Pests can be a year-round concern but are especially likely to pop up during the summer. Insects love warm weather for the same reason many animals do; it’s difficult to survive when temperatures are too low.
But just because pests tend to come out during summer doesn’t mean you have to deal with them. Below, we’ll explore some of the most common summer pests you might spot in Ohio and discuss how to keep them away.
- Common summer pests in Ohio include mosquitoes, ants, wasps, and ticks.
- Pests come out in the summer due to warmer temperatures, which help some reproduce faster and with a higher success rate.
- Visible or audible signs of insects are often the first warning signs of a potential infestation.
- Limiting standing water on your property, using insecticides, and removing pest habitats can help prevent infestations. A pest control professional can help you develop the best plan for your home.
Warm weather is music to a mosquito’s ears. These common pests prefer warm weather and water because it creates an optimal climate for reproduction and survival. That’s because mosquitoes lay eggs in water, which must be a safe temperature for their larvae.
Mosquitos can also reproduce faster during the summer. All that work demands a lot of energy, which female mosquitoes get from biting animals and people.
Fortunately, of the 3,700 mosquito species found worldwide, only some carry germs that cause illnesses like malaria or, even more rarely, West Nile virus. Most mosquitoes bite but don’t spread germs. These mosquitoes can still cause allergic reactions and can be a real headache for homeowners.
How to Identify a Mosquito Infestation
Mosquitoes prefer to live near people or in forests, marshes, and tall grasses. Regardless of where they live, mosquitoes tend to stick close to water.
The following signs may mean that the mosquito population near your home is beginning to get out of control:
- Hearing a high-pitched buzzing noise around your home
- Having bodies of standing water that aren’t frequently emptied
- Noticing mosquito bites on people or animals
- Seeing mosquitoes hovering around food or in the evening and at night
Tips for Preventing a Mosquito Infestation
To keep mosquitoes to a minimum, try to remove standing water that mosquitoes might use to lay eggs. If you can’t remove standing water, be sure to empty and cover any items that hold water at least once a week.
You can also use insecticides or an outdoor insect spray to kill existing mosquitoes. These pests love to hide in dark, humid areas, so ensure you target these spots.
Tick and flea season falls in the warmer months because these are the times when the ground is warm enough for ticks to spread and survive. As a result, ticks are most active between April to September. They like to live in grassy, brushy, or wooded areas and may bite people or animals, potentially spreading illnesses.
How to Identify a Tick Infestation
Signs that tick populations near you have the potential to grow may include the following:
- Finding ticks on animals or furniture
- Tick bites on animals or people
- Showing signs of a tick-borne illness (such as Lyme disease)
Tips for Preventing a Tick Infestation
To keep ticks away, remove the habitats they like to call home as best as you can. This includes things like:
- Cutting grass regularly and trimming grassy areas
- Stacking wood in a dry, protected area
- Keeping old furniture and potential hiding places out of the yard
- Adding a wood chip barrier between yards or grass and furniture
- Always screening yourself and any animals for ticks after coming inside
Like other pests, ants increase in numbers in summer because they can reproduce faster in optimal living conditions. However, they also tend to migrate indoors for water and the warmth that homes have during cool nights.
Carpenter ants are among the most commonly found in or around homes. Much like termites, these ants build nests and excavate wood, which can cause damage. Common black ants are also popular in areas like Ohio.
How to Identify an Ant Infestation
Some telltale signs an ant infestation may be brewing include:
- Ant trails or visible ants around the house
- Ant mounds outside
- Seeing ants crawling around near exposed food
- Soft scratching or gnawing sounds inside walls
- Visible damage or hollowness to wood structures
Tips for Preventing an Ant Infestation
Keep ants off your property and out of your home by taking actions like these:
- Minimize entry points to your home
- Limit moisture and exposure to standing water
- Consider a dehumidifier for the home to keep moisture levels low, especially in basements or attics
- Look out for scout ants, which may scope out areas for food and invite others to join them
- Store all food in closed containers
- Keep surfaces in the home clean
Unlike honey bees or bumble bees, wasps are not bees but insects that fall somewhere between ants and bees. They are not pollinators, though they can feed on nectar and fruits. Yellowjackets are a widely-recognized example of a wasp, as is the common wasp.
These insects usually have a one-year lifespan; only the queen survives the winter. By the time late spring and summer approach, the queen has begun to reproduce, and workers are avidly looking for food to care for their young.
How to Identify a Wasp Infestation
It’s typically fairly easy to spot a wasp infestation. Common signs to pay attention to include:
- Hearing buzzing around the home
- Seeing wasps around the home or outside
- Finding a wasp nest; some are obvious, but others might be found in attics or underground
- Stings on people or animals
Tips for Preventing a Wasp Infestation
To prevent wasps from settling into your home, take steps like the following:
- Cover holes in the ground
- Keep food and trash tucked away
- Check for nests regularly
- Use wasp repellents or plants to make the habitat unsustainable
When to Consider Professional Pest Control Services
If signs of an infestation worsen or don’t respond to your efforts, it’s probably time to reach out to a professional. Alternatively, if you encounter an infestation that may pose a safety risk — like spotting an active wasp’s nest — it’s best to leave the hard work to those experienced working with pests.