Do you love summer or dread it? To some of us, summer means fun outdoor adventures, time with family, swimming, vacations, camps and more. To others, summer brings up thoughts of sunburn, poison ivy, stir-crazy kids and sweltering heat. The insect world usually loves the heat of summer, which causes more people to dread it.
Three pests that fare particularly well in summer’s heat are ones that are most dreaded by families: red ants, ticks and of course, mosquitoes.
Red Fire Ants
Red imported fire ants (RIFA) are an invasive species that migrated from South America to the United States sometime in the 1930s or 40s. They’ve since spread across the Southeastern U.S. Some of you may remember a time when they weren’t seen in the Carolinas, but now their mounds and surging masses can be spotted across many yards (they like to form soil nests in moist areas, like irrigated lawns or near rivers).
Red ants bite and sting humans, causing a quick painful feeling at the bite, and leaving an itchy, red swollen lump. Some people may experience allergic reactions that may need medical attention.
This year, we had a rather mild winter, which means the ant colonies were not killed off or reduced in number, as is usually the case. Thus, we’re facing a summer of more red ants than usual. Keep an eye out for growing mounds in your yard and have them treated immediately by a professional.
Ticks come out in summer, and the lack of a cold winter this year means their numbers will likely be higher than usual. Types of ticks found in the Carolinas include American dog ticks, brown dog ticks, lone star ticks, and deer ticks (also known as black-legged ticks). Deer ticks are the type that carries Lyme disease, which can cause significant medical issues for humans.
Ticks bite by attaching their mandibles into skin and holding on as they suck blood. While humans are not their preferred target, they will bite humans when encountered. It’s very important to remove a tick properly in order to reduce the spread of infection and ensure the tick is fully extracted. Read the CDC’s instructions for proper tick removal
Ticks often enter a home while attached to another source (such as dogs, cats, or mice). The only real sign of a tick invasion is seeing ticks.
One of the worst hallmarks of summer is the arrival of the mosquito. These annoying pests have ruined many summer outings and porch sittings. With the early arrival of warm days this year, these flying pests arrived earlier than usual and will likely stay around longer. They are also starting to live in the mountainous areas of the Carolinas that were previously too cold for them.
We’ve talked before about the health risks of mosquitoes
. As we are seeing with the spread of the Zika virus, this small insect can do a lot of harm to people. Mosquitoes aren’t just annoying – they’re potentially quite dangerous. It’s important to protect yourself and your yard for these pests.
Make Summer Happier and Healthier
The best way to protect your health and happiness this summer is to hire a professional exterminator to eliminate summer pests. Thompson Brothers Exterminating
will send our professional, courteous experts to spray your yard for mosquitoes, kill fire ant colonies, and make your home less attractive for ticks and other pests. Calling Thompson Brothers
may be the best step you take to keep your family happy this summer.