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Controlling summertime pests inside and outside your home

Ants, bees, mosquitoes and more are the pesky part of summertime in the South.

This time of year, when the weather pattern features afternoon showers, ants inside our homes and mosquitoes on the patio are commonplace. So, how do you protect against bugs?

“Ants relocate after a rain, so we like to determine where they’re coming from and why,” says Jeremy Strine, owner of Bugged Pest Control in Greenville. “Typically, there is a high-moisture issue that should be dealt with.”

Ants moving around inside your home are seeking food, Strine explains. Once found, ants carry food back to the nest, leaving a chemical path, or trail, for fellow ants to follow and collect more food. Rather than spray ants with Raid or some other type of insecticide, Strine and his team bait them to identify ant trails and eliminate the nest.

“We like to incorporate insect growth regulators which are non-poisonous and break the life cycle of insects,” Strine explains. “For general pest control inside the home, we try to limit pesticides. It takes a little patience, but it will prevent bugs from reproducing.”

Other summertime pests found inside the home are house spiders and roaches of all sorts, especially Palmetto bugs.

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“They say if you’ve lowered the Palmetto bug population by 80 percent, then you’ve won the battle,” Strine says. “We’re battling those constantly, almost year-round. They like to come into the house through the mulch we put in our yards and they thrive in crawl spaces and attics.”

Other crawl space dwellers are centipedes, millipedes and camel crickets. Keeping areas in and around your home free of moisture is key and since roaches can live on water alone, fixing leaky drains and faucets are a good first step in keeping roaches at bay.

Outside pests

On the outside of the home, bees are the typical obstacle to outdoor enjoyment.

“Bees are our friends, but yellow jackets are very aggressive,” Strine said. “With yellow jackets, you’ll see a lot of activity as they go into the ground and in and out of a nest.”

Yellow jackets typically are attracted to a lot of ivy and overgrowth and should be eliminated from a safety standpoint.

“People can have pretty bad reactions to a yellow jacket sting, and once one stings you, the rest of them are coming for you,” Strine warns.

Carpenter bees are great pollinators but are known for damaging wood trim and decks. Carpenter bees lay eggs in the holes they bore in wood. If a hole isn’t plugged, a mature bee will return to that same hole the next year and bore an additional five to six inches.

“Wood can become compromised over time,” Strine warns. And while carpenter bees normally aren’t aggressive, they will bite.

Bugged is conscientious when it comes to honeybees.

“We love honeybees, and we do no honeybee mitigation. We will contact a beekeeper to save the colony,” Strine said.

For more information on integrated pest management, visit buggedupstate.com.

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