Pests like termites, earwigs, ants and wasps can invade your home at any time. However, each pest has its own season during which an infestation is most likely to arise. This fact is largely due to variations in breeding and nesting schedules between pest species. Summer is prime season for many pests, but four pests, in particular, tend to begin showing up in homes throughout the months of June, July, and August.
A good pest management program focuses on these four pests during the summer months.
There are numerous species of ants that can and do invade homes. Most of them begin their breeding rituals in late spring to early summer, so this is when you’ll begin to start seeing them. It’s important to have any infestation addressed as soon as possible as ants multiply very quickly.
Ants are usually first spotted in the kitchen, as they rely on crumbs and food residue for sustenance. In addition to having your home treated by a pest control service, the best way to keep ants away is to keep your home impeccably clean and to prevent access to food sources. Make sure you:
- Keep all food in sealed, plastic or glass containers.
- Wipe up the kitchen counters after every meal.
- Take the trash outside daily.
- Rinse out your sink when you’re done washing dishes.
- Keep the dishwasher closed, and clean it regularly so ants don’t access the food remains in the bottom of it.
If the ants you see are very tiny, they are probably pavement ants or rover ants. Though annoying, these species do minimal damage to your actual home structure. The ants you really need to be concerned about are carpenter ants, which are black or dark brown and measure up to 12 mm in length. Carpenter ants build their nests inside wooden structures, so they may cause substantial damage to your home if left unabated.
Earwigs are long-bodied insects with pincers on their abdomens and two pairs of wings. They are most active at night, and if you have them in your home, you may notice them flocking towards lights in the evening. They’re commonly seen in basements, bathrooms, kitchens and other areas where they can access water.
Some earwigs let off a nasty odor, and they may pinch humans with their pincers if aggravated. Getting rid of them requires careful application of pesticides, along with elimination of their water source. If your basement is wet, drying it out is an important step in getting rid of earwigs. You should also consider repairing leaky faucets, drying your sinks after use and keeping toilet lids closed.
House crickets are actually a different species than the black field crickets you hear chirping outside. The species of crickets you’re likely to find in your home in the summer are yellow-brown with three dark bands across their head. They measure about 3/4 inch in length, have prominent antennae and chirp loudly, alerting you of their presence.
House crickets are more than just an annoyance. They can feed on carpets and clothing, leaving the fibers looking frayed and roughened. Thankfully, it’s hard to overlook an infestation of crickets because of their loud chirping, so you should have no problem treating an infestation before damage becomes too substantial.
To get rid of house crickets, you’ll need to focus on reducing moisture around your home. Improve the ventilation in crawlspaces and your basement, and keep weeds around the base of your home trimmed back. Also look for areas where the crickets may be able to access the home, such as openings around pipes and electrical cords, and seal these areas off to prevent additional crickets from coming inside.
Finding wasps in your home can be quite alarming, considering that many species of wasps are known to sting humans. If you only come across a wasp or two, there’s a good chance the wasp just entered through a hole in your window screen or through an open door. However, if you notice multiple wasps over a short period of time, you likely have a wasp nest somewhere in the house.
Attic spaces, basements and wall voids are all common places for wasps to build nests. Attempting to remove a wasp nest on your own can be quite dangerous, so leave this task to the professionals—whether or not you know exactly where the nest is located.
Once the nest is removed, your pest control team can apply a pesticide barrier around the outside of your home. This measure will keep additional wasps, bees and yellow jackets from building nests in and around the building.
If you’d like to keep your home free of these and other pests during the summer months, then it’s time to make a call to Chem-Wise. Our summer service, provided in June, July or August, specifically targets earwigs, ants and crickets. We can also target wasps upon request.