Believe it or not, summer is quickly coming to a close with shorter days and sunsets happening earlier and earlier. It’s hard to believe that it was just a few weeks ago that we were discussing how to “Prevent Pests from Ruining your Outdoor Entertaining.” While you may have taken action against the ticks, mosquitoes, and other wildlife pests in your yard, keep your guard up because right now is the peak wasp stinging season. Why is it that wasps, which have been around all spring and summer suddenly become such a problem at this time of year? Let’s take a closer look at the behavior of wasps and why this is such an active stinging time.
The answer as to why wasps sting more often in the late summer and early fall can be found in the life cycle and reproductive schedule of the wasp queen. According to University of Delaware bee researcher Debbie Delaney, wasps are heading into what can be considered “retirement” during the late summer and fall. It is during this time that the queen wasp stops laying eggs. The worker wasps then change their food-gathering strategy from collecting insects – a protein source for the colony’s young — to now getting sweets and carbohydrates for their own consumption. These adult wasps have just a few weeks to binge on carbohydrates before they die off at the first hard frost. It is during these last few weeks before either overwintering or dying off in the frost that the wasps go out in search of food items such as the sugar produced by rotting fruit and tree sap. They can also find these sugars in the foods at your patio table or in your garden.
Once the queen has stopped her reproductive cycle for the season, these hard working wasps are anxious to find sugar items to eat. These items, such as the fruit at your BBQ or perhaps the beer or soda cans that adorn your patio table are just too much to pass up. Combine this with the generally aggressive behavior of wasps, and this is a recipe for stings during this season.
Do you have wasps nests in your yard and are concerned about the impact to your outdoor entertaining, safety of your children, or nuisance of wasps dive bombing during dinner? Call Pro-Tech Lawn Care at (603) 382-9644 or Toll Free: (800) 313-4733 and visit our website. We can help you solve your wasp problem.
Are you a mosquito magnet and dread going out for fear that these pests will find you and bite you relentlessly? Beyond the itch factor is the danger of contracting a mosquito-borne disease such as West Nile Disease, EEE, or, if traveling to tropical areas, the Zika Virus. Thankfully there are some steps that even the biggest mosquito magnet can do to avoid being bitten this season. Here are a few ideas to prevent mosquito bites in your own backyard.
- Always Use Repellant – Just like you should always put on sunscreen, you should also always apply bug repellant to both skin and clothes. DEET works well on skin and permethrin or picaridin works well on clothing.
- Avoid Peak Hours – Generally, mosquitoes are more active at dusk and dawn, although this may differ depending on the species. These are also peak times for exercise and outdoor patio use so use repellant and clothing cautions.
- Avoid Elevated Heart Rates – According to Prevention Magazine, carbon dioxide (CO2) is the primary thing mosquitoes search for to identify food sources. And when your heart rate is elevated, your body produces more CO2. From exercise to drinking alcohol or eating spicy foods, anything that cranks up your metabolic rate will increase your CO2 production—and make you irresistible to mosquitoes.
- Use Nets and Fans – Mosquitoes can not land to bite if facing the force of wind so consider putting a fan or two on your porch or deck. In addition, many homeowners find netting a great way of preventing these pests from interrupting a perfectly good BBQ.
- Remove Standing Water – Standing water is the perfect breeding ground for mosquitoes so be sure to clear out kiddie pools, upside down frisbees, and even pet food bowls. Remove the breeding ground and you will have fewer pests.
- Dress for Prevention – Wear light weight long sleeve shirts and long pants to avoid the critters who will seek out the heat of your skin.
Do you have a mosquito-filled backyard or are you personally a magnet? Call Pro-Tech Lawn Care for treatment options. Call us at (603) 382-9644 or Toll Free: (800) 313-4733 and visit our website.
Did you know that stinging insects send more than a half a million people to the emergency rooms across our nation annually? For many of us, stings from a bee, wasp or hornet are painful for a short while and may swell or cause itchiness for days to come. Sadly, acute reactions to insect stings are growing in numbers according to Massachusetts General Hospital. For some people who suffer a sting, there may be a large area of swelling and reaction. For others, a sting may be a life threatening event where the individual’s entire body reacts to the sting. If you suspect that you have been stung and are suffering a major reaction call 911 immediately. Before the stinging season kicks off in full swing, however, here are some steps you can take to protect yourself as well as prevent stinging insects from being attracted to your area.
- Don’t walk barefoot in the grass. If you upset a nest or, worse yet, step on a nest you could be facing hundreds of angry insects.
- Keep an eye out for stinging insects when gardening, mowing, or other outdoor activities. For example, yellow jackets like to build nests underground, in the walls and cracks of buildings or in woodpiles. Hornets can build nests in trees and shrubs, and paper wasps can live in circular combs under eaves, shrubs or woodpiles. Stay clear of nests and do not try to remove it yourself. Call the professionals at Pro-Tech Lawn Care who have years of experience removing and solving stinging pests from your property.
- Avoid drinking from open containers outside since stinging insects can crawl inside of drink cans and other containers. Put a cap back on your soda, beer or drink from a covered container.
- Keep lids on garbage cans and clean up drips from the grill.
- Avoid wearing bright-colored clothing and perfumes as these may attract stinging insects.