When the weather warms up in spring and into summer, numerous insects come out of the woodwork and begin showing up in our homes. There are a number of commonly encountered warm weather insect pests that you are more likely to find invading your home than others. Certain insect pests also pose more of a danger to human health and the possibility of finding them in your presence needs to be treated with caution. Being prepared for the yearly invasion of these insect pests can save you a lot of trouble in the long run and help you handle these insect pests the smart way.
Mosquitoes are probably the most dangerous insect pests people have to deal with once spring rolls around, posing the highest risk to human health. Mosquitoes are capable of spreading serious diseases through their bite such as West Nile virus, Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE), the spread of which in Massachusetts has spiked in the past few years, yellow fever, dengue fever, and malaria. They pass on these diseases through their bite when they feed on human blood. The key to avoiding a serious issue with mosquitoes is eliminating their breeding grounds, which can be a pool of stagnant water as small as a thimble. Draining any containers filled with water around your home such as old tires, children’s wading pools, birdbaths, drain spouts, and even puddles in your yard. Whenever going outside, you should wear an insect repellent containing DEET at all times on any exposed skin.
This next one is particularly appropriate considering the recent panic over non-native “murder wasps” appearing in the United States. Wasps and hornets are another somewhat dangerous insect pest that show up when the weather gets warmer. They are pretty easy to recognize with their larger body and wings than bees and their bright yellow and black color pattern. Wasps like to build nests under the eaves of homes, in lofts, or in protected wall cavities, and so are often seen flying around near houses. Wasps are territorial and very defensive of their nests, making them aggressive and likely to attack at the slightest provocation or threat they sense to their nest. Unlike bees, wasps have stingers that do not detach after just one sting, so they can sting you as many times as they wish, and those stings can be pretty painful. Some people can have a dangerous allergic reaction to their venom, causing anaphylaxis in those individuals. If you come across wasps around your home or a nest, it is best to leave the work to the professionals in this case, and have them safely remove the nest.
What insect pests have you been seeing a lot of around your house this spring and summer?