Simple Tips to Controlling Summer Pests
With the summer heating up, it’s time to get out of the house and enjoy the great outdoors. However, the summer months also bring out a number of pests, including mosquitoes, ticks and bees. You do not need to resort to using products with harmful chemicals around your home to keep these insects at bay. By following these simple tips, you can keep these nuisances away from your home so you can enjoy your summer even more.
Considered to be one of the most dangerous pests, their bites result in itchy red bumps. However, these pests can also transmit a number of different diseases. In 2011, for example, the Center for Disease Control (CDC) reported over 700 cases, 43 of which resulted in death, of the West Nile virus that had been transmitted by mosquito bites.
- Natural Foods: Mosquitoes are attracted to human smells. Eating or using certain natural foods may actually mask your smell. For example, using citrus peels or onions as a natural insect repellent is not only safe for humans of all ages but it will also keep the mosquitoes at bay. Eating meals that include large amounts of garlic may also reduce your appeal to these pests.
- Remove Their Habitat: Mosquitoes breed in stagnant water. Removing all standing water from around your home will greatly reduce the number of these biting insects.
- Plant Natural Repellents: Certain plants, like marigolds, catnip, basil and rosemary, are unappetizing to most insects. These plants can either be planted in pots and moved around or planted in the garden to keep the little nuisances away.
While there are a number of species of ticks that can cause disease in humans, the black-legged deer tick causes the greatest concern. Often found in wooden areas or in tall grasses, this tick can transmit Lyme disease.
- Keep Your Lawn Manicured: Keeping your lawn mowed and removing weeds may seem like a chore on a hot day, but it will also make your lawn more enjoyable by repelling dangerous ticks. Since ticks love to live in overgrown wooded areas, it is also ideal to keep wood piles and brush away from the home. Similarly, keeping any swing sets or sand boxes away from these areas will also reduce the risk.
- Watch Your Animals: Ticks are often brought into your home by hitching a ride on your furry friends. Keeping them out of wooded areas and long grass will help reduce the risk of ticks. Your pets should also be thoroughly checked for ticks if they do decide to take a stroll through the woods.
- Where Light Colored Clothing: While ticks can be a big concern for both you and any children, they should not keep everyone from enjoying the great outdoors. By wearing light clothing, any ticks that are picked up should be readily visible before they bite.
Bees and Wasps
Every year, more than 500,000 people end up in the emergency room due to these stinging insects. Those who are most at risk include young children, older adults and those that are allergic to the venom in bee stings.
- Inspect Your Home for Colonies: One of the best ways to reduce the amount of bees is to rid your home of any bee colonies. If you notice an increase in the number of these stinging insects around your home, you may have a nest. Trying to remove a nest yourself can be extremely dangerous, especially if you are in an area that has reported sightings of Africanized Honey Bees. It may be best to find a reputable professional pest control company to take care of any hives.
- Be Selective of Your Plants: Bees are attracted to flowering plants. If you or a family member are allergic, plant herbs and bushes nearby your home.
With these tips, you’ll be sure to reduce the number of pests around your home and backyard.