It’s the summer and that means that all of nature is coming out to play following the springtime. Whilst that might make for more interesting woodland walks, it also means that the home is more susceptible to pests of every stripe which can be bad for the health of the house, not to mention those living in it. Here, we’re going to look at some of the most common pests, why you should keep them out, and what to do about them.
The heat tends to bring these flying and buzzing insects out in droves. Mosquitoes tend to live outdoors but will come to the home without issue. While the majority of mosquito bites will cause no issue, they are known to carry diseases that can cause a range of health problems. Simply put, the best way to deal with mosquitoes is to avoid them. Don’t go out at dawn or dusk if you have experienced mosquito problems in the area before and, if you do, be sure that your arms and legs are covered by clothes. You can apply insect repellent to any areas of bare skin, as well. To prevent mosquitoes from living in your garden, then be sure to clear any standing water, as that’s where they breed.
You might not know you have an ant problem, but that’s only because they’ve spent the past months hibernating, waiting for the weather to get warm again. Once it does, they will go all over in search of food, which can include coming into your home. The simplest way to prevent ants is to make sure you don’t leave out any food or water. Tiny as they are, they have a fantastic sense of smell and pick up even tiny crumbs of food. As such, be sure to keep your kitchen clean and don’t use any loose bags or boxes. If you open up a pack of food that cannot be resealed, then use resealable bags or Tupperware containers for them, instead.
These little bugs are not your common pest. For one, they don’t tend to live in or around the home but might live somewhere a lot closer to you and your family. Lice in human hair, feeding on human blood, which alone is enough to make them worth getting rid of. Unlike other pests, they cannot live away from a human body, so lice prevention is all about keeping them off you and your kids, especially if you hear of a lice problem in the area. While they might not be a health risk in and of themselves, lice can cause an unbearable itching, which can lead to damage due to scratching, and they can exacerbate problems with skin conditions such as eczema and psoriasis.
Much like lice, bed bugs feast on human blood. They’re also relatively harmless to most people, as they don’t carry any pathogens, like mosquitoes. However, like lice, their bites can be very itchy and if you scratch those bites too much, you can end up causing an infection. However, that doesn’t mean that they’re not a pain. Their bites are highly irritating and they can cause you to lose a lot of sleep. Bed bugs need to be isolated, which means you have to find them right down to the source and they can be killed by dehydrating. There are natural solutions you can use to dehydrate them, but the eggs and larvae can be harder to target than full-grown bed bugs, too.
There are multiple species of these parasites. A lot of different animals have a particular species of tick associated with them. For instance, dogs and cats have different kinds of ticks from horses. However, if you live with any pets, it’s important to make sure they are treated for ticks and fleas as and when the vet recommends. Horse-ticks pose some of the greatest risks to humans, given that they are the carriers of Lyme disease. If you live in a wooded area, be sure to check yourself and your kids for bites any time that you go outside. If you have a bite mark and you start developing flu-like symptoms, it’s vital that you visit the doctor as soon as you can.
Another parasite that tends to bother animals such as your pets, too. Although fleas feed primarily on blood, they do not live entirely on pets, as some assume. Rather, they tend to live in high grass and other places that give them the shade and humidity they prefer. Fleas can bother your pets to the point that they hurt themselves by scratching too hard. However, they are also dangerous, leading to cases of anaemia, as well as transmitting parasites such as tapeworm eggs. Aside from getting flea prevention treatment from the vets, you can get rid of them from the garden by spraying natural flea killers like diatomaceous earth. Like many small parasites, the key lies in dehydrating them.
Bees and wasps
These stinging insects, which also include the more intimidating hornets and yellow jackets, become a lot more active during the summer. Their stings are always painful, and some people might have serious allergic reactions to them. However, most bees and wasps will not sting you unless you try to swat them. Sudden movements can make them aggressive, so remaining still if they are near you, or distancing yourself from them if they aren’t too close is the best solution. They are attracted to sweet smells, so avoid wearing sweet scents, having uncovered foods, or keeping your trash uncovered. Ground-nesting stinging insects like yellow jackets will make their nests in any areas of uncovered dirt, so be sure to plant grass seed over any such areas in your garden.
When it comes to most pests, you might be right to be most worried about the harm they can cause to your health. Very few of them, however, can cause billions of dollars of damage a year. The primary exception to that is the termite, which will eat at any and all wood they can find, including the wooden structure of many homes. Finding a termite nest and exterminating the family as quickly as possible, is crucial if you don’t want plenty of damage to have to pay to repair. There are different methods to exterminate termites, including some natural methods such as using nematodes that will feed on them. However, a new infestation can move in pretty quickly if you don’t prevent them from moving in by ensuring your home is well-ventilated and you have no moisture problems creating the dank living conditions they love.
Lastly, most people do not consider flies a major health hazard. However, while they don’t bite, they are known to spread a whole host pathogens and parasites to humans, primarily through their droppings and the dander they leave behind. Flies are primarily attracted to food, especially the decaying and rotten kind. Not only do they feed on it, but they lay their eggs in it, which can lead to a maggot infestation. There are plenty of ways to treat them, including swatting, using fly spray, and in-home repellants and traps but the best way to deal with them is keep any trash out of the home and get rid of uneaten food ASAP.
If you’re having trouble dealing with any of the pests above, then you might need to look at hiring professional services to take them out. A pest-ridden home is not safe for you, your kids, or any pets you might want to bring home.