With summer in full swing, the North Carolina Pest Management Association (NCPMA) has released its list of top summer pests.
“Summer is a prime time for pests! But, if caught early, pest problems are manageable and can often be prevented. As pest management professionals, we receive many calls about ants, mosquitoes, ticks, bed bugs and stinging insects throughout the summer months, but there are ways to prevent these pests from becoming nuisances in your home,” said Clint Miller, NCPMA board member. “If the problem persists, a pest management professional will identify the best treatment method for each situation and also provide recommendations for preventing further infestations.”
Ants can be a nuisance both in and around your home. Whether it’s house ants gathering on your kitchen counters or fire ants in your yard, some simple tips can help reduce an infestation.
- Reduce moisture in or around your home.
- Seal cracks or other places where ants can enter a home.
- Keep bushes, trees and foliage trimmed and away from your home.
- Keep all food in sealed containers and clean spills thoroughly.
- Avoid spraying insecticides which could increase the problem and opt for ant bait which will kill the whole colony. See a professional for the best method of treatment.
Mosquitoes are known for being a summer nuisance and causing itchy red bumps, but they can also carry potentially deadly diseases such as West Nile Virus and dengue fever. In addition to the steps below, there are treatments for managing mosquito infestations in your yard that will help you enjoy the outdoors without the threat of bites.
- Eliminate standing water in yards by diverting water away from homes through downspouts and changing the water in bird baths, ponds and other water features regularly.
- Avoid being outside during the peak mosquito hours of dusk or dawn.
- Wear repellant, especially when outside during peak hours.
Known for carrying Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever and Lyme Disease, ticks are a big nuisance over summer months.
- Wear insect repellant when outside.
- Wear long-sleeved shirts and long pants when you’re outside, especially if you’re in areas with tall grass, bushes or trees.
- Check yourself and pets for ticks after being outside.
Bed bugs can be found anywhere including hotels, overnight camps, rental properties and dorms. They are often found in mattresses and upholstered furniture as well as behind baseboards, wallpaper and in furniture crevices. And, the National Pest Management Association recently found that bed bug infestations spike in the summer months.
- Vacuum suitcases after returning from a vacation, summer camp or dorm and throw away the vacuum bag or clean the canister. Wash all clothing from the suitcases in hot water.
- Before sleeping in a bed at a hotel, rental property, camp or dorm, check the mattress, bed sheets, and headboard for tell-tale blood spots or signs of bed bugs. Carry a small flashlight to assist you with quick visual inspections.
- Inspect all second-hand furniture and mattresses thoroughly for bed bug signs before bringing them into your home.
Wasps, hornets and yellow jackets can become a scary nuisance throughout the summer. While a pest management professional can provide the proper treatment options, there are some methods for preventing infestations.
- Seal cracks and entry points to prevent stinging pests from entering a home.
- Keep bushes and trees trimmed and always check for insect nests before trimming any areas on the foliage.
- Contact a pest professional if you suspect any infestation. Do not attempt to remove it yourself.