Summer has arrived. While we all love the warm weather, the warm weather also brings the pests of the summer season. Bugs can be a major annoyance if they find an opening into the home or buzz around during your back yard BBQ. There are some common summer pests that can be much more than a nuisance, like ticks and mosquitoes that can transmit disease.
Certain species of ticks can carry Lyme disease and mosquitoes are known to spread West Nile virus and encephalitis. Even more alarming is the fact that there has been an increase in cases of both Lyme disease and West Nile Virus across the country in recent years.
These illnesses can be severe and sometimes fatal, but there are steps people can take to help protect themselves from coming into contact with these pests:
- Wear light-colored clothing – Ticks, especially the Black legged deer tick which can carry Lyme disease, are found in wooded areas and like to climb tall grasses to wait for a passing host. When in a wooded environments, wear light-colored long pants, long-sleeve shirts and closed-toe shoes to prevent ticks from biting the skin. By wearing light-colored clothing, it makes it easier to find a tick if one is on you.
- Use bug spray – DEET is the active ingredient in many insect repellents and is an effective way to deter ticks and other pests when outside. Bug spray containing at least 20% DEET is recommended.
- Make your property unattractive – Keep your grass cut. Ticks prefer to hide in tall grass and wait for a passing human or animal.
- Check for ticks – After being outdoors, inspect yourself for ticks. Don’t forget to check your pets for ticks if they have been outside. Pets can easily pick up ticks, which can then be transferred to other family members once inside the house.
- Eliminate breeding grounds – Mosquitoes only need about ½ inch of water to breed. Eliminating areas of standing water around the home such as flowerpots, birdbaths and baby pools can greatly reduce the number of mosquitoes in the area.
- Be aware of the time of day – Between dawn and dusk is peak activity time for mosquitoes. Minimize outside activity during those times to prevent mosquito bites.
- Watch what you wear – Mosquitoes are attracted to specific characteristics of clothing such as dark colors and floral prints. Avoid wearing sweet-smelling perfumes and colognes, which could also attract mosquitoes to you.
- Protect your house – Screen windows and doors, and repair tears in existing screens to prevent mosquitoes from flying inside.
These tips can help prevent bites, but if you think you or someone you know has contracted an insect-borne disease, immediately consult your physician for diagnosis and treatment.
If you have a mosquito or tick problem, contact A1 Exterminators at 800-525-4825 for a free pest control estimate of your property.