Here in the South, summer’s hot weather and increased moisture and humidity translate to improved breeding conditions for pests of many types. Because you’re likely to have more run-ins than usual with pests of all kinds, we thought it would be smart to give you a guide to summer pests in the deep south… what to look out for, ways to avoid the threats they pose, and when the situation may call for a professional.
Wasps, Hornets, Yellowjackets, and Bees
While bees are usually little cause for concern (unless they’re carpenter bees, which are a threat to your home’s siding), it is important and helpful to tell the difference between a wasp, bee, yellow jacket, and hornet. The last two, yellowjackets and hornets, are the most common summer stingers. One way to tell the difference is by locating their nests, which differ from species to species. But don’t go digging around too much. Stings from these summer pests can result in serious allergic reactions, some of which require medical attention.
While termites are year-round pests, they tend to reach peak threat in the spring and summer months. Here in the deep south, termites are responsible for billions of dollars in damage to homes every year. Interestingly, there are a few ways to detect termites, including drooping walls, wood that sounds hollow, and even the crunching sounds the termites make as they eat wood. Watch this video to learn more about termite infestation identification.
We tend to think of mosquitoes as annoying but inevitable—especially if you’re one of those people mosquitoes tend to prefer more than others. However, given how they are known disease carriers, including serious diseases like West Nile Virus, they shouldn’t be dismissed lightly. There are steps pest control experts can take to mitigate mosquito infestations on your property. Here’s to summer evenings without these bothersome insects.
These are just one of those weird bugs you find in the south and nowhere else in the United States. The kissing bug is referred to by that name because it tries to bite the face. The threat it poses is as a carrier of a parasite that can cause Chagas’ disease, also called kissing bug disease. You can identify them by their oval bodies and conical heads.
These are one of the freakiest summer bugs out there because of the low-key way that they attach themselves to humans. Ticks don’t usually increase in number in the summer, but we’re more susceptible to their bites because we spend more time outside. Presently, though, the US is experiencing a surge in ticks, resulting from a combination of mild winters and an increase in rodent and deer populations – two animals that ticks feed on regularly. The danger with ticks is the spread of diseases like Lyme disease that can sit idly in the human body before activating. Wear light-colored clothing when you walk, and always check your exposed arms and legs after a walk through the woods or tall grasses, to be sure to remove ticks before they have a chance to attach themselves.
Often mistaken for something innocent, an ant represents a potential disease source because of their shells. When ant shells are left behind when the ants die, those shells can poison food. After ants spend the winter hibernating, they occupy your home during the hot summer months to forage for food and build up reserves for the fall. In the South, we also see a rise in fire ants, who bite and sting causing pain and potential allergic reactions that can even cause anaphylactic shock.
If you see any of these or other pests in your home, reach out to us, Dixon Pest Services, to schedule a complimentary consultation.