Ahhh, summer… sunny days, swimming pools, barbeques, campfires and – BUGS!
It’s the time of the year when all you and the kids want to do is to spend time outdoors and soak up summer fun. Unfortunately, it’s also the time of year when pests are the most active. You can avoid summer bug bites by familiarizing yourself with the most common threats. Keep your family protected with our guide to preventing bites.
Mosquitoes are known to pack a powerful, itchy bite. They also pose a risk of transmitting West Nile virus and other diseases. These biters are drawn to standing water. Every 48 hours, empty items in your yard that hold water. Even the smallest amount of water held in a leaf or bottle cap can be enough for mosquitoes to breed. You can also make your yard less hospitable to mosquitoes by mowing regularly, keeping vegetation away from your home’s foundation and clearing away leaves and debris. Dusk and dawn are prime insect biting hours for mosquitoes. If you are enjoying the outdoors during these times, make sure you cover up with long sleeves and pants to shield your skin. Wearing a bug repellant with DEET can also help to keep mosquitoes at bay.
Ticks can attach themselves as you brush through tall grass and wooded areas. While a tick’s bite is not always dangerous, some can carry Lyme disease. To minimize the risk of being bit, wear closed-toe shoes, and tuck your pants into socks or boots for extra skin protection. After spending time outside, check your body – and your pets – for the eight-legged bugs. Wearing light-colored clothing can also make ticks easier to detect. If you do find a tick there is no need to panic. Removing a tick is usually easy, and only requires a pair of tweezers.
The easiest way to avoid getting stung by wasps is to steer clear of their nests. Wasps are capable of stinging more than once. Try your best to resist the temptation to swat them away, as sudden movements can provoke them. Uncovered leftover food and unsealed garbage cans are typical gathering places for these insects. Make sure to clean up after grilling or picnicking and keep trash bins tucked away. If you think you might have a wasp nest in your yard, it’s best to call a professional to knock it down early, before it becomes too large.
Fire ants live in large mounds that can be found scattered around your backyard. They have a stinger on their abdomen they use to defend themselves, and this is also how they sting humans. They will sting if they feel threatened, so be careful not to step in, or disturb their anthills. The best way to prevent a fire ant infestation is to seek professional help from a professional who can distribute effective pest control materials around your property.