Insects and other outdoor pests enjoy warm summer breezes as much as people do, but unless you want painful bites and itchy stings to put a damper on midday picnics and poolside activity, you’ll follow certain precautions. Here’s a look at common summer bugs and how to protect yourself and your loved ones.
As those mounds spring up in your yard, you know the ants come marching in. Red, brown or rainbow-colored, they can multiply and take over in a matter of days, and if stray food stays on the ground too long–forget about it. To keep ant populations in control, many homeowners treat their yards with repellants and insecticides. To keep these tiny warriors out of your house, follow these simple tips:
- Keep floors clean and free of sticky residue or crumbs.
- Have cracks and small holes in your home’s exterior sealed.
- Have trees and shrubs trimmed so they stay adequately distanced from your house.
Like ants, mosquitos come in droves and make nightmares out of outdoor fun. Not to mention, mosquitos can carry diseases and pose a threat to your health. To keep these winged furies from ruining your summer, follow these steps:
- Mosquitos reproduce in water, so clean up any standing puddles around your home.
- Wear protective, breathable clothing over arms and legs.
- Stay inside at dawn and dusk when possible, as mosquitos are more active during these periods.
- Use insect repellant (natural, deet-free options abound).
Like mosquitos, tick bites pose a threat to your health, so keeping them away is vital. Since they can live in trees, protective clothing is your best bet, and even when you take precautions, doing bodily checks for attached ticks helps catch them early. You should also:
- Wear bug repellant.
- Stay away from dense vegetation when riding, jogging or hiking.
- Remove woodpiles and weeds from the yard.
- Wear protective clothing.
Wasps, Bees, and Other Stingers
Getting stung by a bee or wasp not only causes a swollen, painful bump but can be deadly for those allergic. Here are some tips for steering clear:
- Always wear shoes outside.
- Keep trash cans adequately covered
- Stay calm when near a stinging insect; erratic movements might spur a sting.
- Avoid sweet-smelling lotions and perfumes, as they can attract bees and other stinging insects.