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Here’s the question burning in the minds of many mountain folk: After all the rain and snow, are we going to have lots of pests this summer? My definitive answer is: maybe, depending on the pest.

When it comes to fast breeding bugs like mosquitoes, gnats, aphids and so on, my answer is yes—these pests will be annoying everyone when the daffodils are blowing in the wind. Forest + warm weather + water + sunshine = the most detested insects in the world. That’s a mathematical certainty.

Ants are unique insects in that they store food and survive the winter, so the number of ants we’ll see in early spring will correspond to last fall’s population. They’ll have lots of dead bugs to feed on, and by July ant populations will be as high as a Jazz Age barfly.

Rat and mice populations should also pick up where they left off last fall, and the abundant grasses, weeds and seeds will give them food and hiding places galore. I predict that rodents will be driving homeowners crazy by summer; by football season, newspaper headlines will read: “Ravenous Rodents Overtaking Tailgate Parties!”

“But Mike, what about those awful moths I find by the thousands in my house every spring?” Those moths are called cutworms and they feed on decaying vegetation in your yard. The females lay eggs in the fall and that’s when the population is set. It is possible, however, that we could see a bunch of them because the females have sensed the coming green spring and produced more eggs as a result. Or maybe not. Like I said, these are complex questions.

Speaking as the owner of a pest control company, however, here’s my definitive—and simple—conclusion: there’s going to be a whole lotta pests this year, folks, so keep our Home Defenders number handy!

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