Summer is the time for rest and relaxation, but is also the most active season for all insects and pests. This unfortunately means more frequent run-ins with them and increases the likelihood that they will invade your property.
To protect yourself and your home, you should get to know which are the most common among them, how to prevent them from getting inside, and when to call professional pest control.
They are one of the most common but also the most dangerous summer pests. Not only is the irritating “buzz” sound they make able to drive anyone trying to sleep at night crazy, but they also carry various diseases.
The list of the most serious pathogens includes:
- Zika virus;
- West Nile virus;
- Japanese encephalitis.
The best way not to catch any of those is not to get bitten. Wearing long-sleeved clothes and using insect repellents.
Effective deterrents include:
- Mint oil;
- Oil of lemon eucalyptus.
Mosquitoes procreate in areas with standing water, so eliminating those sources around the property will greatly reduce their numbers. Remove any flowerpots, tires, and other objects that can contain water to limit their population.
Be also sure to clean the gutters, keep the windows and doors screened, and repair even the smallest hole as quickly as possible when you notice it.
Bees & Wasps
Seeing any of the above during the summer is almost inevitable. Abundant food sources and suitable shelter options around your home will surely attract them and can quickly become a nuisance.
The best way to ensure they do not make a nest near your property is to keep rubbish picked up outside your home. By leaving no food sources for them to feed upon, you will minimise the likelihood of them nesting around.
Usually, seeing only a few of them is no cause for concern, but if you see several swarming, it indicates there might be a nest nearby.
Bees only want to pollinate and will often leave you alone. Wasps, however, are extremely territorial and will sting if they feel threatened. They generally tend to make nests in corners, tree holes, or abandoned logs.
You shouldn’t attempt to remove a wasp nest yourself, as it is highly dangerous (especially during the summer, when their numbers could be hundreds). Your best course of action is to call exterminators and let them handle it while you stay away from harm’s way.
If you absolutely must do it yourself, the best time to eliminate it is late in the evening.
Rats & mice
The rodent population is active all year round, but most especially during the summer. Not only that, but because of the pandemic lockdowns, it is booming in the big cities worldwide.
This poses a great threat to our health, as rodents are known to spread over 36 diseases like rat bite fever, plague, hantavirus, leptospirosis, and salmonella. They also carry parasites that may be transmitted to you or your pets.
The best way to protect your home is to make it rodent-proof. Inspect your property, and locate and seal all gaps and possible entrances. Use steel wool to fill small holes and put caulk around it to seal it in place. To fix large holes, use a lath screen, lath metal, cement or metal sheeting.
Remember, if you remove the rodents from your property but do not seal the entry points, they will continue to get inside.
How to discourage them from choosing your place to nest:
- There should be no yard waste or compost piles in the yard;
- The lawn should be mowed regularly;
- Any hiding places should be eliminated;
- No shrubbery around the house;
- Bins outside your property should have tight-fitting lids.
What attracts them the most is easy access to food. They have a keen sense of smell and are especially attracted to your pet’s food or any food left out in the open. That’s why you should keep all food in tightly sealed containers and leave no food out in the open.
These types of insects are around all year long, but they are most active during the warmest months.
Bed bugs can easily be picked up during your summer travels through luggage, shipping equipment or by purchasing infested second-hand furniture. They are particularly attracted to mattresses, carpets, and fabrics and will come out to feed during nighttime.
Once they hitch a ride from somewhere and come into your home, they are really hard to get rid of, as they spread quickly, can live a long time without feeding and can survive for up to a year.
Bed bugs hide very well and feed only during the night, so most people wouldn’t notice them until the infestation has already been well-established. Some pest control companies even use K9s to sniff them out, so business owners can find them out early and also deal with them discreetly.
How to check for bed bugs:
- Check pillowcases and sheets for tiny, dried bloodstains;
- Any bites or welts on your skin that are in a row or a cluster;
- Inspect the edges of the mattress for black sticky gook (bed bugs leave their droppings usually in the pores of mattresses) or a musty smell;
- Use a torch to inspect under the mattress and furniture for tiny, rust-coloured bugs.
If you do detect them, it’s best to call professional pest control immediately. The infestation can quickly spread to more than one room, making it more troublesome to deal with and more costly. The exterminators will inspect the premises and devise the best course of treatment. Still, it will require at least a few more visits to ensure the insidious little blood-suckers have been completely eliminated from your property.
Another pest that is active in August is termites. These creatures are usually subterranean, but make their way into people’s homes and businesses and cause lots of damage. Not only that, but they trigger allergic reactions and asthma attacks in people because of the irritating dust particles they leave behind.
Signs of possible termite infestation:
- Finding termite droppings;
- Discovering mud tubes or tunnels on walls
- If any window or door has recently become stuck or hard to close;
- If you find winged termites (and discarded wings) inside your home.
A termite infestation can spread quickly throughout your home and cause lots of structural damage if not dealt with as soon as possible. These insects are notoriously difficult to eliminate, so it’s best to contact licensed professionals as soon as you find any.
The exterminators will inspect the premises, determine the exact species, and administer the most appropriate course of treatment.
While vigilance is important to protect your home, sometimes it may prove not enough, and you might find yourself dealing with some pests listed above. If that happens, it’s usually best to leave it to pest control professionals, who will deal with the problem not only faster but more efficiently and safely.