One thing we look forward to in the summer is warmer weather which lets us spend more time outdoors. Unfortunately for some, this also means summer pests come out full force to ruin your outdoor plans. Some of the most common summer pests are flies, ants, mosquitoes, roaches, gnats, ticks, rodents, and stinging insects like wasps and hornets.
There are five major reasons these pests become more prominent in the summer months. The first is temperature. The temperature outside can affect both the behavior and development of pests. Many of these creatures favor the warmer temps, increasing their activity. Other pests, however, will make their way into your home in an effort to escape the heat. Moisture also contributes to pests invading in the summer. Most pests need water to survive and will thrive in moist environments. The increased humidity and summer rain showers provide ideal conditions for pests to thrive during this season. During times of drought, they will make their way indoors in search of water.
Summer also means longer days and shorter nights. More daylight means more time for pests to stay active in their search for food. Food is another motivator for summer pest activity. Grass and other vegetation grows in abundance in the summer months, providing a literal feast for many pests. This also provides them with an ideal place to hide out. Finally, for many pests summer is one of the busiest seasons of their life cycle. They reproduce at a rapid rate during these months in order to grow their populations before the slow down of the winter months. Many also go in search of food to store away for their upcoming winter hibernation or brumation.
Summer pests don’t have to ruin your good times. Here are some Dos and Don’ts of summer pest control.
- Remove any sources of standing water like bird baths, buckets, and toys.
- Keep drainage areas and gutters clear and freeflowing.
- Consider installing gutter guards.
- Make sure rain water is diverted from foundations.
- Repair loose mortars around foundation.
- Keep your yard tidy and grass cut short.
- Replace weatherstripping around windows and doors.
- Keep counters clean and floors swept.
- Keep food and pet food put away in sealed containers.
- Keep basements, attics, and crawlspaces well ventilated and dry.
- Consider crawlspace enclosure.
- Throw away overripe fruits and vegetables.
- Use trashcans with tight fitting lids and clean them regularly.
- Leave pet food and water bowls out overnight.
- Let garbage pile up.
- Leave dirty dishes in the sink.
- Store firewood or other materials up against the house.
- Ignore cracks and openings in your home’s exterior.
- Let sprinklers spray toward foundations.
- Store piles of newspapers or other materials.
- Use cardboard boxes for storage; use plastic when possible.
If you have a problem with pests this summer, contact your local pest control company who can evaluate your home, identify the type of pest you are dealing with, find how and where they are getting into your home, and provide you with the best treatment and prevention plan for your situation.
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It’s finally the holiday season when we can celebrate with our favorite dishes and desserts! While we might find ourselves stocking up on ingredients for our upcoming dinners, you could be providing certain “pantry pests” their holiday meals! Here are two common pantry pests to look out for this holiday season.
Indian Meal Moth
The Indian meal moth is famously known for feeding on pantry items. These pests have a two-toned wing pattern with tan or copper colors throughout their oval-shaped body. They have six legs and a 1/2” to 5/8” wingspan. These insects are highly attracted to light and anywhere they can find food stored. They prefer to feed on dried fruits and vegetables, grains, seeds, nuts, candies, chocolate, pet food, and powdered milk.
Merchant Grain Beetles
The merchant grain beetle has a dark brown body, six legs, and six saw-like teeth on each side of their bodies. Their narrow oval body shape allows them to crawl inside of packaging to eat, live, and reproduce. While their name suggests that they feed on grains, they actually prefer to feed on cereals, cake mixes, macaroni, cookies, and chocolate! Once these insects infest food packages, they immediately contaminate them.
- Buy dried food in quantities that can be eaten or used within 2 to 4 months
- Use up all your older food products before buying new ones
- Store foods in tightly closed containers, preferably those made of glass, metal, or heavy plastic
- Keep food storage areas clean by cleaning up crumbs and spills immediately
- Thoroughly clean cracks and corners of cupboards and doors with a vacuum cleaner
- Inspect all food packages before buying them or bringing them home
Noticing small, greenish-brown bugs congregating throughout the cracks of your home’s foundation or even inside your house? While many might identify these insects as stinkbugs, they might actually kudzu bugs! Kudzu bugs and brown marmorated stinkbugs are often confused with each other. While these pests do have some similarities, they are quite different from each other. Let’s breakdown how these insects are both alike and different!
How They’re Alike
Both stinkbugs and kudzu bugs are known to be a nuisance to all homeowners. Both are highly attracted to warmth and will enter homes to find a warm place to gather. When disturbed, both species will emit an alarming chemical defense against predators. When crushed, they release a very unpleasant odor from their bodies. Even worse, if several of these insects are crushed together, the smell left behind is extremely powerful.
How They’re Different
A stinkbug’s shield-like body is around 1/2″ long and 1/2″ wide with shades of brown across its entire body. Their body size is a bit larger than a kudzu bug, with the kudzu’s measuring only 4 to 6 millimeters long. Kudzu bug bodies are olive green and brown, with a flat, squarish body shape.
Stinkbugs will typically feed off ornamental plants, fruit trees, legumes, and vegetables. The kudzu bug prefers to eat kudzu vines but will occasionally eat soybeans and most any other type of beans. While both stinkbugs and kudzu bugs utilize different types of food sources, both will destroy crops, making both species agricultural pests.
How to Prevent Them
If you notice either of these pests infesting your home, try some of these pest prevention tips below:
- Seal cracks around windows, doors, siding, and outlets that are leading inside.
- Properly ventilate basements, attics, garages, and crawlspaces to eliminate harborage points.
- Install screens over chimney and crawlspace vents.
- Consider calling your local pest control company to inspect, identify areas of entry, and provide you with a treatment plan!
You’re lounging outside enjoying the peaceful outdoors when a flying pest zooms past you. You then realize it’s actually a flying ant! Don’t worry! Flying ants are actually very common, especially during seasons of high humidity. While flying ants are not a huge threat to humans, they can be a major nuisance, especially if they enter your home.
Flying ants swarm for the same reasons that termites swarm which is to reproduce and expand their colonies. These pests will swarm in late spring and the early summer when there’s bright sunlight and warm temperatures. Flying ants also prefer to swarm 3 to 5 days after a rainstorm.
While flying ants won’t cause damage to your home, they can make their way inside. It’s important to know what prevention steps to take when dealing with these pests.
- During peak swarm season, try to keep your windows and doors closed as much as possible.
- If pests have already entered your home, just vacuum them up. You will most likely find them near bright lights, light fixtures or windows.
- If you suspect these pests are inside your walls, don’t tear away any woodwork, trim, baseboards, or wall coverings; simply use your thumb to press against the wood to feel for defects.
- Don’t spray the swarms with insecticide; instead, mark areas where they are getting into your home and notify your pest control professional.
Remember, if you see them flying by outside, don’t be too alarmed. If they end up inside your home, however, it’s always best to call your local pest control company who can determine the best plan of action.
We know pests try to make their way into our homes, but when we see one outside of the comfort of our home we often feel a loss of control or panic. We hold businesses, hospitals, and food establishments to a higher standard due to the nature of their industries.
Because of the work they do for their customers and their communities, it is even more important for these industries to have a good, ongoing relationship with a local pest control company to ensure guests and customers feel comfortable and pest-free.
With the ever-changing food regulations designed to keep patrons safe, it is important to have a tight-knit partnership with a licensed pest control professional. Pest infestations can lead to hefty fines from health departments, increased food costs due to contaminated food, and in worse cases, the closure of the business. Pest prevention procedures and proper sanitation education for staff is essential in keeping your establishment free from pests and your reputation intact.
Hospitals, rehabilitation centers, and long-term care facilities have high standards of sanitation due to the sensitive environment for patients. Pest infestations can pose serious health threats by spreading bacteria through contamination of hospital rooms and equipment. A well-detailed pest prevention plan is crucial in keeping patients and staff healthy and safe.
Reputation drives the hospitality industry and with review sites increasing in visibility and reach, one negative review can cause a bigger impact than 10 positive ones. Nothing can be more damaging to a business than a negative review detailing a pest encounter. A relationship with a local pest control company will not only protect customers from pest infestations but also protect the reputation of your business.
Commercial pest control is a science that requires a strong partnership between the business and their local pest control company. An individualized plan is critical in protecting your important investment. If you do not already have a long-standing relationship with a pest professional, give your local company a call to set up an inspection.