Summer is a great time for picnics, swimming, hiking and other outdoor activities. But you're not the only one enjoying the sunny weather. Summer bugs and insects are having a good time, too, 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 the weather gets warmer. Others are active year-round but ramp up the activity when the temperatures rise.
From mosquitoes to ants and ticks to wasps, there are a number of common summer pests you're likely to encounter. To help protect your home and family this season, learn which summertime bugs to look for and how to keep them out of your house all season long.
The bite of this common summer insect is usually harmless, but mosquitoes can also carry pathogens that may cause diseases. Their bites result in itchy, red welts that can be quite annoying.
Mosquito protection tips
If possible, avoid being outdoors at dawn and dusk when mosquitoes are most active. If you do need to be outside during these times, wear clothing that covers your arms and legs. Additionally, be sure to apply insect repellent.
Mosquitoes lay their eggs in standing water, so one prevention tip is to get rid of any standing water near your home. These pests can sense their victims from more than 30 feet away, so keep windows closed and patch up any holes or tears in window or door screens.
Read more about mosquitoes here.
Ticks can be a year-round threat but are more abundant during the warm-weather months. The bite of this insect can be potentially harmful, as some ticks carry bacteria that causes serious illnesses such as Lyme disease. They will bite a victim and latch on, feeding until they are satisfied.
Tick prevention tips
Ticks tend to hang out in grassy or wooded areas, so be vigilant if you're headed into the woods, open fields or similar types of terrain. Look for an insect spray that specifically repels ticks, and wear long sleeves, closed-toe shoes, and clothing that covers your arms and legs.
Indoor tick infestations are rare because it's difficult for them to survive in climate-controlled areas. They prefer humid, moist areas, but will often hitch a ride on clothes or pets. Before heading indoors, check your dogs and/or cats for ticks and thoroughly examine your clothes, hair and skin. Carefully remove any ticks you find but resist the urge to pluck them away.
Read more about ticks here.
Most bees, like bumblebees and honey bees, will avoid stinging you if possible, but they will do so if their colony is threatened. Bee stings can be life-threatening to those who are allergic. Medical professionals recommend seeking immediate medical help if you experience a severe reaction to being stung, especially if you notice swelling in your face, tongue or throat.
Bee prevention tips
While bees usually stick to pollinating flowers, they may be attracted to sweet picnic foods like fruit and soda. Avoid wearing sweet-smelling perfumes outdoors, as this may attract bees, too.
Because bees can often be buzzing about underfoot, pollinating flowers, it's recommended to wear shoes outdoors, especially in grassy areas. Keeping your lawn healthy and covering dirt patches with new grass can also help discourage yellow jackets from making a home where they're not wanted.
Bees that end up inside your home usually get there by mistake, though they may find areas around your home that make perfect nests. While no one wants a swarm of bees near their home, honey bees are important to the environment and their nests should be carefully relocated. Always contact a professional about relocating a bee nest.
Hornets and wasps
While people will often confuse bees, hornets and wasps, the latter two are much more aggressive and are therefore more likely to sting. This is because bees often die after they sting, while hornets and wasps can sting multiple times without repercussions. Hornets and wasps both have a longer, segmented body, so with a little practice, you can distinguish bees from their more aggressive cousins.
Hornet and wasp prevention tips
Do not swat at stinging insects such as hornets and wasps, as sudden movements may cause them to become aggressive. Try to remain calm and still if possible.
Wasps and hornets may build their nests on decks and porches, in recessed outdoor lighting, or in attics. To prevent these insects from making their home in yours, make sure cracks in your home are sealed, secure trash and eliminate dirt patches in your yard.
Ants are perhaps the most common pest of all summer bugs. They do like to frequent picnics and outdoor parties where food is served, but they can also be found in 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, including the wood inside your home in some cases, potentially damaging your home's structure.
Ant prevention tips
While ants don't necessarily pose a health risk (though some types do sting), they will try to get into your food. Ants are adaptable and will happily live both indoors and out, as long as there's something to eat nearby. Keep an eye out during picnics!
Ants typically enter your home because they want food, and they'll quickly devour anything they can, potentially causing damage to your home. To prevent ants from coming into your home, seal up cracks in your foundation, spray ant repellent around the outside of your home and place ant traps around infested areas.
Read more about ants here.
Centipedes and millipedes
These multi-legged creepy crawlers can give anyone a fright. Centipedes and millipedes prefer damp, dark areas, so some spots in your kitchen or bathroom may seem like ideal homes to them.
Centipede and millipede prevention tips
Seal up any entry points where these insects may be getting in, and make your home less hospitable for them by fixing leaky faucets. Millipedes like to eat damp or decaying wood or plant material, so keep your yard free of debris. Centipedes, on the other hand, are predators and will kill other house insects.
Bed bugs are every homeowner's nightmare. No one wants to wake up with itchy, red bumps on their arms and legs. Because bed bugs spread quickly by hitching a ride on people, it's easy for a few bed bugs to turn into a major infestation.
Bed bug prevention tips
Though bed bugs usually enter your home attached to someone's clothing, it can be helpful to seal up cracks around outlets. If you notice any signs of bed bugs, call an exterminator immediately before it becomes a bigger problem.
Read more about bed bugs here.
Spider infestations are tricky. While they do eat other bugs, having a spider infestation in your home can be like living in a bad dream. And some spiders can cause painful bites that may even require medical attention.
Spider prevention tips
Spiders tend to like dark, dusty corners. Though a small spider or two can usually live in your home without causing any problems, it can be an issue if they decide to lay eggs in your home. A professional exterminator can take care of any spider problems quickly.
Read more about spiders here.
No one wants to find a roach in their home, as spotting one roach usually means that you have a larger problem. These bugs are great at hiding from humans and will happily feast on your food and some parts of your home.
Roach prevention tips
Prevent roaches from making their way into your home by sealing up cracks around pipes and in your home's foundation. Roaches can be notoriously difficult to get rid of, as they often hide away in unreachable areas. Exterminators know exactly where they hide and can help eliminate the problem.
Read more about roaches here.
Want help with bothersome summer bugs?
Summer is a time for enjoyment, not a time to stress about pesky insects. Getting rid of bugs during summer doesn't have to be a headache, though. Don't let these tiny pests put a damper on your warm-weather fun. Terminix can help nix your bug problem, so contact us today!