Discourage insects from bugging you this summer

By: Emily Jones | C&G Newspapers | Published August 7, 2019

METRO DETROIT — Summer is a wonderful time of year where the sun is shining, the water’s warm and cookouts might become a weekly event. Mostly everyone loves summer, and that doesn’t just include friends and family.

During warm weather, a myriad of pests come out to play in homes and gardens. Some of them may be more creepy than harmful, while others pose a threat to health or property. Here’s a quick guide to some common summer pests and what to do if you see them on your property.

According to Terminex.com, if you have ants in your home, performing simple acts like wiping down kitchen counters to destroy their scent trails is an easy way to stanch the flow of insects. Vacuuming and dusting should be performed to cut down on the number of crumbs and food particles that may be hanging around the house. Storing food in airtight containers is a good idea as well, as ants can get into even the most tightly rolled-up cereal or chip bag.

Another common pest to see is the mosquito. Recently, there have been recorded cases of the West Nile virus in Oakland County, so taking mosquitoes seriously is an important thing to do. One of the biggest things to know about mosquitoes is that they breed in stagnant water.

“I mean, the habitat is everything. Any kind of standing water you want to remove, first and foremost. You want to make sure you clean your gutters on a consistent basis,” said Chris Beltowski, the owner of Mosquito Joe, a pest removal company.  

“A pretty common thing is to have a kids pool fill up with water and not tip over frequently. … The egg to adult mosquitoes (maturation process) happens in five to seven days. If you have a tire swing, drill a hole in it. If you have a birdbath, refill it every couple of days.”

Another flying pest, flies, will breed inside the home if given enough time and space. According to the Home Depot website, flies can crawl through extremely small openings in windows and weather stripping, so replacing and maintaining those will lead to a much smaller chance of the pests getting inside the home.

Much like ants, flies love any kind of food residue, so cleaning and maintaining the kitchen will dissuade the pests from taking up shop. Lastly, regularly cleaning out the garbage bin to clear any smell or residue of old food is a good idea. Flies are able to be treated with common remedies such as fly traps or bug zappers.

Another pest to watch out for is the tick, many of which have the potential to pass on Lyme disease and a number of other dangerous illnesses.

“They (ticks) have been becoming quite prevalent,” said Carla Scott, of PestX LLC.

Ticks do not just lurk out in the middle of parks, as any proximity to a wooded area can be a haven for the pests. They feed on a host and then fall off the host when they are done.

“Wherever that host is at the time, they’ll drop off. Then they’ll go into a ‘questing mode’ (where they attempt to find a new host),” said Beltowski.

Inside homes, Beltowski said, ticks like damp spaces.

To ward off ticks, medications and pet collars are a good idea. Another idea is to do routine inspections of pet collars, fur and legs. Also do regular inspections for children, checking the legs and the scalp. Above all, it is highly recommended to keep the outside area of the home well-maintained, as many of the above listed pests like to live and breed in unmaintained, stagnant areas.

Lastly, if any pest issue is serious, call a professional.