Summertime is the perfect opportunity to get outdoors, barbeque, relax by the pool, and enjoy the weather. But every time you head outside, you’re a moving target for pests.
So check out our tips for keeping yourself protected from five common summer pests, and get back to your summer fun without missing a beat.
Do you ever find yourself enjoying a pleasant summer evening on your porch, only to come back inside looking like you have chicken pox?
Well, you’re not alone.
Everyone has been bitten by mosquitos at some point in their lives, and summertime is peak season for these bothersome pests. Female mosquitos rely on human (and pet) blood as nutrients for their offspring, and tend to need standing water to lay their eggs.
Use this knowledge to your advantage by avoiding (or eliminating) any standing water around your home, including fountains, bird baths, watering cans, pet water bowls, etc.
In addition, before prolonged periods of time outdoors, be sure to spray yourself with mosquito repellent containing diethyltoluamide (DEET), and check that all window screens are intact to keep mosquitos from coming in.
Unlike mosquitoes, ants aren’t interested in feeding on you, but they’re certainly interested in eating!
Ants love food, particularly food with a high sugar content, so be especially careful not to lure them to into your kitchen with any open sweet treats. Make sure to seal all food tightly in containers when not in use, and keep all counters and surfaces clean.
But just because ants love food doesn’t mean they love all food smells. In fact, there are a number of foods that serve as excellent ant repellents, including cinnamon and peppermint, so you may want to consider purchasing scented candles to keep ants at bay.
You can also make it more challenging for ants to come into your home by sealing or caulking all entry points, including small cracks in your walls or under windows, preventing easy entrance of these bothersome pests.
Flies are one of the trickiest pests to keep out during the summer months, and they can survive for up to three days without food. Like ants, they’ll also feast on sugary foods, but their diets are widely varied and can include anything from nectar to the blood of other insects or vertebrate.
Your best bet for avoiding flies is to keep them from getting inside. Keep windows and doors closed, take out the trash regularly, and clean up dishes and spills immediately.
If flies have already managed to get inside, try setting a trap with dish soap. Flies will be attracted to the soap and then drown in the water. For best results, use a fruit-flavored dish soap.
Ticks are a tricky bunch. They tend to live in grassy or wooded areas, and often latch onto people completely unbeknownst to their victims.
Ticks pose a serious health risk, and are responsible for transmitting a variety of diseases, including Lyme Disease, anaplasmosis, Colorado tick fever and rickettsiosis.
The best tick prevention methods include:
- Avoiding tick hot-spots – When hiking, try to stay in the middle of the hiking path and avoid brushing up against plant life as much as possible
- Treating gear with permethrin – Permethrin is a chemical that can be purchased at various sporting goods stores and is used to treat boots, clothing, and camping gear from ticks, retaining its protective qualities for several washings
- Spraying tick repellent – Repellents containing DEET (as suggested above for mosquitos) are also very effective to ward off ticks, providing up to several hours of protection
Fleas also like to latch onto their food source – which is usually your pets. Once attached, fleas can bite, causing itching and pain, and can also transmit various diseases, including cat-scratch fever, as well as typhus and plague to humans.
Keep fleas away by giving your pets preventative flea medicine regularly, in addition to frequent baths. You should also make sure to keep pet beds and any common areas clean and free of debris.
Although prevention works most of the time, sometimes, despite all precautions, nature has a way of taking its course, and pests might find themselves in your home regardless.
For serious infestations, get in touch for a free in home estimate, and our professional pest technicians will determine the best treatment option for your home.
Here’s to a pest-free summer!