We have a lot of bugs in Missouri. You've probably noticed. But not every bug in the state is going to present a threat to our health and our property. There is only a select group that plagues us each year. We call them pests. Here are nine of the worst summer pests we deal with in Lee Summit, and throughout Missouri, as well as some tips on how to prevent the problems they cause.
When summer gets into full swing, Eastern subterranean termites are moving at full speed, but you're probably not going to notice. Spring is when many termite colonies release swarmers into the air, these are the only termites that come out into the sunlight. In summer, when the warmth and moisture make worker termites operate like well-oiled machines, the work they do will be in tunnels under the ground or tunnels inside your property. The secret to preventing termite damage is detailed inspections.
- Check your entire foundation walls for shelter tubes.
- If you have a crawl space, do a detailed inspection for shelter tubes.
- Check cobwebs for termite swarmers or the wings from swarmers.
While there are many ants that can create a problem in your yard, and inside your home, there are two that are the most troublesome. One is a structural pest that needs no introduction. You know what a carpenter ant is. But, what you may not know are all the many ways carpenter ants are lured onto your property and allowed to actively destroy your property unimpeded.
- Carpenter ants love untreated wood. Painting your fence, shed, or deck can help to resist infestation.
- Moisture lures carpenter ants in and softens wood to make it more appealing for carpenter ant harborage.
- Stacked wood next to a home is an invitation for an infestation. Put stacked wood and other wood products at least 20 feet from your foundation perimeter.
When it comes to household ant pests, odorous house ants are one of the worst. These ants create a nasty rotting coconut smell when crushed, and they can come into a home in large numbers. They're also a species of ant that can establish themselves inside a home, underneath floorboards and inside wall voids. If you're thinking, "Um. No thanks," here are some tips to help excluded them.
- Do a detailed inspection of your exterior walls and fill in any gaps, cracks, or holes.
- Before odorous house ants get in, some things can draw them near, such as leaving bags of trash on the ground rather than inside trash receptacles.
- Install door sweeps to prevent these ants from getting under.
If it seems like mosquitoes are becoming more of a threat each year, you're not imagining it. These tiny, flying pests are no longer considered a nuisance pest. They can do more than just leave red, itchy welts on your skin. It is a good idea to avoid those bites more than ever. One way to avoid bites is to reduce mosquito populations in your yard.
- It only takes a half a cup of water for a mosquito to breed in your yard. Remove any containers that capture rainwater.
- Trim trees and keep leaves raked up to prevent vernal pools next to your home.
- Turn kiddie pools over when your kids aren't using them and replace water inside birdbaths once a week to keep mosquitoes from developing.
Summertime is when stinging pest populations are maxing out. But each stinging insect comes with a different set of issues. Honey bees, for instance, are considered beneficial insects that play a vital role in pollination, and there are federal laws that help to protect them. They are also fairly docile compared to other stinging pests and usually only sting when they are threatened or handled. Yellow jackets, on the other hand, can swarm and attack just because you decide to mow your lawn. When they establish ground nests, the vibrations from a mower can set off their nest protection instinct. Paper wasps are another stinging pest that has a nest-protecting instinct. When these insects build a nest next to a window, you could get a very unpleasant surprise when you open that window. The best way to guard against stinging pests is to have routine inspections and nest removal from a professional pest control technician.
For assistance with these, and other summer pests in Lee Summit, go here to get started.