Summer is peak season for pests in your home
Summertime and the livin’ is easy. But when temperatures rise, pest activity increases as well, so it’s important to be extra vigilant about control in summertime, when pests are at their peak.
Whether you are enjoying summer in the city or out in the country, there is a strong chance you’ll encounter at least one of the typical summer pests.
Though they may seem innocuous, summer pests are much more than an annoyance, they can also do damage to your home and even endanger your health.
Knowing what to look for and how to keep these pests at bay will ensure they don’t spoil your precious summer days and nights.
In summer, foraging ants are attracted by food and water, and enter homes through the tiniest of cracks to scavenge for crumbs, oil or grease spills, sugar, and other edible items found in kitchen pantries.
Ants are unsightly and a nuisance that will contaminate your food, some can also spread disease.
To prevent an invasion from ants this summer:
- Power wash your driveway and the sidewalks nearby regularly to clear away residue that could attract ants.
- Keep food in tightly sealed containers.
- Repair any leaking hoses, irrigation heads and HVAC units.
Mosquitoes flock to human homes in the summertime to lay their eggs on standing water. Their constant buzzing and annoying bites make them a nuisance – but they’re much more than that.
Mosquito bites can cause very painful inflammation and some can transmit pdiseases.
To keep these pests away this summer:
- Remove any standing water from gutters, birdbaths or flower pots.
- Fill redundant ditches or holes, keep ponds and fountains clear, and trim back all tall vegetation.
- Retrofitting storm drains and catch basins is also advisable.
When the temperature rises, termites swarm inside homes before moving outdoors to search for food and water.
They are extremely destructive, able to completely excavate through wooden floors, furniture, window frames, doors, panelling, and other important structural components of buildings.
To keep termites away from your home this summer:
- The key to preventing termites invading your home is to reduce moisture levels.
- Fix any leaky plumbing and gutters.
- Ensure all drainage is free flowing.
- Trim back shrubbery and trees.
- Store lumber and firewood outside.
Cockroaches thrive in summertime, and enter homes seeking warm, damp shelter close to food and water. Once indoors, cockroaches will scavenge virtually anything, they also create an unsanitary situation and can spread harmful bacteria.
To stop cockroaches invading this summer:
- Clean and vacuum regularly.
- Store food in tightly-sealed containers.
- Make sure cupboards remain dry.
- Seal crevices and openings in walls and floors.
- Fix any leaky faucets and cracks in the plumbing, and use a dehumidifier to reduce moisture.
Even in summer, spiders like to build webs in dark, moist environments like basements, garages, and corners of rooms, gaining entry through cracks and crevices in your home.
While spiders are not known to transmit diseases to humans, their presence can be alarming for many people, their webs are also considered unsightly.
To prevent a spider infestation this summer:
- Seal cracks and crevices in your home’s exterior.
- Replace broken window and door screens.
- Keep your home clean and free of insects.
- Keep rooms well ventilated.
- If you do see spider webs, remove them.
Wasps and Bees
Warm weather brings out a whole range of stinging pests, each with their own characteristics. Wasps can sting multiple times, and bees will sting when threatened. You need to be on the lookout for all of these pests – and their nests.
To help keep wasps and bees at bay this summer:
- Keep a light on in areas where wasps may nest around your home, as they prefer to rest in the dark. Use a yellow-toned light as white light attracts flying beetles and wasps.
- Secure garbage lids and plant fruit-bearing trees away from your home.
- Fill in any abandoned rodent holes in your lawn.
- If you do find a wasp nest on your property, call a professional pest control service to ensure it is safely destroyed.
Bed bugs are seeing a resurgence in Canada and are often brought into the home on luggage, which makes them a prime summer pest as people return from their vacations, unaware they are carrying these pesky hitchhiking pests.
At night, bed bugs feed on the blood of sleeping humans, leaving behind red spots, but by day, they hide in dark undisturbed areas like furniture, baseboards, floorboards, carpets, and even wallpaper.
To guard against an invasion of bed bugs:
- Clean and vacuum bedrooms regularly.
- Protect mattresses with encasements.
- Seal cracks in walls, trim, and bed frames.
- Look out for live or dead bugs or their skins, and use light coloured sheets so it’s easier to see those red spots.
Earwigs enter homes foraging for dead or decaying vegetable matter and dead insects, all of which are in rich supply in summer. Your basement can also provide the earwig with the damp, dark habitat it needs.
To prevent an earwig infestation this summer:
- Remove any decaying vegetation around your home.
- Clear leaf piles, grass clippings, and compost.
- Fix any leaky downspouts, reroute drains, and repair any broken irrigation systems.
Raccoons will eat almost anything they can find – and in summertime the pickings are plentiful, especially in urban areas.
These pests can do massive structural damage, especially if they decide to set up home on your property. They can also carry various diseases that are dangerous to humans.
To prevent a raccoon invasion this summer:
- Cover all possible entrances.
- Remove potential food sources.
- Use trash cans with tight-fitted lids.
- Bring all pet food inside overnight.
- Trim back any overgrown trees and foliage and store wood piles in shed.
- If you find a raccoon on your property, call a professional pest control service to have it removed safely, humanely, and legally.
Rodents carry deadly diseases, can contaminate food with their hair, urine and faecal matter, and can also cause damage by gnawing through electrical wiring and chewing holes in the structure of your home.
Even worse, they don’t need a large opening to get inside: rats can squeeze through an opening as small as a quarter, while mice can get through a hole the size of your pinky.
To reduce your chances of rats this summer:
- Inspect the exterior of your home for cracks or crevices.
- Seal openings with weather-resistant sealant reinforced with steel wool so rodents can’t gnaw through.
- Clean up the interior and vacuum regularly.
- Consider a thorough cleaning of your home, even in summer – you don’t have to wait until spring.
More than 20 species of tree, flying, and ground squirrels can be found throughout Canada, and most of them know they can get a constant supply of food and shelter near human homes.
Since they can scale buildings with ease, squirrels often enter homes through vents or openings around roofs, where they chew on electrical wiring, rip insulation from walls, and keep residents up by being noisy. Squirrels also carry parasites that spread diseases.
To stop squirrels entering your home this summer:
- Build fences above and below ground.
- Seal any entry points into your home, and remove all overhanging branches.
- To safely and humanely have a squirrel removed, you’ll need a professional pest control service.
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