When temperatures start to heat up for the warmer seasons, it's a beautiful opportunity to get outside and enjoy the fresh air. Hiking, camping, swimming and having picnics are enjoyable activities. The downside to the warmer weather is that these outdoor activities increase your risk of exposure to pests that can cause painful, irritating, or life-threatening reactions. It's best to be informed about who you may run into, and how to take care of them. This might be as simple as avoiding the areas with these pests, but in some cases, a pest company like Six Brothers Pest Control in Olathe might be necessary.
- Yellow jackets: Usually more of a prominent issue in late summer or early fall due to their natural food resource of other insects not being available, yellow jackets are an aggressive pest that can deliver multiple stings. They adore human food and are drawn to trash cans or outdoor meals.
- Bald-faced hornets: A relative to yellow jackets is the bald-faced hornet. They tend to appear more in late summer as well, and often exist in large colonies, which can make them a bit more terrifying. They are pretty territorial, and usually only attack when disturbed, so it's best just to leave them be, and not get hurt. If stung, the venom can cause quite a bit of pain, itching and swell for the following twenty-four hours.
- Bees: Honeybees can be fun to watch and are usually gentle creatures. They only bother you when they feel threatened but are pretty docile otherwise. African killer bees, however, are a look-alike to the peaceful honeybees but are much more of a pest problem. While honeybees will sting only once, a killer bee has been known to chase people for up to a quarter of a mile. These bees sting in defense of their nest. Bumblebees are another kind of bee that also stings in defense, and in addition to giving chase, they can sting multiple times.
- Wasps: Paper wasps are the most common kind of wasp around the home, forming the papery nests in house eaves and under decks. They consume nectar to feed the larvae housed in these nests and are thus very territorial. It is best to avoid the nests during the day, and have help from pest control, especially for more massive nests. These can become a pest because of the painful sting, and for people, especially kids, not knowing where to avoid.
- Hornets: Giant Hornets, or European hornets are a pest much more significant in size than yellow jackets. They are active at night when summertime campfires are popular. Their stings are painful, itchy, and can repeatedly happen from these pests.
- Fleas: These are parasites that feed on the blood of any warm-blooded body. Usually brought in by pets, they can hitch a ride home from camping trips or more moisture rich areas, like lakes. They like to use shoes, pant legs and blankets to travel on, which is an easy ticket into your house. Their bites can cause severe allergy issues and painful, red, itchy bumps. True eradication usually requires pest control help.
- Mosquitoes: With a known count of 170 variations in North America alone, these are pests that cause severely itchy bumps that most of us find nearly impossible to avoid scratching. Most people accept them as part of summer, but certain species can carry dangerous diseases that are transferred via bodily fluids, like blood, with their bite. Malaria, dengue fever, encephalitis, yellow fever and West Nile Virus are some of the most common ones. It's easiest to keep safe by not being around standing pools of water and making use of bug spray.
- Ticks: Ticks are similar to fleas in how they arrive and bite but are most common for carrying Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever. Different variations, like the American dog tick, usually uses our four-legged furry friends to get inside, while a black-legged tick or deer tick can carry Lyme disease.
Summer is a wonderful time to get outside. It usually means longer nights; fun-filled days with activities and sunshine, and late-night campfires with friends and s’mores. But just as we love the warmer temperatures, so do many pests. Doing what you can to avoid the more common ones like those mentioned above and calling in professional help where its due can help keep summer an enjoyable and pest free time.