Protect yourself from Appleby summer bugs


Summer finally came to Burlington with all the bugs.

Summer is a season for gathering with friends and family and for enjoying the great outdoors. Don't be surprised, however, if pests arrive uninvited.

Warming temperatures lead to all kinds of eco-activity and according to the experts at leading pest control company, Orkin Canada, the most likely pests you'll encounter this summer are ants, mosquitos, stinging pests, ticks and rodents.

“Most people are aware of the risks posed by mosquitos, bees, wasps and ticks, but they think that ants are simply a nuisance,” says Alice Sinia, Ph.D., the resident entomologist for Orkin. “The reality is that ants are the nation's number one pest problem.”

Sinia offers this helpful guideline:

Ants

There are more than 47 different species of in Canada, ranging from carpenter ants (which are the most populous species capable of major structural damage) to European fire ants, whose painful bites can cause serious allergic reactions and can kill small mammals.

As with most pests, the best way to deter ants is to limit their access to nesting sites, food and water. Clean up spilled food and drinks immediately, and keep food stored in air-tight containers, especially during outdoor picnics. Once ants find a food source, they leave behind an invisible pheromone trail for others to follow. Check your home's foundation for cracks and seal any openings, paying pay close attention to doors and windows. It is also important to check your attic and crawl spaces for leaks and condensation. Finally, don't forget overgrown tree branches and bushes brushing against your home since they provide “highways” for the ants.

Mosquitoes

These are one of the most dangerous pests and experts predict increased populations this summer due to the unusually high amount of snow during the past winter. Not only are mosquitoes annoying due to their constant presence, buzzing sounds and irritating bites, but they can also transmit diseases, including West Nile virus, malaria and yellow fever. To keep these pests at bay, always apply appropriately registered insect repellent before heading outdoors, especially at dawn and dusk when they are most active. Always read the label of insecticide repellent prior to use. Mosquitoes breed in stagnant water, regardless of size or amount. To help reduce activity around your home, get rid of any standing water and dense vegetation.

Bees and Wasps

Stings from these flying pests can cause anything from a minor irritation to severe allergic reactions. They are beneficial insects and typically do not sting unless provoked, so try to remain calm if they are flying around you. Frequently inspect for nests around your home and in empty garbage cans. Look for wax cells, sometimes papery or made of clay or mud and they may be located in wall voids, under slabs, along eaves, or in soil. Position flowering plants away from places you frequent, such as doorways, walkways, decks and mailboxes.

Ticks and Rodents

Not as common around the home, ticks are more prevalent in woodlands, fields, and in areas with shrubbery and tall grass. Experts suggest maintaining a well-kept yard, especially along the edges of your property. When venturing out into nature, wear long-sleeved shirts and light coloured pants so you can easily spot these bloodsucking pests. The primary hosts of ticks are small mammals, particularly rodents. Therefore, it is advisable to have a rodent control program in place for your backyard if your home is in a heavily wooded or densely vegetated area. Ticks pose health risks to both humans and pets, so check your pets frequently and consult with your veterinarian about tick prevention treatments.

. These tips will help ensure that pests don't crash your backyard barbecue, and stay out of your home. If you suspect that you already have an infestation, you should contact your local pest control professional immediately.

www.newscanada.com

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