Summer insects and garden pests enjoy being outdoors in the summertime as much as we enjoy. Although most are harmless or even beneficial, there are a few that can be troublesome.
Summer Outdoor Pests
The most common summer pests in many areas are mosquitoes and the ‘social’ wasps, which include paper wasps, hornets, and yellow jackets. Mosquitoes are annoying at best put pose a number of health risks as well. Even if you live in a dry valley, standing water anywhere in your neighborhood can breed mosquitoes, which can carry the deadly West Nile virus.
Protect your family from mosquitoes with insect repellant and long sleeves and pants at dawn and dusk. Dump and remove any potential source of standing water around your home and yard, as even a small amount of standing water can encourage the breeding of mosquitoes.
About 90% of insect stings, which we blame usually on bees, come from yellow jackets. Watch for stinging insect nests and hives when mowing the lawn, trimming trees, or reaching into cracks and other small spaces. Keep attractants (fruit, soda, candy, garbage cans) put away or well-covered. Never swing at a stinging insect or attempt to eradicate a hive yourself. Professional pest control operators are a must for dealing with these pests.
Summer Garden Pests
Attempts to grow summer fruit, vegetables, and flowers can be quickly undermined by insects, birds, and rodents. Only some pesticides can be used on edibles, and care must be taken not to kill beneficial summer insects in your garden. Watch out for aphids and grasshoppers this summer, as well as snails, slugs, tree borers, leaf beetles, tent caterpillars, squash bugs, and spider mites.
Search online for pest pictures to better help identify any you find in your garden so you can find the best way to attack the problem. There are many ways to deal with these and other common garden pests, including cultural controls, biological controls, and insecticides. A great source for information on dealing with pests local to your area can often be found through university cooperative extension program websites. Local pest control companies will also be familiar with native pests and have the best tools and products to help you cope with the infestation.
Summer Indoor Pests
Fortunately, summer is the slow season for indoor pests. Some pests that do frequent the indoors during the summer include ants, fruit flies, earwigs, root weevils and carpet beetles. Keeping window screens in good repair and closing doors will help keep many pests out of the house. Apply caulk or bee foam to cracks or other openings that will let pests into the house.
Because toxic chemicals can make kids or animals sick, it is best not to attempt to eradicate an indoor pest problem yourself. Instead, contact your local pest control company and explain what types of pests you’ve encountered. A professional exterminator can recommend the safest, most effective products and strategies to keep your summer truly pest free.