Though insects are necessary by nature for human life, these little critters are no doubt a nuisance to most people, especially when they are in their homes. More often than not, these bugs and other insects that bite humans bring germs with them — especially the fly, as mostly found outside your home.
But of course, one can treat this problem using different commercial products or insecticides, but they contain substances that are harmful to humans and other animals.
Get rid of any clogs and throw out old fruit. Then, grab a shallow bowl and place some beer or liquor at the bottom of it.
Please your item in the bowl and cover it with plastic wrap. Then using a needle punch some small holes in the plastic staying at least ½ inch away from the edge of the bowl. The flies will go into the bowl and get trapped.
Aside from sticky flypapers that can be made at home or purchased, there are other solutions. For starters, it is recommended to use plants that actually repel these insects, such as basil.
In addition to basil being a repellent, it can also be used in cooking and leaves a pleasant aroma in the area. Citrus peel, preferably lemon, should be placed in a sachet to repel them as well.
These smell pleasant to people but deter these insects and therefore can be hung in different locations within the home or even on the patio. Another option is a bunch of pine boughs or a crushed clove, both of which are despised by flies.
Cleanliness is always of the essence when dealing with infestations and any problems with regards to pests. Make sure that all foods are kept in containers and none are exposed, which usually attracts flies.
For those who eat outdoors, use special food umbrellas until the meal begins as a means to keep them off the food. The yard should always be impeccable, ensuring that there is no pet feces on the premises which draw these insects.
Ensure that the garbage is never left uncovered and that the garbage cans are regularly cleaned and disinfected. To keep them at a minimum within the home, invest in screens for patio doors and windows and of course, make sure they are always closed.
Around the patio, use citronella torches or candles as these are known to repel not only mosquitoes but also the flies. Torches are also attractive, either lit or unlit as they surround a particular area.
In addition to or instead of screens for patio doors, also use beaded or fringed curtains. They look attractive, somewhat retro, but definitely help. These are available in different designs and colors to blend in well with the existing decor.
The important thing is to keep them to a minimum and at all costs, avoid their contact with food because they spread diseases of all kinds that could even endanger a person’s life.
In the insect world, many members can be dangerous. They can hide just out of sight. What can be done to rid common house pests that can extend to your garden?
From traps to exterminators, from organic sprays to more conventional sprays there is something to get rid of these unwanted and sometimes deadly creatures.
Pests in the Insect Family
There are well more than a million different species in the insect world and many more related to insects. A few are beneficial and are not harmful to humans. But, there are a few that have the notoriety of being a nuisance to human activities.
Mosquitoes are pests that are just another common observance of summer. But with the increasing West Nile and meningitis problems that have been associated with them, it’s no wonder people hate mosquitoes.
There are many ways to be rid of mosquitoes. But prevention is a must to keep the population down. Make sure all standing water in sources such as swimming pools, tires, and buckets are all dumped.
The female mosquito can lay hundreds even thousands of eggs in standing water. Sometimes the larva can be seen swimming about in these little pools of stagnant water.
Removal of these stagnant pools is important to help decrease the spread of these annoyances. There are many sprays and lotions that keep mosquitoes at bay. Mosquitoes tend to stay away from citrus smells.
The scented Geraniums are good plants to have in areas where humans may have interactions with mosquitoes. There are also citrus candles made for keeping away these pesky little insects.
Bees and Wasps
Other insects, which include wasps and bees, are mostly beneficial to nature. Bees Bees help pollinate flowers, and wasps are hardwired to go after some dangerous creatures such as caterpillars that can destroy a large area of crops.
But, if not dealt with properly, bees and wasps can prove to be hazardous. These insects are stinging insects and can deal with a sting that is very painful.
Some people have allergic reactions causing the need for immediate medical attention. Wasps are especially known for aggressive behaviors. A wasp known as the Yellow Jacket is very aggressive.
Bees generally are not as aggressive. But a genetically altered version of honey bees often called Africanized Honey bees or Killer Bees are very aggressive and attacks have been known to take lives of their victims.
There are many ways to be rid of bees and wasps. These methods can include nest or hive control, chemical control, and professional service control.
Controlling the nest is a hard thing to do for bees and especially wasps. You first must remove the insects themselves. Physical removal or relocation of the nest is possible but sometimes the chances of the nest being destroyed or injured can occur.
Professional services, the exterminator services, are needed when bees and wasps have nests that are in extreme places such as inside a home, inside the insulation or high in trees or in hard to reach places.
Common household insects with 4 legs can be easy to prevent, but as many of us know once they are there they become reluctant to leave. Hopefully, this article can help prevent any uninvited guests.
It’s safe to say that, when it comes to pest control, prevention is key. During the summer months, we spend a lot of time in the great outdoors. Sharing that space with Mother Nature’s creatures is part of that experience, but when it comes to pests, the comfort, safety, and health of our family must come first.
To ensure entry to your home is not as easy as walking in the front door, start there. If light can be seen through a shut door to the outside, insects can get in. Be sure to weatherstrip and or caulk these gaps.
Also, check caulk and grout seals on windows and in bathrooms around pipes, toilets, appliances, and any wires that come through the walls. This will also help with your heating and air conditioning bills as well as prevent damage to your home from moisture.
Moisture not only can ruin wood and cause mold, but it also attracts pests. Be sure to remove or refill any freestanding water including slow-moving drains and house plants.
Unfortunately, there are many more ways that pests can enter your home. It is important to check screens on your windows to make sure that there are no tears and that they are securely in place. If you have a chimney on your house, make sure there is a working chimney cap attached.
Check any grocery bags or boxes that you may be bringing into the house as well as plants and garbage containers. Nothing is worse than discovering you gave the insects a free ride right into your kitchen.
Another preventative method is as easy as keeping food in tightly sealed containers. If insects or rodents cannot find food, they will not linger. Baking products such as sugar and flour as well as cereals and other boxed or bagged products should be safeguarded in this way.
Clutter and unsanitized surfaces help to house and feed insects, making them that much more comfortable to rapidly reproduce.
The best way to effectively control bugs and prevent mice and other rodents from infesting your yard is to understand what brings them into the environment in the first place.
Once you understand how to prevent bugs and other pests, you will have a better grasp on how to control bugs and rodents. Because of the danger many of these pests pose, you can keep your family safe by consulting with a professional pest management service that is familiar with your area and the types of pests that pose a threat.
Regular preventive pest control treatments can greatly reduce the incidence of infestation, or eradicate them altogether.
Professional exterminators understand which strategies work best for which pests in your area, and will ensure the safety and well-being of you and your family, so you can get on with enjoying your summer.
Unfortunately, there are a few indoor insects that attack indoor plants. Like their outdoor counterparts, these indoor insects are destructive to the plants that they inhabit.
Also, like their outdoor counterparts, as soon as the symptoms of an infestation become noticeable, immediate action needs to be taken. Once an infestation is found on an indoor plant, all of the indoor plants need to be checked for signs of insects.
Like other insects, the varieties that attack house plants tend to multiply quickly. When an infestation has grown to the point of being noticeable, it is usually quite large.
These infestations can kill a plant quickly. Among the most common indoor plant pests is the spider mite. Spider mites are not very particular about the type of plant that they inhabit. They feed on several hundred types of plants.
Spider mites can hatch in as short as 3 days, then become sexually mature in as little as 5. Females can lay up to 20 eggs each day and can live for 2 to 4 weeks.
Plants that are infested with spider mites will have delicate webbing from the stem to the underside of the leaves. The problem arises when the initial treatment is not successful.
Spider mites multiply quickly enough that the population will become immune to an insecticide quickly if it is the only one used. Spider mites are yellow or green in color and are so small that they are not easy to see.
One way to check for the presence of them is to tap the leaf over a piece of white paper and check for very tiny movements on the paper. Use a good insecticide to remove them. On the other hand, shell Insects appear like a tiny bump of wax on a leaf or stem.
It is usually not possible to view these creatures without magnification, but as their numbers increase they make their presence known. These pests can stunt plant growth and even kill the plant over time. Again, use a good insecticide spray to rid the plants of these pests.
Mealy Bugs are large enough that they are visible without using magnification. It is the female of the species that stay attached to the plant. The males develop wings and stay close to the females.
The males are short-lived as they do not eat as adults. With mealy bugs, some species lay eggs (50 to 100 at a time), others, the offspring are born live.
Since mealybugs appear to be small clusters of cotton on the plant, they are relatively easy to spot.
It may take a couple of weeks of treatment before you are rid of these pests. These and other indoor plant insects will kill a plant over time. They are not only destructive, but they are also very unsightly.
A beautiful plant will become unhealthy and unsightly defeating the purpose of decorating with plants. Keeping your houseplants clean is the first step in prevention.
Spraying regularly with an insecticide may be another necessary step depending on the amount of trouble that the plants are having with pests.
The best way to get rid of squirrels is to make sure that the problem actually is squirrels. The best time to do an inspection for squirrels is an hour before sunrise into mid-morning, or an hour before sunset into mid-evening.
Squirrels are one of the most adaptable creatures. They can be found in many various places around the world and in different environments.
The reason is that these two times of day are when squirrels are most actively moving away from their nests in search of food.
Squirrels can scare very easily, so these inspections need to be done using binoculars. The purpose of these inspections is to identify if in fact the squirrels are entering a home, and if they are where the entry points are.
Finding the entry points helps in locating the nests. The nest is normally very close to the entry point located between floor and ceiling joists in the insulation.
There are three main species of squirrels that homeowners typically tackle. These are the gray squirrel, fox squirrel, and the red squirrel. The grays measures about 16 to 18 inches from nose to tail.
They generally weigh about one pound. Because they inhabit about two-thirds of the United States, these squirrels are common household pests. The red fox one is about twice as large as the gray and can be about 40 inches from nose to tail.
Conversely, the red squirrel is slightly smaller than the gray and ranges from black to red in color. Squirrels can be quite a nuisance as they will eat bird food from bird feeders, create holes in attics and other spaces, and even pass ticks or fleas along to household pets.
Fortunately, getting rid of squirrels is not impossible.
First, look for the main hole the squirrels are accessing to get into the home. Second, all holes that are 1/4 inch or larger in size must be sealed. The best products to use for this is hardware cloth or metal flashing.
It is important to make sure that the main hole is left unsealed for now. The reason for this is to make sure that there are no squirrels trapped in the house.
Thirdly, once all of the smaller holes have been sealed continue to observe the squirrel activity. When the younger squirrels are seen leaving the house without the company of any adults it is then the proper time to seal the main entry point.
There are some quick ways to reduce the squirrel population. The first way is by using rat-sized wooden-based snap traps. These traps should be baited with either peanut butter or nuts, and placed along the runways between the entrance hole and the nest.
These traps need to be checked daily, re-baited, relocated, and the trapped squirrels need to be eliminated. Another option is to used appropriately labeled rodenticides. These rodenticides give off a very distinct odor.
For this reason these are typically used in unoccupied structures such as vacation homes. Lastly, in some cases calling an animal control expert is warranted.
With the much-anticipated warmer weather comes unwelcome pests — flying insects that bite — that seek to siphon our blood.
An example? Blood-seeking insects sometimes carry diseases that can be transmitted to humans. Here are two pests to especially avoid.
Mosquitos can carry a number of potentially serious illnesses. In New England, West Nile fever encephalitis has become a concern, and efforts are underway in some cities and towns to address the issue.
Nonetheless, individuals older than 60 and those with compromised immune systems are at greater risk. West Nile symptoms include fever, stiff neck, headache, and coma.
Eastern Equine Encephalitis has also been found in some New England mosquitos, albeit in much fewer numbers.
Some people bitten by EEE carriers will show no indications of the illness, but others become very sick. Early signs include brain swelling, chills, fever, and vomiting.
Ways to protect against mosquito bites? Clear away any standing water from around your home, and limit your time outdoors when mosquitos are most active (e.g., dusk and nighttime).
Moreover, wear long sleeves/pants and spray insect repellent on clothing, exposed skin, and hair when you are out at night (there are all-natural sprays available).
Finally, do not leave windows or doors open, as mosquitos will have a perfect entryway into your home.
Ticks are a concern because they can carry Lyme disease and co-infections like Babesia, and Bartonella. Unfortunately, Lyme disease is fast- growing in the Northeast and increasing in other regions, as well.
When Lyme is caught in the early stages, the chance for a full recovery is very good.
More often than not, the disease goes undetected because symptoms can mimic other illnesses. At the same time, testing methods are not always accurate, and this can also delay treatment.
Lyme symptoms are varied and often determined by the system or systems the bacteria are invading (pulmonary, cardiac, brain). For example, some people experience a racing pulse upon minimal exertion and others do not.
A circular rash at the bite site is often the first indication of the illness. However, not everyone with Lyme gets this rash or even knows about the bite.
Other signs include:
- Diffuse rashes
- Rapid heartbeat
- Difficulty breathing
- Extreme fatigue
- Joint pain (e.g. knees, fingers, toes)
- Neck ache or stiffness
- Brain fog (adding simple numbers can be difficult)
- Nerve twitching
- Eye changes
- Bells Palsy, and more.
Some ways to stay away from tick bites? Protect your skin when you are outdoors by wearing long pants/ tops, socks (tuck them over your pants,) and insect repellent (even spray your animals).
Also, avoid grassy or brush areas, accumulated leaves, wooded regions, and other places where ticks like to hang out in large numbers (sadly, some may even be sunbathing on your lawn).
A final thought? Perform body inspections when you come inside (even do this with your animals). Naturally, the summer is meant to be enjoyed, so no one should be afraid to revel in the warmth.
Summertime means your family has more time to spend enjoying the great outdoors. This is the season where many insects thrive and usually leave nothing more than small itchy bites and bumps on your baby’s skin.
However, mosquitoes and other bugs are known to be vectors of serious diseases such as malaria, encephalitis, West Nile virus, and dengue among others.
Here is how to protect your baby from mosquito and insect bites:
First and foremost, do not bring your baby to places where there are plenty of bugs and mosquitoes. Places with stagnant water are usually the breeding ground of mosquitoes and other insects.
Other places where bugs and mosquitoes thrive include lakes, woods, flower gardens, and food parks.
Look for a mosquito or insect repellent that is safe for your baby. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) advises parents to use mosquito or infant repellents that contain only 10 percent DEET, the most effective chemical repellent, on babies, particularly on infants.
However, there are mosquito and insect repellents out in the market today that do not contain DEET as well as other chemicals like parabens, sulfates, phthalates, and other toxins, yet are still effective in repelling insects and protecting your kids from insect bites.
These baby-safe insect repellents contain non-toxic, all-natural ingredients to keep your baby safe from pests. Before stepping out of the house, make sure to spray just the right amount of insect or mosquito repellent on your baby’s clothes, and then some on your hands and apply it on your baby’s skin.
Choose tightly woven clothing for your baby to wear. Choose ones that cover most of your baby’s exposed skin. Also, it has been found that light-colored clothes repel mosquitoes better than dark-colored clothes.
Do not forget to protect your baby’s feet with a pair of socks and/or shoes. Avoid staying outdoors during dusk and dawn as these are the times of the day when mosquitoes are most rampant.
You might also consider getting mosquito netting for your baby’s strollers, cots, playmats, prams, and other outdoor baby products.
Do not forget to reapply insect repellent after swimming or after activities that make your baby sweat.
There are several other things you can do to protect your baby and the rest of your family from mosquitoes and other bugs.
For instance, you can try:
- Covering up leftover food and cleaning up immediately after eating so as not to attract insects into your home. Clean up spills and other messes immediately as swell.
- Installing fly screens on your windows
- Avoiding wearing perfumes, lotions, soaps, and scented oils that attract insects, especially when you are carrying your baby outdoors.
- Spraying rooms with insecticides to eliminate pests. You can also try using an electric gadget that releases repellent into your rooms in the evening. These devices are generally plugged into an electric socket. The repellent, which is often permethrin, is contained in a bottle or small pad.
Gnats are relatives of flies and mosquitoes. In fact, they are tiny flies and sometimes called midges or blackflies. These insects thrive anywhere in the world and are mainly found near streams or rivers because they lay their eggs in wet places. Now, what do gnat bites look like?
They do not bite through clothes by they can crawl into your baby’s hair or under his clothes. A person who gets bitten by a gnat might not be aware of it at first.
But soon enough they will notice that the area around the bite will start to swell up. But a baby with sensitive skin may feel the bite at once and start to cry. A person who gets bitten by a gnat might also find a tiny amount of blood oozing from the bite.
The bite itself will be very itchy and, in a baby, may even be painful and very uncomfortable. If you were bitten by a gnat, what you should do is wash the bite with soap and water.
You should also consider applying a bit of antiseptic on the bite because gnats live in murky places and can land on dead animals and rotten food which are full of germs and bacteria.
After washing, you can apply an anti-itch cream to the bite or ask your doctor about an anti-itch medication that can be taken orally to help relieve the itching.
If the bite becomes very uncomfortable or painful, you can ask a doctor about pain medication that can be taken orally. You can also put an ice pack or a cold compress on the bite to help ease the pain.
When To Call Your Doctor
You should call your doctor if the area around the bite swells bigger than what is normal. Your doctor can recommend a prescription cream or oral medication. You should also call your doctor if your baby develops an infection.
The infection comes from scratching the bite. Your doctor could prescribe an antibiotic to clear up the infection. Very few people are allergic to a gnat bite, but if your baby has an allergic reaction to the bite, take your baby to your doctor right away.
Some of the most common symptoms of an allergic reaction include fever, difficulty breathing, getting the hives (characterized by red patches on the skin that are itchy and painful).
If you notice any of these symptoms in your child go to your doctor right away. They can administer medicines that could ease allergy symptoms and treat the allergic reactions.
How To Keep Your Baby From Getting Bitten
Make sure your baby wears protective clothing which includes long-sleeved tops and long pants. And, apply a baby-safe insect repellent so your baby’s skin every time you step out of the house, especially when visiting places near bodies of water.
A baby-safe repellent should not contain DEET, toxins, parabens, phthalates, and sulfates and should contain only natural ingredients.
So, in order to have a wonderful time in nature on a lovely, sunny summer day, we need to be very careful — because we can easily fall prey and get bitten or stung by various insects. Safety is essential in insect bite identification.
If you are bitten by insects you will know in a very short time because of the immediate effects that can occur on your body, such as pain, itching, scratching, swelling, or a local redness.
They can be the most annoying symptoms that can disturb your peace and quiet. All these symptoms are caused by the actual venom or a toxic chemical substance produced by the insect’s body.
The venom or the toxin will attack your body, by producing allergic reactions immediately after it is injected in your body. The reactions that you will have are based generally upon how sensitive you are to the insect bites and to the venom or toxin.
The general reaction to insect bites are mild – like local stinging or itching sensations, and a little bit of swelling that usually disappears in a couple of days.
Sometimes, these are not the singular reactions, and if you are a sensitive or an allergic person you can have reactions such as swollen glands, painful joints and hives, or even high fever.
If you encounter these kinds of symptoms you must immediately contact a dermatologist or your family doctor in the shortest time possible, or if your medical situation aggravates you must call 911.
The most severe reactions to the insect’s bites venom or toxin are called anaphylaxis reactions. These reactions are similar to the allergic ones and appear only on the most sensitive humans.
The actual symptoms vary from toxic shock and swelling faces to even breathing difficulties and lung collapse.
Also, it is very important to know that these symptoms are caused by only a few dangerous animals and spiders such as venomous or toxic spiders, bees, wasps, hornets, and yellow jackets.
First Aid For Insect Bites and Stings
If you are in an open space (outside your house) such as in the woods or lawns, it will be very wise to go inside, because in the wilderness you are highly exposed to other bites and stings from the other insects.
A straight razor, a knife, or even a plastic credit card can become handy if you get an insect sting. You will use this so-called “tools” in order to gently scrape off the stinger.
Do not try to pull the stinger, because it can most certainly have some venom or toxin to eject. Be careful. If you are concerned about the local inflammation, you can surely use some ice packs.
If you have a tick, you must gently remove the painful and dangerous tick with a pair of tweezers. Applying adhesive tape on the tick can also do the trick. If the wound remains in your skin for a long period of time, you must seek specialized medical attention.
If the wound is very itchy, feel free to use some prescribed over the counter medication.
Gnats are tiny flies including mosquitoes, midges, drain flies, black flies, fruit flies and sand flies. They buzz around your face and eyes so persistently even when you try to swat them away.
Gnats have head, thorax and abdomen. They have two pairs or a pair of wings and six legs which in most species are long compared to their body size. Their mouth parts are categorized as either lapping, piercing or sucking. Some gnats feed on blood. Others feed on plant material or other insects.
These insects are small and have a furry appearance. They have broad leaf shaped wings and a hairy body. They are found in drains, bathrooms, sinks and septic tanks. They are also found in sewage contaminated soil. Their eggs are laid inside the sink drains. The bacteria inside the drain acts as a food source for the larvae once the eggs hatch.
Sand flies are brown, gray, or golden. They are tiny flying insects. Despite their small size these insect has such a painful bite. You would think you have been stung. Their bite can result in inflammation and redness at the bite site. Females feed on mammals blood. The six species found in North America don’t carry any disease. The ones found in other regions of the world can transmit a virus called sandy fly fever which is not fatal.
These insects look very similar to mosquitoes. Midges however have a snout that’s much shorter. The females have feathered wings while the males have bushy ones. They will be found in swarms near lakes, slow moving streams and ponds . Lights attract them and they will be found flying around street and porch lights.
Fungus Gnats are small flies that look like tiny mosquitoes. Their heads are smaller than their segmented antennae. The have light light gray wings and narrow legs.
Fungus gnats lay their eggs in the soil of your potted plant and remain near the plant which has organic matter and fungus that act as their source of food. When the eggs hatch the larvae feed on the plant root hairs and the organic matter in the soil. At this stage they are not easily noticeable. They can damage your plant nutrition uptake causing stunted growth.
These insects are attracted by contaminated soil, rotting vegetable and fruits and accumulated garbage.
What attracts Gnats to your home?
Gnats love damp areas and places with organic matter. That’s why they are found in the bathroom.
They come to your home to seek out a place to breed and to find food.
Use fly paper. This method works every time. The paper has sticky surfaces that traps flying gnats. Just hung it up using a ribbon where there are lots of gnats.
Buy insecticide spray for these gnats and follow the instructions on the can on what to do.
Preventing gnat infestation
- Dry moist areas in your house.
- Repair any pipe leaks
- Throw out fruits that are overripe
- Don’t overwater potted plants.
Gnats are a nuisance. If their infestation overwhelms you, call a pest control professional to deal with effectively help you get rid of the problem.