Have A Pest Free Summer With These Simple Tips

Summer is a great time to get outside and spend long hours enjoying everything nature has to offer. However, while we're feasting on hamburgers and s'mores, there's a whole army of pests who want to feast on us and items in our home. These insects are unsanitary and will quickly spread diseases if you're not careful. Check out the worst five offenders and how you can keep them away.

family enjoying backyard together

Seal up Your Home Against Ants

If you find one ant in your home, there's a good chance you're going to find more. They're tiny and can slip in through anywhere, especially if they smell food. While you may want to spray for ants and set up ant traps, there are a few steps any homeowner can take to prevent them.

Keep all food sealed and limited to the kitchen. Your chips, flour, cookies, and even cat food should all be sealed in containers.

Don't let your teenager bring food to their rooms or have your kids eat in the den. This is the easiest way to spread crumbs throughout the house that attract ants.

Wash out all cans and food items before you recycle them. This way you won't have pools of sugar collecting in your recycle bin.

Destroy Mosquito Breeding Grounds

At face value, mosquitoes are annoying and cause itchy, uncomfortable welts when they bite. However, they can be far more dangerous by spreading the West Nile virus, Zika, and even malaria if they're not stopped. That's why you should always leave the house wearing bug spray, especially if you're going hiking in the woods. Even if you're not, there are a few ways to reduce the presence of mosquitoes in your yard.

Dump out all standing water after it rains (like empty pots and birdbaths). These pools are perfect for mosquito eggs, and dumping the water kills any potential larvae.

Check your screens for holes and tears that can let mosquitoes and other pests in.

Set up mosquito-repelling candles at your next get-together.

Keep Cockroaches Out

There are few things more disgusting than turning on your light and watching a cockroach scuttle across your kitchen. Even the cleanest homeowners can find these large, grotesque creatures hanging around their bathrooms and sinks. They can also become more prevalent in the summer as they try to escape rain outside and feel comfortable breeding in the warm weather.

Clean crumbs underneath your refrigerators and oven. These are great hiding places for cockroaches and should also be sprayed with repellent.

Repair leaks under your sinks and remove any standing water in your home. Cockroaches love a cool damp spot that has a water source.

Avoid leaving damp towels and toothbrushes in drawers. Not only does this attract mold, but it also creates a haven for insects.

Stay Calm Around Stinging Insects

Wasps and hornets are some of the scariest parts of summer. They can quickly ruin a fun afternoon picnic and send people running for fear of getting stung. Often, people are reluctant to swat at a wasp in case they miss and the insect comes back against them.

Keep calm whenever there are stinging insects around you. They may ignore you if unprovoked.

If you spot a wasp or hornet, carefully look around your home for a nest. If you find one that's small enough to handle yourself, try to remove it during the evening when the wasps are all there.

bee-pollinating

Bees are important pollinators in the local ecosystem, so call a specialist if you find a nest. They should be able to relocate the insects.

Watch for Bedbugs on Vacation

Families who are taking vacations this summer need to keep an eye out for bedbugs. These tiny insects climb on you and bite when you're sleeping. They prefer warm areas, which is why they leave the coolness of outside and climb next to warm humans when the sun goes down.

Check the sheets and even the mattress when you arrive. You won't see the bugs, but you will see small drops of blood from where past guests were bitten.

Learn to identify bedbug eggs and bites, and check for these on the sheets and your person each morning.

If you do encounter bedbugs, place all of your belongings from the trip in quarantine by sealing them in a plastic bag for a week before washing. Taking preventative steps will not only give you peace of mind, it will potentially save you on the cost of pest control which typically start at a few hundred dollars (at bare minimum). By following these steps, you should reduce the number of insects you encounter throughout the summer and will be able to focus on relaxing and having fun.

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