Dog with fleas or ticks

How to Handle These Summer Pests

Summer brings about warm weather, long days, school breaks, family barbecues, and a number of other great experiences. Unfortunately, the summer weather is also ideal for many insects, rodents, and other pests. A pest problem in your home or yard can put a damper on your summer fun and can even pose a health risk to you, your kids, and your pets.

You can take active measures to prevent a pest problem around your home or get rid of an existing infestation. Different regions are prone to different pest issues, but some critters are common throughout most of the United States. The following are the most common summer pests and what you can do to protect your home from them:

Ants

Ants often enter homes in search of food, so the best thing you can do to prevent an ant infestation is to keep your kitchen as clean as possible. Keep your food in sealed containers, and clean up crumbs or spilled liquids immediately. Sweep your floors, wipe down your countertops daily to get rid of food debris, and take the trash out frequently.

Mosquitos

Mosquitos are one of the most bothersome summer pests. They're especially attracted to standing water, so if possible, eliminate the sources of stagnant water around your property. You can also use mosquito repelling products around your home, including citronella candles and yard sprays. Bug spray tends to work well to keep the pests away from people while outside, too. Some homeowners swear by natural mosquito repellents as well, such as mint, lemon, cloves, and marigolds.

Flies

House flies, gnats, and fruit flies may all enter your home in search of food. Most flies are attracted to sugar, so cleaning up spilled drinks and keeping sugary products in sealed containers can reduce your risk of an infestation. Taking out the trash regularly and moving your garbage cans farther away from your home's exterior may help, too. If you have an existing problem with flies, you could use light traps or sticky traps to attract the pests. You could also make a homemade trap with a mixture of apple cider vinegar and dish soap.

Fleas

Fleas can be a nightmare for pet owners. To prevent an infestation, it's recommended that you speak with your veterinarian in the spring or early summer about preventative flea medication. If you notice that fleas have taken up residence in your home, wash all of your bedding and your pets' beds as soon as possible. Give your pets baths regularly to remove the fleas and eggs. Use a flea treatment spray on your carpeting or upholstery, and vacuum the surfaces thoroughly.

Rats

If you notice rats outside your home, keep your lawn as clean and clutter-free as possible. Mow your yard regularly, keep your garden free of weeds, and remove any possible sources of food from the area. If you've seen a rat inside your home, inspect your house to find and seal all potential entry points. Rats can squeeze through tiny holes to get inside, so even small gaps should be sealed. You can set traps to catch the rats that may be living in your home or walls, although many homeowners prefer to hire a professional to handle this.

Wasps

The best way to prevent wasps from building nests around your property is to remove food sources from your yard, including fallen fruits and pet food. Ensure your outdoor garbage cans are tightly sealed and check for cracks in your doors or windows to ensure that wasps don't sneak inside. Certain plants may also have wasp-repelling properties, such as wormwood, marigold, mint, and geranium.

Pests can make you feel uncomfortable and unsafe in your own home, and no one deserves this amount of stress. To have a fun and peaceful summer, try to remove the fixtures throughout your home and yard that attract pests and put protective measures in place to keep the critters away. If your pest control measures aren't successful, reach out to an expert for support. Pest control companies have the tools and equipment needed to get rid of severe infestations and stop them from returning, which will allow you and your family to enjoy the summer without stress.