7 Common Summer Pests and What to Do About Them

Summer brings a lot of lovely things with it: warm weather, rain, flowers. It can also bring some less appealing things. Pests start to run rampant in summer. Part of it's the warm weather. They start to become more active. Part of it's the wet weather. Animals that might be fine even in winter's cold look for shelter when their habitat is saturated. There are 7 common pests to watch out for, in the home and out of it. Some are nuisances, some are dangerous, some cause damage. Here's what you need to know about them:


  1. Ticks

These little buggers are awful. Found in heavily forested and overgrown areas, they can transmit a range of illnesses to you. Some of these can have chronic effects for the rest of your life. They can even find their way into your garden and onto your lawn.

Manage ticks by taking care of your garden and cleaning out undergrowth. Keep grass cut to three inches or shorter.

They can cling to you when you take a hike, but preventions like DEET are very useful. Make sure when applying DEET that you keep it out of your mouth and eyes. (Consult a vet about what is best for pets; DEET should not be used on pets because they often groom themselves by licking their fur.) While it will repel most ticks, DEET won't take care of them all.

After a hike, check your body for ticks. (Do the same for your pets.) Ticks don't transmit diseases until they've been latched on for at least a day. Their body can detach from their head, which is still dangerous, so you'll have to pull them straight out with tweezers (do not twist), gripping the tick as near your skin as possible.

  1. Bees & Wasps

Bees and wasps start re-appearing as early as February. Basically, as soon as it gets warm, you'll start noticing them again. Wasps prefer their nests high up. Unlike bees, each wasp can sting multiple times. This combination means it's a good idea to get professional wasp nest removal services to do this for you.

Since bees are essential insects and many are endangered, pursue the relocation of a nest. Pest control companies often work with local beekeepers, who will be happy to receive a new nest and take care of it under controlled conditions.

To keep bees and wasps away, keep lids tight on outdoor trash cans, and clean up outdoor picnics and food prep as soon as you're done. Make sure screens on doors and windows are intact and fitted tightly.

  1. Termites

It's terrifying when you spy a termite. North Carolina's most common types are subterranean, so by the time you see one in your home, you need an inspection. Subterranean termites colonize beneath your home and build mud tubes up through the foundation and walls. They feed on wood and can decimate a house if not treated by a pest control company.

Spot treatments won't be effective. While they may kill some termites, they can't get to the queen who will simply replenish their numbers. Spot treatments may even push the termites to spread more widely across a home. What's needed is a complete solution that targets the queen and can destroy the entire colony.

  1. Carpenter Ants

Carpenter ants aren't as destructive as termites, but they can still do a lot of damage. They come inside when they can find food and shelter. The more you see of these large ants, the more likely it is they've colonized your home. They don't eat wood like termites do, but they will excavate through wood in order to expand their colony. These tunnels can damage walls and structures in your home and can result in expensive home repair or your home devaluing because of that damage.

The best approach here is similar to that of termites. You need to eliminate the colony, not just spot treat. Bring in a pest control company for this kind of job.

  1. Carpenter Bees

These little bees generally aren't as dangerous, but they can ruin wood elements of a home. They burrow into wood to create tunnels and rooms where they'll lay their eggs. When those newly hatched carpenter bees grow up, they'll come back to the same hole in order to use and re-use it. It's a good idea to look for such holes and seal them up before carpenter bees return.

  1. Fleas

Fleas generally come in on your pets. Getting rid of fleas can often be handled by bathing and treating the pets themselves. However, sometimes the home itself can become infested. This requires a more thorough sanitation of your house.

  1. Rodents

Rats and mice are year-round pests, but you may see more of them when it's rainy outside. summer brings storms, so you'll want to keep an eye out. Rodent prevention starts with sealing any gaps where pipes are wiring come into the home. They're there for shelter and food, so make sure you use garbage cans with lids, and you clean up your food prep quickly. Don't leave food out, and keep stored food in tight containers. This includes pet food – mice have strong teeth that can chew through thick plastic and even cardboard boxes.

It's also a good idea to move outdoor trash bins away from the side of the home. If these are being raided, mice may look in the home next if they're directly next to each other.

Once inside, rodents breed quickly. A single-family of mice can turn into dozens in the space of two or three months. Rodents of all sizes stay hidden as much as possible. If you see one, it's only because you have other rodents and this one has gotten desperate enough for food that it will chance being seen. Rodents require professional solutions. Pest control for rodents isn't just about capturing the rodents, it's also about ensuring that the conditions that brought them in are identified and fixed.

Need help dealing with pest problems? Contact Rid-a-Bug today.