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.
Last month we discussed the many mosquito-born illnesses that pose a threat to humans during the warm summer months and well into the fall. This month, we are discussing some common sense methods to protect yourself and your loved ones from mosquitoes in order to not only avoid the itchy bumps of their bite, but also to protect yourself from diseases and viruses. Here are a few methods that you should make a regular part of your family’s routine to protect yourselves from mosquito bites.
- Call Pro-Tech Lawn Care about yard treatment plans to reduce and in some cases eliminate mosquitoes from your area.
- Wear mosquito repellent. We recommend repellents containing 30% to 50% DEET (N,N-diethyl-m-toluamide) for adults and children over 2 months of age. We also recommend repellents containing up to 15% picaridin, which must be applied often.
- Dress for protection. Clothing that are light colored and cover all parts of your skin is preferred. Many people choose, even in the heat of the summer, to wear lightweight long sleeves and long pants to avoid bites. Repellents or insecticides, such as permethrin, can be applied to clothing and gear for added protection. The more skin that is exposed to a bite, the greater the possibility of getting a bite.
- Be aware of time. According to the Centers for Disease Control, mosquitoes may bite at any time of day, peak biting activity for vectors of some diseases (such as dengue and chikungunya) is during daylight hours. Vectors of other diseases (such as malaria) are most active in twilight periods (dawn and dusk) or in the evening after dark.
If you want more information about mosquitoes in your area, call Pro-Tech Lawn Care to discuss treatment methods.
Who doesn’t love to sit out by the grill and enjoy the company of friends and family? Summer is just around the corner and that means BBQ’s and outdoor entertaining is just weeks away. Memorial Day Weekend is traditionally the kick off to summer and outdoor activities, so here are a few tips to make all of your get-togethers pest free!
- Call Pro-Tech Lawn Care to have an estimate done for treatments that will keep mosquitoes, bees and ticks at bay during the warm weather months.
- Mosquitoes tend to be most active at dusk and dawn, so if you are planning a barbeque around sunset or after, plan on having plenty of insect repellant containing an EPA-registered active ingredient like DEET, picaridin or IR3535 available for you and your guests.
- Wear long sleeves or pants to avoid bites and encourage your guests to cover up.
- Use tightly sealed containers when preparing BBQ fare. Ants and flies are attracted to food so take steps to keep food safe by using tightly sealed containers or coolers.
- Clean crumbs and spills from patio tables immediately and keep food that is out – covered.
- Store all trash away from the party and always keep your garbage bins covered.
- Yellowjackets and other stinging insects are attracted to fragrances from shampoo, perfume, and candles, so avoid using these scented items beforehand.
- Provide covered cups for your guests as aluminum cans and plastic bottles are good hiding spots for stinging insects.
- Prior to the party, check screen doors and repair any holes. Once the guests have arrived, remind them to shut the door behind them in order to keep pests from entering your home.
Unless you live in a bubble, you probably have gotten a bug bite or bee sting at some point in your life. The problem is that unless the little pest sticks around it is hard to find out what it was, appropriate treatment and possible reactions. Let’s examine the different types of biting bugs and what the bite may look like as well as any special treatment methods.
- Tick Bites – Ticks can carry many diseases including Lyme Disease and Relapsing Fever so identifying and treating these bites becomes critically important. Once a tick has transferred from leaves or brush onto a person’s body they tend to attach to a warm, moist area such as the groin or armpits. The first sign of infection is often a circular skin rash many times a telltale bullseye gives the clue that it was a tick. Most cases of Lyme disease can be treated successfully with antibiotics.
- Lice – Just hearing the word lice may make your head itch. The itching and finding these little white bugs or their eggs in your hair will be alarming. Treatment to kill lice and their eggs (called nits), include lotions, creams, or shampoos from the drug store or prescribed by your doctor which are designed specifically for lice.
- Fleas – Fleas are small, wingless, agile insects that live off the blood of their host — and they don’t just bite pets. They dine on people, too. Multiple small, red bites over an infected area are a first symptom of this itchy bite. WebMD suggests the best solution is to get rid of fleas on pets and in your home. Keep pets out of your bed and be sure to vacuum rugs daily. Spray insecticides tend to be not terribly effective at eliminating a problem. Contact Pest-End or Pro-Tech professionals to discuss flea control programs.
- Bee stings – Most bee stings include a welt surrounding a single puncture hole. Oral antihistamines are usually enough treatment if you are not allergic to the sting. Ibuprofen or acetaminophen can be used for pain relief.
- Bed Bugs – These tiny insects live in the sheets and mattresses of your bed. They are often found in hotels, shelters, and apartment complexes — and can hitch a ride into your home aboard luggage, pets, and boxes. Patchy red bites usually begin itching after a night of being eaten by these little pests. Oral antihistamines and creams can help with the itch. If the bites are scratched too much, they may get infected and need a doctor’s care.