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How to keep summer bugs at bay this season

Summer of 2021 has been a season for many people to get back out into the world after a long period of quarantine to enjoy vacations and warm weather. Unfortunately, humans aren’t the only ones gathering outdoors this time of year.

The National Pest Management Association (NPMA) stated in its bi-annual Bug Barometer forecast, a seasonal projection of the pest activity by professional entomologists, that warm and wet summer conditions are predicted to keep contributing to spikes in pest populations nationwide.

According to the NPMA’s study of the north central U.S., which includes Missouri, warmer than normal summer temperatures have supported an increase in stinging insects, as well as encouraging mosquito populations to thrive.

Here is a list of notable summer bugs, and advice for homeowners on keeping them at bay.

(Source: Adobe Stock)

Ants

There are many different types of ants, and all feed on different things.

Food and different types of leftovers can attract ants indoors during hot weather and in search of water. To minimize, If ants are coming inside, consider keeping food in hard, sealed containers, not cardboard boxes or paper wrappers. Attractive items like sugar and honey can also be stored in the refrigerator for added protection. Dispose of garbage frequently, including recyclables, where ants can also gather.

Not all ants eat food. Some ants eat decaying wood. The presence of carpenter ants can be a sign of unwanted moisture in your home.

A professional pest control services should be called to remove and treat the sources of infestation.

Mosquito Pixabay
Warm and wet summer temperatures cause pests like mosquitoes to thrive, according to the National Pest Management Association. (Source: Pixabay)

Mosquitoes

Standing water can serve as a breeding ground for insects like mosquitoes. Rain gutters, old tires, buckets, plastic covers and even toys are all containers where mosquitoes can breed. The EPA also recommends changing the water in bird baths, fountains, wading pools, rain barrels, and potted plant trays at least once a week to destroy potential mosquito habitats. Drain or fill temporary pools of water with dirt, and keep swimming pools treated properly. Circulating water also helps deter potential breeding. In addition to annoying itching, bites from mosquitoes carry disease that pose a danger to humans and pets. 

When it comes to using pesticides, a professional will know what chemicals to  create the best shield for a home. Spraying the wrong chemicals in the wrong places could cause trouble for pets and children.

(Source: Adobe Stock)

Bees and wasps

Pollinators like bees and wasps are important to the planet, but their painful stings and tendency to build nests or hives near homes can cause annoyance and fear for some homeowners, especially those with allergies.

According to the EPA, keeping areas dry can prevent wasps or bees from gathering. This means repairing leaky faucets, and fixing areas where water puddles after the rain. If water drainage is a routine problem, call a plumber to help remedy the issue.

Sealing trash and not leaving food outside can also prevent wasps or bees from honing in on popular outdoor gathering spots, like patios or decks.

Cicadas

While some pests return every summer, this season is a little more unique.

While they may be large and loud, cicadas don’t pose threats to humans or crops. However, there are ways to control cicadas around a home.

According to the EPA, young trees may need protection from cicadas. This can be accomplished by covering them in mesh or netting with ¼-inch or smaller openings. This will protect against damage that could occur when cicadas deposit eggs on the branches.

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