While the first day of summer isn’t until June, Memorial Day tends to be the unofficial start of the season and is often celebrated with parades, festivals and cookouts. As we at Rottler Pest & Lawn Solutions welcome the warmer weather, we urge property owners in St. Louis and Mid-Missouri to do the same with caution.
Summer is a great time to pursue outdoor activities, however if you are not prepared you may find yourself combating summer pests instead of sitting by the pool. Missouri is home to many insects, rodents and wildlife and unfortunately there tends to be an explosion of pest activity that accompanies one of the most anticipated times of the year. With that in mind, we’ve highlighted some of the more common summer pest problems in our region.
Wherever you go, ants are the number one pest problem in the country and are also one of the most difficult pests to treat. During the summer time it is a common to see an ant or a line of ants making their way across the kitchen floor or even the patio as they forage for food. Trash and other remnants from summertime get-togethers can attract these pests to your backyard. Flowerbeds, shrubs and mulch as well as other landscape elements may also appeal to ants. Prevent odorous house ants, pavement ants and other ants from infesting your home and property by:
Sealing openings on the exterior of the house
Cleaning up crumbs and spills as soon as they occur
Keeping counters, floors and cupboards free of food remnants
Vacuuming or sweeping under appliances often
Mosquitoes are just a given during the summer. While we try to enjoy as much sun as possible, these pesky insects are trying to enjoy us. Spending time outdoors during the summer is likely to lead to mosquito bites and while reactions vary, for the majority of the population, bites can cause minor irritation, some redness and itching. Unfortunately, mosquitoes are also known transmitters of serious diseases, including West Nile Virus and encephalitis. If you plan on spending quality time outside, here are a few ways you can avoid the mosquitoes:
Wearing long sleeved shirts and pants when you are outside for any length of time will cut down on the available places for mosquitoes to attack.
Avoid the outdoors at dawn and dusk when mosquitoes are most active.
Consider using a mosquito repellent to discourage these insects. Click here for advice on selecting an insect repellent from the CDC.
Eliminate standing water on your property, as this is where mosquitoes breed.
Refresh kiddie pools, bird baths and other water elements often to avoid stagnant water where mosquitoes breed.
Make sure doors and windows are covered with screens and that there are no holes or rips.
While they play a beneficial role in nature as pollinators, when bees and wasps and other stinging insects invade our backyards it is often as a nuisance and potentially dangerous pest. Simply mowing your lawn can provoke some species to attack and sipping an iced tea or soda on the deck can attract unwanted visitors and may result in a sting. As with bites from other insects, stings produce varied reactions among individuals, including pain and swelling to serious allergic reactions that could require medical attention. Since staying indoors all summer is not an option, instead be prepared. Know where to look for stinging insects and implement preventative measures for when you go outdoors.
When eating outside, do not bring food out or uncover it until it is time to eat. Remove soon after eating.
Check open soda cans before sipping, as stinging insects may have already found the sweet beverage.
Inspect your property often for nests. Places to look include but are not limited to holes in the ground, in retaining walls, inside hollow trees and among shrubs, behind shutters and siding and under eaves.
Also worth mentioning, wildlife such as raccoons and skunks tend to be more active in summer and may attempt to use your property for their enjoyment or to raise their young. Securing trash cans with tight fitting lids, feeding pets indoors and removing bird feeders can help make your home less attractive to these critters.
Rottler Pest & Lawn Solutions is a St. Louis pest control company who understands our region's pest pressures and that has vast experience in resolving pest problems in the summer and all year long. We can help you prevent pests from taking over your home; learn more about our residential pest control services available in St. Louis and throughout Mid-Missouri.