Summer Bugs and Pests to Look Out For
Summer is a great time for picnics, swimming, hiking and other outdoor activities. But summer bugs and insects enjoy the warm weather as well, and when they bite or sting, it can put a damper on the fun.
Some bugs hibernate during the colder months, then return in full force when it starts to get warmer outside. Others are around all year long, but they become more active when the weather is warm.
Some of the most common summer pests you’re likely to encounter are mosquitoes, ticks, bees, wasps and ants. Follow these tips at home and on vacation to help protect yourself from the issues that these pests can cause.
The bite of this common summer insect is usually harmless, but mosquitoes can also carry pathogens that may cause disease.
Mosquito protection tips
- If possible, avoid being outdoors at dawn and dusk when mosquitoes are typically most active.
- Wear clothing that covers your arms and legs when possible.
- Clean up areas on your property where rain or water pools, as mosquitoes breed in standing water.
- Make sure that all window screens have a snug fit. Repair or replace any torn screens.
- Apply insect repellent (be sure to choose the right one).
Ticks can be a year-round threat but are more abundant in the warm-weather months. The bite of this insect can be potentially harmful.
Tick protection tips
- When walking in wooded areas, tall grass or weeds, wear closed-toe shoes and clothing that covers your arms and legs when possible.
- Wear a pest repellent containing DEET.
- Stay in the center of trails and away from dense vegetation when hiking.
- Remove weeds, woodpiles and debris from your yard.
- Check your clothes, hair and skin very carefully before going indoors.
- Carefully remove any ticks you find.
Bees, wasps and other stinging insects
Yellow jackets, bees, wasps, hornets and other stinging summer insects can leave a painful and swollen mark on their victims, depending on how the person reacts.
Stinging insect protection tips
- Wear shoes outdoors, especially in grassy areas.
- Keep your lawn healthy and cover dirt patches with new grass. This will help discourage yellow jackets and other ground-nesting pests from making a home there.
- Keep trash cans tightly covered.
- Do not swat at stinging insects, as sudden movements may cause them to become aggressive. Try to remain calm and still if possible.
- Avoid wearing sweet-smelling perfumes, as that can attract these stinging insects, especially bees.
- Seek immediate medical help if you experience a severe reaction to being stung, especially if you notice swelling in your face, tongue or throat.
Ants are perhaps the most common pest of all summer bugs. They do like to frequent picnics and poolside parties where food is served, but can also be found in many other places.
Fire ants prefer to build their mounds in open and sunny areas. When disturbed by humans, they can become aggressive and inflict painful stings.
Carpenter ants prefer to live in wood, even the wood inside your home in some cases, potentially even damaging your home's structure.
Ant protection tips
- Have trees and shrubs trimmed away from the house.
- Properly seal cracks and small holes in the exterior of your home.
- Keep your kitchen free of crumbs and spills.
Taking a few simple precautions will help you avoid encountering these summer bugs and pests.