By Hope Bowman, Technical Specialist, Western Pest Services
Summer is knocking at our doors, beckoning us outdoors to pools, barbeques, and picnics. However, increased temperatures bring increased pest activity, and with the unusually warm winter we had this year, pest season may be more noticeable. Warmer winters can cause pests to emerge early from winter hiding spots and because not as many pests die during mild winters, there are typically more pests to reproduce and multiply early on.
There are a few pests known as classic summer-fun invaders, such as mosquitoes, cockroaches, flies and ants, all of which can throw a wrench in both community management and community life. But with proper knowledge and a collaborative effort between management and residents, you can help deter pests from making your property their summer home.
Mosquitoes are pesky, itch-inducing summer pests. But they’re more than just a nuisance — mosquitoes can transmit dangerous diseases such as West Nile virus and Zika virus. To keep your community’s mosquito population under control, it will take a combination of ongoing maintenance and preventive actions. The key is to reduce favorable breeding grounds, and as you’ll see from the tips below, the best way to do that is to eliminate standing water.
While we can all agree that flies are unsavory, they are often underestimated. Flies are one of the dirtiest pests you can encounter, carrying twice as many pathogens as cockroaches. They can carry over 6 million different bacteria, which they transfer to the places they land. They’re capable of spreading salmonella, staphylococcus, E. coli, and shigella. And often, flies are a sign of a sanitation issue, which can lead to multiple other pest problems. Consider the following tips to help prevent flies from crashing your barbeque:
Cockroaches are a common issue in the multifamily environments, and they are even more problematic during summer months due to their affinity for warm, moist environments. Cockroaches feed on organic material, including fecal matter. They carry viruses into homes and buildings, which can lead to diarrhea, typhoid fever, or cholera. Additionally, cockroaches can leave behind a smell and trail of excrement that can cause allergies to flareup. To avoid cockroach problems on your property, follow these tips:
Ants are a common sight during the warm summer months. While they do not necessarily pose a disease threat to humans, seeing a line of worker ants scurrying where they aren’t welcome can be a cause for concern Although they can be difficult to remove without help from your pest management professional, the following tips can help prevent ant activity:
It’s important to remember that the best way to control pest populations is to employ an Integrated Pest Management (IPM) program with the help of a pest management professional. IPM goes above and beyond traditional pest management by focusing on non-chemical techniques such as exclusion, sanitation, and maintenance. By using the tips above and working with your pest professional, you can help keep pests under control during any season.
Hope Bowman is a Technical Specialist and Board Certified Entomologist with Western Pest Services, a New Jersey-based pest management company serving businesses and homeowners in major Northeastern markets.