Summer’s Worst Pests and How to Get Rid of Them
Summertime means pool parties, cookouts, outdoor projects, and bugs. Summer pests can wreck a picnic. Before you can sit down to enjoy a meal with friends and family, yellow jackets are swarming soda cans, ants are moving in on the watermelon, and flies are buzzing around the burgers. These are just some of summer’s worst pests, but they don’t have to wreck your activities. Here are the top 5 pests and how you can get rid of them.
Mosquitoes are most active at dawn and dusk. When it comes to humans, females are the ones that bite. They need blood for their eggs and are drawn to carbon dioxide produced by human metabolism.
One of the most popular solutions to get rid of mosquitoes is by using citronella, a nontoxic ingredient found in many insect repellants. Mosquitoes can’t detect a human’s scent because of the odor.
Before your outdoor activity, get rid of standing water in kiddie pools or bird baths. Ensure that water in your yard drains properly and doesn’t accumulate in puddles. These are popular breeding sites for mosquitoes. .
Yellow Jackets like to sting when you’re close to their nests. These pests don’t play nice, and will emit hormones that alert their entire colony to attack when they feel threatened. These insects are scavengers, meaning they’re likely to show up at your next cookout.
Yellow jackets are attracted to sweet scents. If you use perfumes, lotions, or hairsprays, avoid them when you’re going outdoors, and keep any food tightly sealed.
Permanently removing yellow jackets is a job best done by professionals. These pests are known for swarming, and getting rid a nest yourself can result in lots of nasty stings.
Ants leave pheromone trails from food sources back to their colony. Once a food source has been discovered, ants will continually return to it until they’ve consumed all of it or until the food has been removed.
For a quick fix, sprinkle baby powder on ant trails to stop them in their tracks and seal food in air-tight containers.
If you’re looking for a more permanent fix, a popular DIY solution is creating a pesticide with boric acid and sugar. Mix 1 teaspoon of boric acid, 1 cups of sugar, and 1 cup of warm water together and place it where ants are appearing. This is toxic, so keep small children and pets away from the mixture.
Cockroaches are a year-round pest, but you’ll find them in your home during summer searching for food and water. American cockroaches can live up to three months without food and a month without water, and once they do find a food source, they leave a feces trail for other cockroaches to follow.
Boric acid and sugar can also be used to kill cockroaches. Mix equal parts together and place it where roaches are appearing, but again, keep small children and pets away.
Best practices for yellow jackets and ants can also be applied to roaches. Seal up any food and keep your home crumb-free.
Termites Just like other pests, termites leave pheromone trails to food sources. Termite soldiers and workers are blind, so they use pheromones and vibrations to communicate with each other. Each year, termites cause billions of dollars in damage to homeowners.
To prevent termites prevent termites, keep the outside and inside of your house dry. Termites need moisture to survive, so remove damp material from your gutters and standing water sources near your home.
In most cases, it’s best to call a professional when dealing with termites. Termites can cause widespread damage, and you may not be able to kill all of them.
Whether you spend your summer indoors or outdoors, applying these tips can prevent pesky pests from ruining your relaxation. For more pest control tips, visit our DIY section.