What Are Perimeter Insect Pests, And How Do Their Population Numbers Vary Within And Around Different Types Of Yard Landscapes?

April 2, 2020 | Posted In: Georgia Pest & Termite Control

Perimeter insect pests maintain a presence on residential properties, particularly around foundations where they frequently gain easy access into homes. Many perimeter insect pests cannot reproduce indoors, and therefore, they spend most of their lives outdoors, but they often invade homes to seek out food sources, secure temporary shelter, or even to catch prey. Basically, perimeter pests include all arthropod pests that are commonly kept from invading homes by perimeter pesticide treatments.

Perimeter pesticide treatments create a barrier around homes that insect pests are unable to penetrate, and they are most commonly applied for subterranean termite control. Perimeter treatments are also sometimes necessary for controlling certain cockroach species, ants, spiders and many other pests that repeatedly invade the same homes and maintain a heavy presence on residential lawns.

Perimeter pest activity is associated with lawn conditions, especially vegetation, clutter, patios, and landscape architecture. For example, overgrown grass attracts numerous insect pests onto lawns, and pests gravitate toward abundant vegetation around foundations. Regardless of yard conditions, the climate has a significant effect on pest activity on all properties.

Researchers have found that cockroach and ant foraging activity around homes decreases substantially during rainfall, but their activity increases dramatically the day after rainfall. This is not surprising since many insect pests remain within safe harborages during bouts of extreme weather, but since insect pests thrive in moist conditions, they naturally reemerge following rainfall when the level of humidity is particularly high.

Scientific surveys have found that Argentine ants are the most abundant ant pests on properties in the southeast followed by red imported fire ants, little black ants, native fire ants and Pharaoh ants. Argentine ant abundance was positively correlated with tree abundance on properties, while red imported fire ant abundance was negatively correlated with tree abundance. This is likely because an abundance of trees produce shade, and red imported fire ants prefer to remain on sunny landscapes.

American and smokybrown cockroach abundance on properties was positively correlated with tree abundance, but smokybrown cockroaches were hard to find on properties where pine trees were located. All properties surveyed were found to have comparable cockroach population numbers, and Asian and smokybrown cockroaches were the two most abundant species on most properties. In order to keep insect pests from invading homes, vegetation around foundations should be well groomed and should never make contact with exterior walls. Leaf litter should also be removed, and gutters should remain unclogged to prevent moisture buildup around foundations.

Do you practice good lawn care to keep insect pests at bay?