How to Keep Bugs Away This Summer

person picking up a dead cockroach outside their house

Well, summer is here and with that comes a lot of unwanted houseguests. We’re not talking about your in-laws. Yes, the return of summer bug season is here.

In this brief entomological article, let’s learn how to repel, prevent, subdue, give the cold shoulder to, and otherwise avoid summer bugs that fly, crawl, swarm, bite and just DRIVE US CRAZY!!!!!

Mosquitoes

While we can all agree that bugs are annoying, many can be downright dangerous. Mosquitoes top this list carrying a variety of diseases including West Nile and Zika. If you haven’t heard already, mosquitoes love to breed in stagnant, standing water. Think lingering puddles, old tires, or anywhere else rain can collect. Do whatever you need to dry up those places of mosquito romance by getting rid of all standing water. This Good Housekeeping article includes several ideas on how to protect yourself and your family when you’re outdoors.

Managing Indoor Pests

Unless you’re relying on insects living in your home to help with your mortgage or rent payments, you’ll probably want to find ways to get rid of them.

Ants

Who knows how they get in, but ants can be a burden to deal with … especially around the kitchen. Well, you’ve heard of the kitchen item that seems like the miracle solution for everything. Vinegar. And it’s exactly what you’ll want to use here. Mix equal solutions of water and white vinegar (up to full-strength white vinegar) in any spray bottle and spray the solution around doors, window frames, and anywhere else you feel like ants are getting in to your home. Ants HATE the smell of vinegar. Which may explain why they’re not too crazy about salads either. Note that this solution wears off over time, and that’ll you need to reapply the solution now and then.

Fruit Flies

Talk about gross and annoying. Fruit flies are not only very unwelcome summer guests.  They aren’t even willing to supply their own fruit. So, let’s get rid of ’em.

According to HealthyHomeCleaning.com, our favorite miracle solution (white wine vinegar) comes to the rescue again. Here’s how they describe to trap the little buggers.

  • Get a small glass bowl.
  • Fill the bowl about 3/4 full with fermented vinegar, which could include apple cider, balsamic, or white wine vinegar. Fermented is essential, because fruit flies are attracted to rotting fruit.
  • Put a small drop of dish soap on your finger and swirl it gently on the surface of the water.

Why the soap? The surface tension of water is enough to support a fruit fly’s weight. Dish soap breaks the surface tension, so when an unsuspecting fruit fly (let’s call him Ralph) lands on the water, the dish soap causes him to fall into the vinegar and drown. Sorry, Ralph.

Fire Ants

Here’s a very simple solution on how to deal with fire ants. Steer clear! A typical nest can contain tens of thousands of fire ants who love to bite very hard and inject venom. Leave getting rid of these pests to professional help.

Wasps and Hornets

Unlike bees, these guys can sting you multiple times. If you do get stung, skip the tweezers (which can actually squeeze more venom into your skin). Instead use a fingernail or credit card to scrape the stinger away .

Good Housekeeping recommends wearing light-colored clothing (and skipping perfume) to deter you from getting stung in the first place.

Ticks

Probably the most famous tick-borne disease today is Lyme Disease. Most commonly occurring in the northeast and midwest, Lyme Disease can cause serious neurological disorders, while various other types of ticks found throughout the country can be found carrying dangerous and even life-threatening diseases.

If you ever fear that you’ve been bitten by a tick, contact a physician immediately. The sooner it’s addressed, the better. In fact, if you or your family spend time in the great outdoors – hiking and camping for example – it’s a good idea for you to check yourselves and each other for ticks regularly.

Here’s to Having a Bug-Free Summer!

These are some of the more common insects you’ll encounter in summer. Whether you choose natural ways to manage pests or choose to call in professional help, it’s a good idea to protect you and your family by doing additional research for the types of pests in your region.

Enjoy summer while you can. Before you know it, it’ll be time to deal with those winter pests again!

Sources:

Goodhousekeeping Article

5 Easy Ways to Get Rid of Indoor Bugs

Keep Backyard BBQ Pest-Free

Natural Ways to Get Rid of Insects in Your Home

Getting Rid of Ants with Vinegar: Does it Really Work?

How to Get Rid of Fruit Flies