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25 tips for keeping summer pests at bay

Summer is finally here. For many of us, that means enjoying time outdoors with our families, friends, and pets. Whether it’s grilling, playtime, pool days, or lounging around the fire pit, the summer months are the time to revel in your backyard.

Much to our dismay, our outdoor fun can also be interrupted by pests. The top culprits are:

Beyond the annoyance, each of these pests can pose its own risks and dangers. Here are Western Exterminator’s 5 top tips for each of these 5 pests. Follow them and keep pests from invading your backyard time and outdoor celebrations this summer.

man grilling sausages outdoors


Biting mosquitoes do more than cause itching – they can spread dangerous pathogens and parasites that cause diseases such as West Nile virus and Zika Virus in humans and heartworm in your canine family members.

  • To reduce the number of mosquitoes in your yard, remove any standing water. Tip over or cover containers that can collect water.
  • Always wear an EPA-approved repellent when outdoors!
  • Avoid being outside during “peak” mosquito hours from dusk until dawn.
  • Also, speak with your veterinarian about heartworm prevention for your pets.
  • Have a barrier treatment performed on your yard. Your Western Exterminator Specialist can recommend the best frequency for your area. 
  • Ticks

    Thanks to a relatively mild winter across the U.S., it already looks like a very active year for ticks. Scientists have predicted an explosion of tick-borne diseases this year, especially Lyme disease. Ticks are also responsible for the deadly Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever and a number of other severe illnesses.

    • Wear long pants and long-sleeved shirts when hiking or doing yard work.
    • Always wear an EPA-approved insect repellent.
    • Perform a head-to-toe tick check after spending time outdoors.
    • Check your pets regularly for ticks.
    • Have a barrier treatment performed in your yard. Your Western Specialist can recommend the best frequency for your area.
    • family picnic in the backyard

      Stinging pests

      Bees, wasps, and hornets can all swoop in and ruin summer outdoors. Stinging pests can be attracted to foods and sweet, sticky food residues. Some people can have life-threatening allergic reactions when stung, so it’s always a good idea to assume that stinging pests can be dangerous.

      • If someone in your family is allergic to stings, keep prescribed medication on hand in a location where appropriate family members know how to access and use it.
      • Be careful with food and beverages outdoors. Cover foods to avoid attracting pests. Open soda cans and juices can be particularly inviting – stinging pests have been known to crawl into cans.
      •  Keep outdoor garbage cans clean and be sure they have tightly sealing lids. If possible, keep trash cans at a distance from your home, children’s play areas, and outdoor pet enclosures.
      • Wooden decks can be attractive to wasps and carpenter bees.  If possible, use sealants to protect wooden structures from these pests.
      • Never approach a nest on your own, and warn children that nests can be dangerous.



      The old cliché of ants at a picnic exists for a reason… ants are always on the hunt for food and drink! In addition to being a nuisance, there are some ant species – fire ants, for example – that can inflict painful and potentially dangerous stings. There are also dozens of ant species that can become an indoor problem for homeowners.

      • Clean up liquid and food spills immediately – both indoors and outdoors.
      • Cover foods during picnics and barbecues to reduce the chances of attracting ants.
      • Teach children not to disturb ant mounds to avoid being stung by some ant species.
      • Don’t store firewood next to your home or areas where people may lounge. Ants can take refuge in firewood and then easily move into your home or disturb your party.
      • Mulch and pine straw can often contain pests. Consider lava or egg rock instead.



      Although termites are unlikely to be a nuisance to humans, they can cause damage to homes and outdoor wooden structures that humans enjoy. If the damage is severe enough, it could create unsafe conditions.

      • Avoid wood to soil contact.
      • Keep wood away from the structure of your home.
      • Don't stack wood against the house or directly on the ground.
      • Repair water damage right away, and manage condensation from AC units.
      • Have any water leaks fixed right away so that the environment doesn’t become favorable for termite colonies.

      With just a few simple actions, you can substantially reduce the likelihood that pests will crash your summer fun. Take time today to survey your backyard and review your summer plans to identify potential problem areas.

      Need help? Contact Western Exterminator and your Specialist will be able to make recommendations to help you reclaim your yard from pests this summer.

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