The excessive heat and drought conditions that have gripped much of the country may have curtailed normal outdoor activities for some, but the weather has also created an ideal breeding environment for pests, according to the National Pest Management Association (NPMA). The growing pest population has wreaked havoc on homes and everyday living.
“Hot and dry conditions send many pests indoors to seek moisture and cooler temperatures, so homeowners will likely encounter more pests in their homes than usual,” says Missy Henriksen of NPMA. “Even areas of the country that are receiving rain aren’t in the clear, as standing rain water breeds mosquitoes, which can spread West Nile virus,” she adds.
The NPMA suggests the following tips to prevent pests from entering the home.
• Keep all tree branches, shrubs and plants trimmed to create a barrier between the shrubbery and the house. Seal off any holes outside the home to eliminate entry points for small pests.
• In the kitchen, clean out areas where food is stored, and keep cereal, crackers and cookies in sealed containers. Dust and vacuum regularly to prevent cobwebs and spiders.
• Eliminate all sources of standing water around the home, which can attract mosquitoes, and check gutters, windows and porch lights for wasp and hornet nests.
• After spending time in grassy or wooded areas, check yourself and your pets for ticks before coming indoors. If a tick has latched on, use a hot matchstick or vegetable oil to remove it.
• If a pest problem persists, contact a local pest professional.
While you can’t change the weather, you can take steps to prevent bugs from spoiling your summer.