3 Most Common Summer Pests

    Published: 06-16-2009
    Views: 14,497
    Missy Henriksen with the NPMA discusses the three most common pests encountered in the summer:
    mosquitoes, ants, and ticks.

    Missy Henriksen: Hi! I am Missy Henriksen with the National Pest Management Association.

    Today we will cover the three most common pest encountered in the summer, mosquitoes, ants, and ticks. Nobody likes mosquitoes, at best they are major nuisance, but beyond the irritation of an itchy bite mosquitoes can carry dangerous diseases that affect humans.

    Most noticeably West Nile Virus, which has become increasingly prevalent in the United States. To prevent mosquitoes from breeding in your yard, it's important to eliminate any sources of staining water on your property. In addition keep window and door-screens in good repair.

    Most mosquitoes are most active between dusk and dawn, so if you spend time outdoors during these hours it's a good idea to wear long sleeves and pants, and use an insect repellant with DEET, Picardin or Oil of Lemon Eucalyptus.

    And so the number one nuisance pest in the United States, they don't carry disease but they can contaminate food and that's no picnic. Carpenter ants are one of the most worrisome ants because they can cause structural damage to your home.

    The best way to prevent ants from finding the way into your home is to trim trees and shrubs away from the house and seal any cracks and small holes on the exterior of your home.

    Keep the kitchen free of crumbs and spills and eliminate excess moisture in your drains and down spouts and supply lines to prevent ants from moving in.

    Ticks are another major health risk in the summer. They are small but they can cause big problems. Black-legged ticks often called deer ticks are smaller than the head of a pen and they can transmit lyme disease which causes flu-like symptoms, extreme fatigue, arthritis, and even neurological effects.

    Ticks can also carry rocky mountain spotted fever which causes chills, fever, vomiting, fatigue, headache, and red skin blotches on hands and feet.

    Those who spend time in wooded areas such as campers or hikers are especially at risk for picking up ticks. Avoid tick habitats like low-growing brushy vegetation and tall grass and check pets for ticks after spending time outdoors. If you find a tick remove it immediately.

    Take these preventative measures to keep your summer pest-free.