It might seem like the July heat and humidity in eastern Virginia should kill all the bugs and pests, but some thrive on it. Swatting and stomping at flies, wasps, mosquitos, and ants become more common this month when pest populations are at their peak. Take a look at how to keep your home and yard from becoming inundated with these common pests.
Flies are notorious for being a nuisance, but are usually not taken seriously because of their short lifespan. Most people think of the common housefly that swirls around food at picnics and sometimes finds its way into your home around dinner time. However, there are many varieties of flies that can become a problem if left alone. Fruit flies and tiny subsets can lay hundreds of eggs in a brief period. All flies are drawn to heat, light, food, and waste. Some of them find your garbage, uneaten fruit, or drainpipes in dishwashers, sinks, and disposals to be a wonderful place to breed.
Outside, flies live and breed around trash cans, open areas with decomposing food, or standing water. They are also attracted to sugary drinks and anywhere they can find a food or water source for larvae. Temperatures only need to be greater than 75 degrees for flies to breed, which makes the long Virginia summers perfect for egg-laying. Although the life span of a fly is short, it can lay up to 150 eggs at a time and usually lays eggs between 12 and 15 times during its life. If you suddenly see several flies at a time in or near your home, then flies are probably breeding nearby.
Get rid of flies by cleaning up and setting traps. Be sure all trash is bagged up and removed. Pick up fallen or unwanted fruit from garden areas and wash away any evidence of grilling or picnicking. Traps can be purchased at the store or made at home with some vinegar, water, and dish soap.
Eastern Virginia is a wonderful home for all kinds of stinging insects. Paper wasps, bald-faced hornets, and yellow jackets are the most common. Despite their painful stings, they are beneficial to the environment and eat other pesky insects and larvae.
Wasps can be identified by their legs, which dangle in the air when they fly. They usually nest in well-protected places with easy access, such as crevices in house siding, small, dense trees, lawn furniture, under decks, and eaves.
Food, flowers, soda, alcoholic drinks, juice, fruit, and sugary foods are calling cards for wasps. They can be found crashing picnics and yard games. If you grill frequently, then going in and out the door with food might give them a way into your house. They won’t bother people, but they will sting if threatened and bring an end to the outside fun.
Take preventative measures to keep them from accidentally flying into your home by planting your flower garden away from the exterior of your house and away from your children’s play area.
If you’re enjoying an outdoor gathering or picnic, make sure to cover food and drinks and clean up spills or dropped food promptly.
Be aware of places wasps like to build nests and keep them clean. Also, keep plants and bushes neatly trimmed and examine the outside of your home for new nests being built.
Although we will never be completely rid of mosquitos, there are some things you can do to help keep your yard from being infested. About 30 species of mosquitos are common in eastern Virginia, many of which are associated with the lowland swamps and coastal marshes. The most common and pesky biter is the Asian tiger mosquito. These mosquitos like damp, low-lit areas, but are most active during the day. If you have several trees in your yard making it difficult for sunlight to shine through the leaves, then you most likely have a mosquito problem. These biters also like tall, damp grass.
It’s a good idea to raise the canopy of your trees and keep bushes and grass cut short. Because mosquitos move from yard to yard, it can be helpful to organize a neighborhood cleanup. Encourage neighbors to dump standing water found in playground areas, trim grass and trees in common areas, and look for places where mosquitos can breed and clean them out.
Some of the tiniest pests can wreak the most havoc if found in your home. These small, but mighty creatures march single file straight to a food source where hundreds are sometimes found crawling to retrieve sustenance. Ants can be a problem both inside and outside your home. Keeping kitchens clean is one of the best ways to avoid the infiltration of these pesky critters. Like most insects, once a place becomes a known food source, ants will keep returning looking for more food.
Any of these pests can make homes in hard-to-reach places, where they can be dangerous to remove or become so many that they require professional help. Our trained technicians use prescribed environmentally safe treatments in local areas so that you don’t have to worry about getting stung or bit. Partnering with an experienced, local pest control and treatment company is how to safely get rid of summers most active insects.