Most people consider Memorial Day Weekend to be the unofficial start to summer, but in the pest control industry, we consider it the official start of pest season. It’s true, household pests are a concern year-round, but there is no doubt we see an increase in many types of pests once the weather heats up. If you’re like most and are planning to spend lots of time out in the sun this summer, it’s important to be aware of the risks posed by summer’s most dangerous pests – and learn how to keep yourself and your family safe.
Mosquitoes are perhaps the most dangerous of summer pests. They are most well known for their pesky biting habits, which can leave itchy, red bumps. But the real threat posed by this pest is their ability to transmit numerous diseases including West Nile virus, malaria, yellow fever, dengue and encephalitis.
Although many of these diseases are rare in the U.S., some – including West Nile virus – are more common. In fact, the CDC reports there were more than 700 cases of West Nile virus in the U.S. in 2011, resulting in 43 deaths. According to the CDC, symptoms of West Nile virus include fever, headache, tiredness, body aches, and in some cases, skin rash and swollen lymph glands.
Avoid being outdoors at dawn and dusk, when mosquitoes are most active.
Eliminate or reduce standing water on your property, which can be a breeding site for mosquitoes. Drain flower pots, swimming pool covers, barrels and other objects that can collect water on a weekly basis. Add a fountain or drip system to ponds and birdbaths on your property to keep water fresh.
Repair or replace any torn screens on windows and doors.
Use an insect repellent containing DEET or picaridin on exposed skin whenever outside for prolonged periods.