches

Get airtight by sealing up any small holes around your property. This includes checking for holes around pipes and cabling running through your walls, foundation, and attic area. Make sure to use caulk or other sealants to fill in any gaps and cracks that could provide easy access for pests. Additionally, be sure to check your windows and doors for any gaps or cracks that need to be sealed. This will help keep pests out of your home and prevent them from getting inside.

Get Pest Free with A1 Exterminator’s Pest Prevention Plan

A1 Gary steps on a pest with flag raised.

Our Pest Prevention Plan covers a bouquet of spring pests, including but not limited to: mosquitoes and ticks, termites and ants, and even year-round pests like bed bugs and roaches. It includes (3) additional visits per year at no additional cost, allowing our technicians to come back and retreat as necessary. Oftentimes, our technicians are called back for new pests that were different than the initial infestation. In the Northeast, there are dozens of common pests that intrude throughout the year with the changing seasons. Get protected all year long with our Pest Prevention Plan. To learn more, click here

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