It’s official, the heatwave is here! Summer can be a particularly complicated time for dealing with pests. Many factors can lead to different insects appearing in your homes and businesses. When the weather starts to become hotter, insects come out more actively to find food. This is the most common time of the year to see the significant increases in pest activity. Here are the top five summer pests you may have to deal with this year.
Like many pests, ants swarm indoors once they find a good food source. Ants will travel in a wide range searching for food, following trails they have established and clustering around the source of food, becoming a nuisance in homes, organisations, and businesses. Throughout 2018 the number of call-outs for infestations has risen by 69% compared to the same time last year
Because the kitchen is a food-preparation area, you’re likely to be reluctant to use pesticides or sprays to get rid of the ants, for fear of contaminating your food.
How to prevent ants in your home
If you’re worried that you might be at risk from an ant infestation you can put in place some simple ant repellant and ant deterrent measures. The checklist below will help you keep your home or business free from ants, or make sure your infestation doesn’t grow.
- Clear up – food and liquid spillages immediately.
- Sweep up – any food crumbs from under your kitchen appliances and units.
- Store your food – in airtight containers wherever possible.
- If you have a pet – clear away any food that isn’t eaten straight away.
- Block off – the entry points for ants by sealing all cracks and crevices around your doors and window frames.
- In the garden – keep your compost enclosed and make sure all rubbish bins have tightly sealed lids.
Did you know?
- How to identify ant infestations in your property
- How to get rid of ants in your home
- Flying ants: what you need to know
If you are a pet owner, the thought of your beloved cat or dog catching fleas is a constant strain on your mind. These parasites feed off the blood of animals and can easily become a problem in your home, biting both you and your furry friends.
Did You Know relative to their size, fleas can jump further than any other insect? If an average sized human had the same jumping ability of a flea, they would be able to jump 295 feet across and 160 feet high!
Flea bites on humans are quite rare, the majority of the time it’s your beloved pets which come victim to flea bites. They aren’t particular painful compared to wasp stings but you will become aware once you have been bitten. As with all insect bites, itchiness and swelling will occur around the bitten area.
How to prevent fleas in your home
- Vacuum regularly.
- Wash pet bedding weekly, ideally at above 50°C.
- Other wildlife such as foxes, rabbits, rodents and deer also carry fleas – when your pets are outside they can easily pick up these fleas and bring them back, so check them regularly using flea combs.
- Larvae feed on organic matter in carpets, bedding & furnishings. You need to try and remove any potential food supply to prevent fleas.
- When moving into a new home inspect carpets and flooring carefully for signs of eggs or ‘flea dirt’. If the previous owners had pets the flea larvae might be waiting for you.
Did You Know?
There are over 120,000 species of flies worldwide. Flies are considered pests because they pose a health risk to humans, pets and livestock. They can infest your home or business and spread diseases like Salmonella and E. coli. A few species may even bite humans and animals. This current heatwave in Ireland seems to be leading to an increase in flies
How to prevent flies in home
Fly prevention units are critical to help prevent flies in areas where food is readily available. This will help to keep you and your family or your customers safe from harm. If you want to prevent flies, there are some practical steps you can take to deter them. Some of these methods are totally cost-free and only require your time to take action.
- Deny flies access – after dark, keep windows and doors closed or block out the light with curtains.
- Fly screens – fit fly screens to windows, especially around kitchen and waste areas.
- Cover food – flies spread diseases by landing on food before we eat it.
- Clear away – clear food debris and liquid spillages immediately from under kitchen units and appliances.
- Dustbins – ensure all dustbins have tightly sealed lids.
- Pets – clean up after pets. Not only are faeces a perfect breeding place for flies, they may land there before landing on your food.
- Clear up dead flies – they provide a tasty snack for other pests such as carpet beetles.
- Water butts – cover these with well-fitted lids.
- Standing water – do not leave standing water (in watering cans for example) as this offers mosquitoes opportunity to breed.
- Ponds – if you have a garden pond, introduce goldfish as they will eat fly larvae
Did You Know?
- How to get rid of house flies
- What are the common signs of a fly infestation?
- House flies transmitted diseases:
Bed bugs can be a huge burden for home and business owners alike and the sheer thought of these blood sucking insects is enough to keep anyone up all night. These crawling insects can deliver a multitude of aggravating bites which can itch for hours, and can sometimes be particularly troublesome to control.
If you have bed bugs in your house, the only thing on your mind will be getting rid of them as quickly as possible. Bed bugs stay close to a food source, so are found where people tend to rest and sleep, hence the name bed bug. The frustration they can cause is not only due to the emotional stress of dealing with parasites, but also the irritation of their bites and the potential for secondary infection from constant scratching.
How to prevent bed bugs
- Wash and dry clothes at the highest possible temperatures.
- Eliminate clutter in your house to give bed bugs fewer places to hide.
- Avoid spreading bed bugs to your friends and family by not taking any clothes, suitcases or furniture to their homes.
- Tidy all areas of your bedroom, especially the floor around/underneath your bed and bed-side cabinets.
- Vacuuming can greatly reduce the size of the bed bug population, but only when they’re clearly visible. It cannot guarantee total elimination. (Empty and clean the vacuum to avoid transferring eggs to other rooms.)
- Use DIY products, to help to eliminate some bed bugs – it’s a good start but shouldn’t be relied on to get rid of the problem completely.
Did You Know?
- How to identify bed bugs
- What do bed bug bites look like?
- How to treat bed bug bites
- How to prevent bed bug bites
Wasps, Bees, and Hornets
Have you ever had an idyllic summer picnic ruined by a swarm of wasps, bees or hornets? During the hot summer months, stinging insect populations can soar.
Wasps’ behaviour changes in late summer as their preferred food shifts from sugars to proteins. Because of this, you will more likely encounter them wherever food is consumed outdoors and around garbage collection areas.
In Ireland, 2016 is set to be a bumper year for wasp populations because of the warm weather. In the warmer days of spring, queen wasps emerge from their winter hibernation. Their first priority is to find suitable locations to build new nests. As they build the nest, it reaches its maximum size in late summer and early autumn. Each queen lays queen eggs and drone eggs, with each nest holding up to 1,500 new queens.
If you notice large numbers of wasps in your home or garden, there is likely to be a nest nearby. It may be in your house, in your garden or very close by. A mature nest in summer/autumn can contain thousands of wasps.
How to Prevent Wasps
Prevention is key if you want to avoid problems with wasps, especially during the summer months when they are most active.
- Check for nests – Check your home and garden in early spring for nests, early on they will be walnut or golf ball in size – early small nests have fewer wasps and are easier to treat quickly. Look for nests in lofts, garages, sheds, cavity walls or under eaves.
- Secure bins – Ensure outside bins have tightly fitting lids. Keep bins at a distance from doors and windows so wasps are not attracted to the contents.
- Keep windows and doors shut – To prevent wasps entering inside your home and business premises.
- Keep safe – If you have spotted a nest, make sure you keep children and pets away from the area
Did You Know?
- How to identify wasps nests in your home
- Wasp stings: what you need to know
- Difference between wasps and bees
- How to remove wasp nests
If you suspect you have a serious pest problem in your property, contact us for a free consultation and immediate assistance from the experts. We’re happy to help you.