Leaf piles just beg to be jumped in. But beneath the pillowy cushion of the leaves there are a lot of things you don’t want to be rolling around in for even a second. In addition to mold, fecal matter and debris, bugs could also be hiding in the leaf pile.
If you want a good scare this Halloween, take a look at all of the creepy, crawly insects that could be lurking in the leaves.
Ticks are among the worst leaf pile dwellers. This blood-sucking parasite is a vector for numerous diseases. One bite is all it takes to be infected with Lyme disease or Rocky Mountain spotted fever. Your pets could also be the victims of a leaf pile tick.
Fuzzy, Biting Caterpillars
Nestled away in between the leaves you’ll come across fuzzy caterpillars that are looking for a spot to hibernate. Both the woolly bear caterpillar and the giant leopard moth caterpillar regularly hunker down in leaf piles.Resist the urge to pet their soft looking bristles. Woolly bear and giant leopard moth caterpillars won’t bite, but other caterpillar species will if they feel threatened.
A variety of spiders have been known to crawl around leaf piles. You could come across a harmless garden spider or a potentially life-threatening black widow. Spiders mostly stick to their webs, but they like to feed on the insects that live in leaf piles.
Venomous Centipedes and Millipedes
At night the nocturnal centipedes and millipedes will slink over to the leaf pile in search of bugs to eat. They use the cover of the leaves to hunt down their prey. Once they chomp down, venom delivers a painful sting. If a person is bitten by a centipede they could have an allergic reaction that requires medical attention.
A Few More Things to Watch Out For in the Leaf Pile
Bugs may not be the only thing hiding in the leaf pile. You also need to be on the look out for snakes. They’ll slither up to leaf piles that are left untouched for a few days. In fact, a number of amphibians will hang out in damp leaves that are lying out in the elements.
It’s always best to put on a pair of gardening gloves and pick up the leaf pile as soon as it’s swept up. Another alternative is to mow over the leaves and use them as makeshift mulch.
Want more tips on how to keep yard pests off your property this fall? Then check out the rest of our pest control blog! Vulcan Termite and Pest Control Inc. can also provide an on-site evaluation for residences and businesses in Central Alabama. Just give us call to schedule a pest control estimate!