Spring and summer are the worst months for pests. It’s the time of year when insects come out of their winter “hibernation” to search for food and when they reproduce—meaning you’re likely seeing pests in large numbers. (This year, in fact, is worse than previous years: you might remember from a previous blog post that the mild winter has resulted in a bigger pest population.)
While insects—even pests—are important for a healthy ecosystem, they’re still a headache for homeowners to deal with.
We’re here to help. Here are our top tips for keeping the most common summer pests—flies, stinging insects, ants, ticks, and mosquitoes—off you and your pets and out of your home.
You don’t want to spend your summer annoyed by the constant buzzing of flies and disgusted when they land on your food. You can keep flies out of your home by keeping windows and doors closed as much as possible. If you like to keep your windows open when the weather is nice, adding a screen will allow air flow while keeping the bugs out. Flies are attracted to food—particularly if it is sweet—so you can make your home less attractive to them by always putting away or covering food, cleaning up any spills immediately, and doing the dishes regularly.
When you prevent flies from entering your home in the first place, it’s much easier to kill the stray fly with a fly-swatter, fly paper, or fly trap.
There are a few varieties of stinging insects, and what you do to remove them will depend on the type of insect.
Bees are incredibly beneficial to the environment: they pollinate not only flowers but many of the plants that we eat. Because of this, it’s important to try not to kill the bees that you encounter. Most bees are not aggressive and will not sting unless provoked; the exception to this is the Africanized honey bee.
Although bees are important, you probably don’t want a hive in or around your home, particularly if you or a loved one has an allergy to the stings. To remove a bee hive, we strongly recommend that you contact a pest control professional. A professional will have the proper equipment to safely move a bee hive.
Wasps, Hornets, and Yellow Jackets
Like bees, these stinging insects can be beneficial to the environment because of their ability to pollinate. (They’re not as good as bees at this, however.) Unlike most bees, these three stinging insects can become aggressive, especially if disturbed. They can also sting multiple times without dying, even swarming to attack an individual. Stinging insects can be dangerous: they send half a million people to the emergency room every year.
You can make your house less attractive to yellow jackets by covering sweet foods. You may also want to forgo wearing sweet perfumes while outside in the summer, as this can attract yellow jackets.
To get rid of these pests, we recommend contacting a pest professional because of the possibility that these insects will become aggressive.
Here are some more tips on spotting and dealing with wasps.
Ants will come into your home in search of food (their likes range from sweet to greasy foods). As they come in, they leave behind a pheromone trail for the other ants to follow. This means that a few ants can soon become a big problem.
Prevention is key when dealing with ants: cleaning up spills and keeping food in covered containers can make sure that your home isn’t attractive to ants. Once they’re inside the home in large numbers, however, it’s usually time to call in the professionals. Getting rid of ants requires finding the nest and entry point into your house and utilizing multiple treatment options.
Here are some more tips on keeping ants out of your home.
Ticks are more than a nuisance: their bites can cause serious diseases in animals and people, such as Lyme disease, Rocky Mountain spotted fever, and anaplasmosis.
To prevent exposure to ticks while enjoying the outdoors, you should avoid areas with high grass and walk in the center of trails. You should also use tick repellant and treat clothes with permethrin, unless you have cats. (While the chemical is safe for dogs, it can be fatal to cats.) After coming inside, it’s important to shower immediately in order to wash off any ticks crawling on you. You may also want to do a full-body check with a hand mirror to check for the presence of ticks. Finally, you should examine and tumble dry your clothes and gear for at least 10 minutes.
To keep your pets healthy, check them for ticks regularly and consider preventative measures. Dogs and cats can safely use tick collars, oral medications, shampoos, and tick dips—just make sure that your cat is using a treatment specifically designated for cats.
Like ticks, mosquitos are a serious health hazard. Zika virus, malaria, yellow fever, encephalitis, and West Nile virus can all be spread by mosquitoes.
Prevention can significantly lower the numbers of mosquitos around your house: the best way to do this is by eliminating any sources of standing water (a breeding ground) nearby. If your backyard is still plagued by mosquitoes, you can try insect repellant and citronella candles, however, your best line of defense is to call a pest control company that has experience in dealing with mosquitos.
Due to an increase in mosquito populations over the past few years, we have developed the ScherZinger Mosquito Mitigation Service. Although it is impossible to completely eliminate mosquitos, ScherZinger can help to control these pests around your home so that you can enjoy the warm weather without the aggravation of itchy insect bites.
Concerned you might have a pest problem on your hands? Contact ScherZinger Pest Control, a trusted pest control company in the Greater Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky areas, including Dayton, OH, and now Columbus, OH. We’ve been pioneers, engineering new standards for ways of eliminating and controlling bugs and pests. Contact us by phone at 1-877-748-9888 or through our website, Facebook, or Twitter.