It might have felt like summer a month ago, but June 21 (Summer Solstice) is fast approaching, and temperatures in Alabama continue to heat up. We’re getting geared up for tons of fun in the sun—which includes getting insects under control and taking a few extra precautions along the way.
Here are our tips on how to keep bugs out of your summer plans–––and drinks!
Clean Your Pool
There’s no better way to kickoff your summer than by splashing around at a pool party. Although most bugs aren’t too keen on swimming, they can still put a damper on your summer plans–––especially horseflies.
In Alabama, horseflies are notorious for their painful and persistent biting. They buzz overhead waiting for enough skin to surface out of the water, and then they go in for the kill–––or, bite. In addition to being annoying, a horsefly’s bite can be extremely painful.
If you want to prevent horseflies from buzzing around your pool, you need to make sure your pool is clean. We recommend that you:
- Clean up around the pool––remove food, drinks, or any garbage.
- Seal up your trash cans and move them as far away from the pool as possible.
- Hang sticky traps and bug zappers near the pool area before guests arrive. Keep them high enough so people won’t accidentally bump into them.
- Keep food and drinks away from the pool.
Get Rid of Standing Water
Many different kinds of bugs lay their eggs in old, standing water, but one pest in particular seems to gravitate towards it more than others–––mosquitoes. Though everyone is familiar with mosquitoes, people who live in hot, humid climates (aka the South) are more likely to come across them on a regular basis, making it more likely that they’ll get bitten.
Mosquitoes can be found at any time of day, but can most commonly be found around sunset––-when they’ll be looking for an easy meal. To prevent mosquitoes from getting in the way of enjoying a beautiful sunset, we recommend calling up local pest control professionals to spray your yard, and kill any mosquito larvae that might be swimming in your bird bath.
The key to ridding your yard of mosquitoes is to eliminate any sources of standing water, and to kill mosquitoes in all stages of their life cycle.
Get Rid of Traces of Food
Summer is the perfect time to gather your family, pack a picnic basket, and find a nice shady spot to lazily take in your local scenery while munching on sandwiches. Family picnics are a time-honored tradition, but nothing spoils a picnic faster than ant bites.
Ants have very precise antennae that can scope out even the most miniscule pieces of food. Ant colonies also send out scouts to search for food, grab a piece, and bring it back to the colony, leaving a heavy chemical trail as they go. If the ants in the colony like the food sample, they’ll follow the chemical trail back to the source. That’s why ants suddenly show up to a picnic all at once—and why they show up in a perfect line.
Our advice? Always keep eating off of the ground, where it’s harder for ants to locate your food. If a picnic table is available, grab it! It’s also a good idea to seek out a spot that isn’t heavily used.
When you pack up your picnic, make sure you bring a few additional supplies such as:
- Cups with lids
- Garbage bags
- A cooler
- Bug spray
- Insecticide that works on ants
If you happen to see a lone ant scurrying around, squash it! Most people think one ant won’t hurt, until an entire colony shows up to their summer picnic.
Avoid Overwatering Your Yard
As previously mentioned, a lot of insects love standing water––it’s an ideal place to lay eggs and raise young larvae. Gnats, a smaller cousin of the mosquito, are no exception. They thrive in warm, wet temperatures, and can be incredibly distracting.
In addition to staying away from areas with standing water, it’s best to avoid going outdoors after dusk––when gnats are most active. Also, be careful not to overwater your yard, and fix any areas with drainage issues to avoid creating areas of standing water.
It’s summer! You should be kicking up your feet and relaxing in the sun, not worrying about an insect infestation. Call Vulcan Termite & Pest Control, and learn how a pest control treatment can keep your yard free of bugs all summer long.