Get rid of those pesky bugs |
Home & Garden

Get rid of those pesky bugs

Stinging insects such as bees or wasps reach their prime active period in the second half of summer.

Summer (and early fall) means barbecues, hikes and some all-around fun in the sun, but the season also invites a host of pesky pests ready to crash your summertime soirees. Summer also brings about prime breeding time for some of the most annoying bugs, such as ants, mosquitoes, ticks and stinging insects.

Here are some tips to keep the biggest party crashers away all season.

Getting rid of bugs

Those summer picnics, outdoor barbecues and happy family events usually mean lots of food going in and out of the kitchen. Ants don’t make a secret of their invasion.

Good kitchen hygiene is the best practice to keep ants out.

Keep food in sealed containers, and minimize how long it’s left out for events like picnics. Seal up possible entry points, such as small cracks in your walls or under windows. Clean carefully with soap and water, which will kill the chemical trails they follow.

Place lines of diatomaceous earth along those entry points or right outside your home. This substance is safe for your home but dehydrates ant exoskeletons, so they’ll go to great lengths not to cross it.

Mosquitoes only need half an inch of water to breed, so the most effective tool to combat them is to eliminate water sources.

Look for any standing water outside after rainfall, including bases underneath flower pots, children’s toys, old tires and recycling bins. Change birdbath water twice a week.

Ticks are among the most unwelcome summer pests due to the diseases they carry, including Lyme disease. To keep ticks off your body, use insect repellent that contains at least 20% DEET. Wear long pants, long sleeves and a bandana or hat while hiking in wooded environments, and tuck in your socks.

In your yard, ticks are most likely to hide in long, tall grasses and overgrown plants.

Stinging insects

Stinging insects such as bees or wasps reach their prime active period in the second half of summer.

Make sure your garbage cans are sealed and wear shoes when you’re outside. Store woodpiles as far from the house as possible. They present a very attractive home for stinging insects and other pests.

Check around your home for fixtures that may need repair. Broken panels or siding, gaps in soffits and other crevices are great homes for a wasp nest. Rodent holes and burrows tend to attract wasps as well, so fill them in with dirt.

If you find a wasp nest or beehive, removing it is not a DIY job. You need to call professional help. A bee removal service can safely relocate the hive.

Whatever you do with a beehive or wasp’s nest, make sure the location is then repaired to avoid attracting more pests.

Categories: Lifestyles | Home Garden
TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.