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How to deal with summer pests

There’s nothing nicer than enjoying the outside world and watching nature come to life on a balmy summer’s day. But the mood can quickly be ruined if you’re swatting a fly from your barbecued sausages, fishing out a wasp from your drink or being chased round the garden by a bee.

Whether you’re at home trying to enjoy your food and drink in the great outdoors or running a restaurant or business, bugs and flies aren’t on the guest list!

Read on to find out how to deal with some of the season’s biggest irritants.

Wasps

Wasps get a bad press, often dismissed as ‘pointless insects’ or failed bees. But they actually have an important role to play in the environment, pollinating many plants – in fact there are some species of flowers that rely solely on wasps.

However, this does nothing to relieve the irritation when they are invading your picnic or buzzing round your customers! Even worse, their stings are not only painful but can be serious for allergy sufferers.

  • There are some measures you can take yourself to deter wasps:
  • Sprinkle peppermint / burn citronella – they hate strong aromas
    Distract them with some sweet-smelling food away from where you’re eating – hopefully they’ll find that instead!

Wasp nests are not a job to tackle yourself. Wasps will attack if they are under threat and while one sting will hurt, 30-40 could be very serious. If you find evidence of an active nest in or around your home, call in a pest control expert to deal with it safely.

Hornets

At around twice the size of wasps, hornets are intimidating creatures, particularly due to their powerful sting. Like wasps, they too pollinate certain plants and help to control other insects such as caterpillars, spiders and flies. They rarely enter homes and will instead make their nests inside trees and hollows.

Around this time of year, there are often stories of invasions of the Asian Hornet. A large social wasp species, this non-indigenous insect is not at all welcome in our countryside. Distinctive due to its large size and yellow legs, it can be dangerous to humans and is a threat to the honeybee and other native pollinating insect populations. If you believe you have spotted an Asian Hornet, try to take a photograph and be sure to call in a professional immediately.

Ants

The most common of these industrious creatures is the Black Garden Ant. These can often be seen in a trail leading into a house to collect the sweet-smelling food they are attracted to.

The nests are usually a small pile of earth and even the slightest disturbance will cause a flurry of activity if the ants believe they are under attack. They can usually be easily dealt with by laying sugar-based insecticide which the forager ants take back to the nest. Otherwise, pouring a kettle of boiling water on the nest usually deals with the problem at the start; larger nests will need professional intervention.

Less commonly, ants will make their nests under floorboards or in wall cavities. If you’re not sure of the source, Pest Purge can help you locate the nest and deal with it swiftly.

Houseflies

There are few things more annoying than the intermittent buzz of a fly whizzing past your ear as it soars up and down a room. Aside from being a nuisance, flies are excellent disease-spreaders, thanks to their penchant for rotting plant and animal waste, as well as their feeding method which involves vomiting on food. Therefore, any food that a fly has landed on should be quickly disposed of.

Window screens and fly paper are useful for repelling and catching flies, as are aerosol insecticides. The time to call in a professional is if you frequently encounter large swarms of the insects without an obvious source.

Deathwatch beetles

The grubs of these wood-boring beetles are partial to decaying hardwood, which means they are a particular problem in old houses and stately homes.

The beetles emerge in the springtime and are active throughout the summer months. Signs include small, neat holes where they have bored into wood, usually causing a significant amount of damage. You may also hear the tapping noise of the adults who repeatedly bang their heads against wood to call a mate.

The adults rarely fly and so are not able to easily travel to a new site, meaning new infestations are decreasing as old houses are treated or demolished.

Deathwatch beetles can be dealt with using woodworm killer but the nature of the buildings they target and the damage that can be caused, means it is best to have a professional survey the structure and treat the problem.

If you are dealing with summertime pests, call us now for friendly advice and immediate support if needed.

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