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Monday, June 24, 2024

The Summer Survival Guide to Seasonal Invaders

Have you been itching for summer to arrive, but bugs have made you just plain old itchy?

Summer is the perfect time to bask in the sun and fire up the grill, but nothing ruins a backyard barbecue or a peaceful evening on the porch faster than a swarm of pesky insects. From mosquitoes that leave you covered in bites to ants that turn every outdoor meal into a battle, here’s your summer survival guide to tackling the most common pests.

 

Mosquitoes

When the warm weather hits, mosquitoes are quick to follow.

Instead of spending time swatting them off your arms and legs, take a moment to prep your yard and keep them at bay. These tiny bloodsuckers lay their eggs in standing water, so eliminating all stagnant water around your home will help prevent them from turning your yard into a breeding ground. Regularly clean out bird baths, kiddie pools, and pets’ water bowls throughout the summer to ensure a new crop of mosquitoes doesn’t ruin your outdoor fun.

If you find yourself with a mosquito swarm, try using insect repellent and citronella-scented candles or torches to keep them away. For a natural touch, plant mosquito-repelling plants like lavender and marigolds around your yard. You won’t just enjoy a mosquito-free setting — you’ll be surrounded by pretty plants, too!

Wasps and Hornets

Spending a day being chased by one of these buzzing intruders is the last thing on anyone’s summer bucket list. Instead of running indoors, here’s how to handle wasps and hornets this summer.

While warm temperatures certainly draw wasps and hornets out, it’s the scents they really stick around for. Wasps are attracted to sweet and savory smells, so it’s essential to keep food and drinks covered if you’re having an outdoor picnic. Avoid wearing strong perfumes or scented lotions, as these also have a good chance of attracting wasps near you.

Hornets have a nose for a similar range of smells, but you’ll most likely see them swarming around the protein at your picnic, so be sure to cover any meat when eating outdoors. While they don’t pollinate as extensively as bees, hornets also appreciate a good flower. If you’re spending extended periods of time outdoors, it may be best to avoid wearing bright colors and floral patterns, otherwise, you may find a few hornets taking an extra liking to you.

Thankfully, you can also use a few scents to your advantage. Herbs like mint and eucalyptus repel wasps, and planting a few around your home could keep these stinging insects out of your hair. Hornets can’t stand scents like clove and lemongrass, so try dispersing oils in areas where you see them.

If you don’t like being pestered by wasps and hornets outside, you definitely won’t want them in your home. Hanging traps around your house can reduce their populations, while regularly sealing any cracks or holes in your walls can prevent them from getting inside.

Ants

All it takes is a crumb for you to realize your backyard is home to an army of ants.

Ever the opportunists, ants can set up a colony seemingly overnight. If you notice ant activity, place bait in areas where you’ve seen them or near their hill. Maintaining a well-kept lawn will also help you easily identify any lurking ants and stop them before they become a bigger problem.

To prevent ants from seeking some indoor A/C, keeping your living space clean is crucial. Wipe down countertops, sweep floors, and quickly clean up spills to avoid attracting any ants foraging for food. Ants can be persistent, and if they do get into your home, try finding the area they’re entering through and sealing it with caulk.

Ticks

What’s summer without a little adventure? If you’re someone who likes to get out and enjoy a hike through nature, there’s one pest you’re probably familiar with — the tick.

Just like mosquitoes, these little parasites are after your blood, but they drain it by latching onto you or your pets, sometimes going unnoticed for hours at a time. This makes outdoor activities a bit risky, as ticks are capable of transmitting Lyme disease.

When spending time in wooded areas or tall grass, wear long sleeves, pants, and socks for an extra layer of protection. Using insect repellent can also keep ticks at bay, but no matter how well you prepare, it’s always important to check your body for ticks and promptly remove them with tweezers if you find them.

Flies

Name a more iconic trio than burgers fresh off the grill, sliced watermelon, and pesky flies. While these insects don’t bite or sting like the rest on this list, their special power is being persistently annoying.

The ultimate party crasher, flies are attracted to food and garbage. Keeping the potato salad covered and the trash can lid firmly sealed can help deter them, but once they catch a whiff, they’re sure to stick around. If you’d like to enjoy an outdoor meal in peace, consider hanging sticky fly traps around your home to catch these unwanted guests. Citronella candles and torches also help deter flies, so if you’re treating for mosquitoes, you’ll already have your bases covered.

Enjoy a Pest-Free Summer

Are bugs ruining your summer staycation? Contact us for a quick and efficient removal so you can get back to mosquito-free campfires and fly-free picnics.