Household pests are any undesired animal that has a history of living, invading, causing damage to, eating food from, acting as a disease vector for, or causing any other harm to a human habitat. While many are just considered a nuisance, some household pests can become dangerous as they pose a risk to health, property, and lifestyle. Also, household pests aren’t just limited to insects. They include arachnids, rodents, and wildlife.
While household pests can be found year-round, some are more common in the summer months. Here are four of the most common summer pests and how you can prevent them.
Mosquito season peaks during the summer months. Mosquitoes are able to reproduce in large numbers due to the warm weather and humid environments that accelerate their life cycle. If you have standing water on your property, you will most likely see mosquitoes since this is where they lay their eggs. Mosquitoes can be dangerous to humans as they carry pathogens that can cause serious diseases such as Zika and West Nile virus.
Mosquitoes can be prevented by:
- Wearing clothing that covers your arms and legs
- Eliminating areas of standing water
- Repairing or replacing torn window screens
- Applying insect repellent
Ants hibernate in the winter and come out in full force during the summer. Ants are usually seen indoors during the summer because they’re searching for food and water as these can become scarce for them. They are also building up their reserves for the fall and winter months.
Ants can be prevented by:
- Keeping your home clean, especially the kitchen
- Not leaving pet food and water bowls outdoors
- Sealing cracks and holes in your home’s exteriors
- Keeping trees and shrubs trimmed away from the house
Termite swarming season is in the spring, but these newly established colonies grow exponentially in the summer. Termites can go long periods of time undetected. This allows them to cause significant damage to your home. It’s important to keep an eye out for signs of termites so you’re able to catch them early.
Termites can be prevented by:
- Eliminating wood to soil contact around foundations
- Keeping plants a few feet away from your home
- Fixing leaks and eliminating any other sources of excess moisture
- Having an annual termite inspection performed
Flies invade your home in the summer months to escape the heat. While they only reproduce during the hotter months, getting indoors allows them to do so even more prolifically.
Flies can be prevented by:
- Keeping windows, doors, and vents sealed
- Using garbage cans with tight fitting lids
- Storing food in airtight containers
- Not leaving dirty dishes out
- Turning off outdoor lights at night
Don’t let these common pests ruin your summer. If you have a problem with any of these pests, contact your local pest control company. They will be able to help eliminate them safely and prevent them going forward.
Regardless of the season, pests are always in search of shelter and food. One place that provides them with both of these is your home. Different seasons bring different pests in varying stages of their life cycles. It’s important to know the patterns for these seasonal pests in your area to make the proper preparations for your home. What can you expect as each season changes throughout the year?
For most pests, winter is a time of hibernation and survival. The colder weather triggers a need for overwintering pests to find shelter. Some will seek this out indoors, while others will look for it outdoors. Bees, wasps, and other stinging insects search for shelter in logs or in the eaves of your home. Ants will seek shelter in their nesting sites. Overwintering pests like roaches and spiders will seek shelter indoors, sometimes in our homes. They key to prevention of winter pests is to prepare your home in the fall.
Spring is a time of awakening and mating for many pests. As the weather starts to get warm, pests will emerge from their winter shelters and increase their activity. Pests that hibernate during the winter will awaken from their dormant states. The spring rains will drive ants from their nesting sites in search of higher ground; plus it marks the beginning of swarming season for termites. Most pests will move outdoors in the spring in search of mates.
Summer brings the height of backyard pests, which are what tend to put a damper on our outdoor fun. While we usually see fewer pests inside our home during the summer, we do tend to see a larger number of pests in our yards and other outdoor areas. Mosquito season peaks in the summer months as the moisture from spring and summer rains drives mosquitoes to breed. Bees, wasps, and other stinging insects are also more active in the summer.
Fall is a time of preparation for most pests as they need to get ready for the harsh winter months. Common fall pests include ladybugs, box elders, and spiders. These pests will often invade your home at this time of the year in search of shelter for the coming months. Fall is a good time to prepare your home for overwintering pests, such as roaches and rodents.
Regardless of the season, there are steps you can take to protect your home from pests year-round:
- Keep your grass mowed and shrubbery trimmed away from the sides of your home.
- Keep your yard clear of debris and standing water.
- Inspect the outside of your home for cracks and holes that pests can use as entry points and seal them.
- Use weatherstripping around doors and windows and make sure screens are in good repair.
- Make sure gutters are clear of debris or install gutter guards.
- Consider enclosing your crawlspace.
- Keep food and pet food stored in airtight containers.
- Don’t leave pet food and water bowls out overnight.
- Clean up crumbs and spills immediately.
If you already have a pest problem or these steps aren’t working for you, call your local pest control company. They can come and give your home a thorough inspection and help you with a treatment and prevention plan.