Bugging you: What pests and bugs to look out for this summer – Alton Telegraph

While summer can bring heat waves, including an upcoming one, and outdoor activities like water parks, it can also bring the most active season for some insects.

These pests can sting or bite, but they can also carry diseases and cause structural damage to houses or create problems for living conditions. These pests seek shelter from the heat and rain in your home.

This summer could be especially bad for mosquitos, as a particularly damp year has led to more humidity. That's on top of St. Louis and Chicago already being major cities for mosquitos, as Chicago was rated fifth-worst for the pest by Orkin and St. Louis was ranked 27th.

"They're very prevalent," said James Newcomer, owner of Mosquito Joe's in Pontoon Beach. "This year is unbelievable because we had such a wet spring and summer and a ton of humidity and thats created a big mosquito problem."

Mosquitos can be primary disease carriers, with diseases like West Nile, encephalitis and Zika (although Newcomer says this is less prevalent in Illinois) being carried by mosquitos. They're not the only pest-carrying disease, as ticks, which are more prevalent in the rural areas of Central Illinois and the Metro East, carry lyme disease.

To tame the pest problem and help keep them at bay, one of the tips Newcomer had was to be active after rain.

"We provide recommendations like doing a five-minute walk around the home and eliminating stagnant water sources," Newcomer said. "That leads to less of a mosquito and ticks problem. Water is the key. Keep the yard tidy, dont let brush piles build-up, keep the grass short, get the water out of everything. Clean your gutters out every six months. Sometimes they go in your gutters."

Mosquitos lay their eggs in standing, stagnant water, so things like outdoor pet bowls, fountains, birdbaths, rain barrels and plant containers should be emptied and changed frequently.

Ticks can be avoided by walking in the center of woodland trails and treating clothing and gear with products containing 0.5% permethrin, per the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

"Quite a few customers have ticks," Newcomer said. "Some of the tick problems are in subdivisions but more in the rural areas with heavy wood lineswhere they are pretty prevalent. In our area, the most common is deer ticks."

The greatest risk of being bitten by blacklegged ticks or deer ticks is in the spring, summer and fall. Deer ticks are prevalent in the eastern United States including Illinois and Missouri.

Mosquitos and ticks are not alone in being pests to avoid. While termites are less of a problem in Illinois, as there are no drywoodor dampwood termites in the area, carpenter ants are similarly drawn to wood and can cause similar structural damage.

Ants are a common pest in homes during the summer and so are spiders.To get rid of ants, bait them using an ant bait found at home goods stores and destroy their mounds.

Spiders which are often forced indoors by the heat and humidity in the Metro East and Central Illinois include the American house spider, cellar spiders, wolf spiders, brown recluses and black widows. To prevent them, keep your spaces clean and organized. Spiders love clutter, so keep the outsides of your home clean as well and eliminate yard clippings, weeds and log piles as possible.

Cockroaches can also be a more prominent problem during the summer, as they thrive in the summer months. Roaches bring disease-causing bacteria and food contamination. To prevent the pest, keep your home clean by taking out the trash often, cleaning dishes and keeping the home crumb-free. Keep food in tightly-sealed containers as well.

Finally, bed bugs are also more prevalent during the summer, as they use hotter months to feed and breed. To prevent bed bugs, don't bring in used furniture without checking for signs of bed bugs and be weary after traveling, staying in hotels and using shared laundry facilities.

Original post:
Bugging you: What pests and bugs to look out for this summer - Alton Telegraph

Related Post