This week seemed like the perfect time to provide a quick guide to common summer pests we deal with most often here in Lexington. As temperatures rise and the days grow longer, summer brings about a whole new set of pest challenges in Central Kentucky. While it’s the season for outdoor fun and relaxation, it’s also peak season for annoying pests! In this blog, I’ll discuss some of the most common summer pests we deal with here in Central Kentucky and share some tips to keep them at bay.
Common Summer Pests “Worst Offender”: Mosquitoes
Mosquitoes top our list of common summer pests in Central Kentucky, and for very good reason. Their itchy bites can quickly spoil a pleasant evening outdoors. In addition to being annoying, mosquitoes can also transmit diseases like West Nile virus and Zika virus.
To reduce your yard’s population of mosquitoes, you should attempt to eliminate any standing water sources, as they serve as breeding grounds. Regularly empty and clean birdbaths, flowerpots, gutters, and any other areas where water can accumulate.
Berner offers a monthly mosquito program to help reduce the mosquito population from April through October. Our services include ultra-low volume fogging for adult mosquitoes, larvicides and traps for container breeding mosquitoes. Mosquitoes top our list of common summer pests because in our opinion, they are simply the worst.
Common Summer Pests “Frequent Offender”: Ants
Ants are persistent pests that invade homes in search of food and water. They leave behind scent trails that attract more ants, creating a never-ending cycle. To prevent ant infestations, keep your kitchen clean, seal food containers tightly, and promptly clean up spills and crumbs. Seal entry points like cracks and gaps in doors and windows. If you notice ant trails, wipe them away with soapy water to disrupt their pheromone trail and discourage their return.
DIY attempts to control these common summer pests often fail due to various reasons. Inadequate identification being one of the leading reasons. Different ant species require different control methods. Without proper ID, your attempts may target the wrong species, only treat worker/foraging ants, and fail to address the underlying issue. Each species has unique habits, feeding and habitat preferences, making it essential to understand the specific ant species you’re dealing with to develop an effective control strategy.
Big box store products may not provide long-lasting or thorough elimination. Sprays and baits available to consumers may have limited effectiveness or low potency. Manufacturers do this to minimize risk to the untrained applicators using them. Additionally, DIY methods such as spraying ants with household cleaners or vinegar may temporarily repel them but fail to address the root cause of the infestation. Ants are resilient pests, and effective control often requires professional-grade products and techniques.
If the long list of DIY products available for ants isn’t working out, you should seek the help of an experienced professional company such as Berner Pest Solutions. Contact us today for a free estimate, or check out our other blog post specific to dealing with ants here.
Common Summer Pests “Helpful, but scary”: Spiders
Spiders often get a bad rap in the pest world. They are in many ways beneficial as they prey on many nuisance pests and insects. Although, people don’t usually find these common summer pests beneficial when they invade their homes. Spiders, both harmless and venomous, can be found in and around homes during the summer. Keeping your home clean and clutter-free can be very helpful as spiders are attracted to hiding places that are mostly out of sight. Seal cracks and crevices to prevent their entry. If you encounter venomous spiders like black widows or brown recluses, exercise caution and consider contacting a professional pest control service for safe removal and treatment.
Areas where spiders often “hang out” in homes include corners, toe kick areas of kitchen and bathroom cabinets, attics, and basement areas that are not often accessed. Some spiders, such as wolf spiders do not build webs, but rather hunt for their prey. While, very beneficial, we often see them invading homes especially in new construction areas, where development often displaces them.
Spiders can be very tricky pests to control due their biology. If you need help evicting these eight legged intruders from your home, give Berner a call today.
“Most Likely to be a Jerk” Summer Pest: Wasps
It is important to note that wasps are not inherently “jerks.”, they do serve as pollinators and serve a purpose in the natural ecosystem. However, wasps are highly protective of their nests and colonies, which often get built under eaves, patios, and other areas shielded from the elements. When they perceive a threat to their colony, they may become defensive and exhibit aggressive behavior. This defensive behavior is an instinctive response to safeguard their offspring and the survival of their colony.
Many wasps are carnivorous insects and feed on other insects, spiders, and in some cases, nectar. They may become more noticeable and persistent in late summer when they are actively foraging for food to sustain the developing colony. Their search for nourishment can sometimes lead them to areas where humans are present, making their presence more noticeable and potentially intrusive.
Due to the potentially dangerous nature of these stinging common summer pests, it may be best to consult with a professional pest management company. At Berner, we incorporate wasp nest removal as part of our Top Dog Pest Prevention service.
“Least Sanitary” Summer Pest: Flies
In the pest management world, the flies we deal with are often called “filth-breeding flies”, and for good reason. They are just plain disgusting. Among the most common summer pests that fall into this category are house flies and fruit flies. They can contaminate food and spread diseases. Keep doors and windows screened to prevent their entry, and repair any damaged screens. Ensure that outdoor trash bins are tightly sealed and regularly cleaned. Use fly traps or flypaper to catch any flies that manage to get indoors. Clean up spills and food crumbs promptly, and scoop pet poop routinely. Berner offers solutions for small and large fly control that include assistance in locating larval breeding sources, application of adulticides/baits, and consultation for prevention.
“Most Likely Summer Pet Threats”: Fleas & Ticks
Fleas can become a problem if you have pets or encounter infested areas. These tiny parasites can cause discomfort and transmit diseases to both humans and animals. The best protection from fleas is prevention. Regularly groom and treat your pets with flea prevention products recommended by your veterinarian. Vacuum carpets, furniture, and pet bedding regularly, and wash them in hot water.
If you’re beyond the point of prevention and suspect a flea infestation, a professional pest control flea treatment may be needed for an indoor infestation. Berner provides treatment for household flea infestations, and can provide free estimates based on your home’s square footage. Additionally, our Top Dog Pest Prevention service makes flea treatments available to current clients.
Ticks are prevalent in wooded and grassy areas and can transmit diseases such as Lyme disease and Rocky Mountain spotted fever. When spending time outdoors, wear long sleeves, pants, and closed-toe shoes. After outdoor activities such as hiking, thoroughly check yourself, your children, and pets for ticks. If you’re dealing with ticks on your property, Berner has services available to remedy the issue. Reach out to us today for a free consultation.
Final Tips for Homeowners
- Maintain a clean and clutter-free home, as pests are attracted to food debris and hiding places.
- Seal cracks, gaps, and other potential entry points to prevent pests from invading your home.
- Trim vegetation and keep shrubs and trees pruned away from the house to reduce pest harborage areas.
- Eliminate standing water sources to prevent mosquito breeding.
- Store firewood away from the house and elevated from the ground to deter pests.
- Regularly inspect and maintain window screens to prevent flies and other insects from entering.
- Keep outdoor trash bins tightly sealed and regularly cleaned to discourage flies and other scavenging pests.
- Consult with a professional pest control service for effective treatment options if you encounter a significant infestation.
While summer pests may try to disrupt your enjoyment of the season in Lexington, KY, implementing preventive measures can help you maintain a pest-free home and outdoor environment. By following the tips outlined in this blog, you can reduce the presence of mosquitoes, ants, fleas, ticks, flies, spiders, and wasps, allowing you to make the most of the warm weather without unwelcome interruptions.