If you found your home and garden infested with pests last year, then no doubt you’ll be trying to fortify your home against every creepy crawly and flying insect this summer!
We all know summer brings out the pests such as wasps, flies and ants, and we make our peace with that knowing they are needed for our eco-system. But when they start infiltrating our homes, scaring the kids and ruining our BBQ’s, we all want to find ways to stop them.
If you just focus on getting rid of pests all you do is go round in circles. When it comes to finding a way to stop them, the best solution is to prevent them in the first place!
The kinds of pests we see around our homes and garden in summer, varies from the kind you may see the rest of the year. Most people are unsure what pests they might be surrounded by. And let’s be honest, we’re either trying to swot it with a notebook or we’re running in the opposite direction! We don’t usually take the time to identify the pest and problem, instead we just muddle through, complaining throughout the summer how infested our home and garden is.
The Top Five Pests you might see near your home this summer in the UK
Wasps and Hornets:
We deal with wasps every summer in the UK, yet every summer they seem to be a problem. With nine species of wasps in the UK, it isn’t surprising that you find them almost everywhere up and down the country. We also have hornets, a kind of wasp not be confused with your common yellow-jacket wasp, you see most often. Hornets tend to be bigger than the yellow jackets and can look quite frightening, they are also more aggressive. Both wasps however are likely to sting if they feel threatened.
You often find wasps hovering around picnics or bins, as they are attracted to human food later in the season. It’s not uncommon to find them in your garden or occasionally in your home, if it is only one or two you’re probably ok. However, if you suddenly start spotting 5 or 6 in your house at around the same time, it is fairly likely that you could have a nest nearby.
If you want more advice on identifying wasps then check out our blog on the differences between bees and wasps
Ants often seem to spring from nowhere! One minute, there appears to be only one and then the next there’s hundreds! This tends to happen because they send one lone solider into investigate a food source, before sending signals back to the colony to come out in full force.
Ant’s tend to be more of an annoyance than anything else, but you still wouldn’t want them crawling all over your kitchen counter! They are normally pretty straight forward to identify, and you’ll often see them in a trail from some small crack in a wall or a gap in the door to a food source.
Arguably the most hated pest, these creepy creatures can be found all year round but are more prevalent in summer. The warmer weather encourages their breeding, therefore meaning there are more of them looking for food and a home.
Cockroaches are mainly nocturnal, therefore it’s easier to spot the signs of them, rather than the pests themselves. Look out for an unusual smell, droppings, strange smear marks on horizontal surfaces and any shed skins.
With the warmer weather, we find ourselves having open windows, and doors which never stay shut while the kids run in and out from the garden all day. As the fresh air streams in, so do the flies, totally ruining the summer vibe.
There are many different common kinds of flies we see in the UK and they all have one thing in common; they are incredibly unhygienic! This combined with them constant buzzing around your head, makes them incredibly annoying!
These pests are an issue in countries all over the world, the UK included. However, in the UK our Mosquitoes tend to carry less diseases, meaning although their bites are irritating, annoying and un-comfortable, they aren’t deadly. Although there have been rumours about whether or not we will encounter more deadly species such as the Asian Tiger Mosquito, there has been no have been no reported sightings so it’s very unlikely we will see any deadly mosquitos in the UK this summer.
5 top tips to stop attracting pests to your home in summer in the UK
1. Remove the pest’s food source
For most pests, the attraction to our homes is the easy access to food. For creatures such as ants and cockroaches this is one of the main factors they look for when choosing a home to move into. To prevent attracting any pests it is important you use jars which tightly shut, lock away food and keep the kitchen as free from food and crumbs as possible.
In most homes, you’ll find a fruit bowl, positioned tactically in the kid’s eye sight to try and convince them to pick an apple for a snack over something unhealthy hiding in the cupboard. But did you know your fruit bowl could be attracting insects and pests too? Overly ripe fruit is a target for fruit flies and also can attract other pests, so ensure you check your fruit bowl regularly.
By making sure you don’t leave food out for long, and keep bins sealed, you can reduce the risk of pests being attracted to your home.
2. Remove standing water
Still water gives bugs such as mosquitoes a perfect breeding ground, so if you have a bird bowl, full watering can or paddling pool, you need to make sure you empty it regularly in order to discourage pests. Removing water sources such as these also helps deter many other pests including cockroaches.
3. Secure your property
In order to infiltrate and infest your home, pests need access. By blocking off their access point, you stop them coming into your home.
It’s a pretty harsh call to keep the windows and doors tightly shut all summer if you want to be able to enjoy the fresh air. So, in order to block off pests such as flies why not consider fly/bug screens which fit into your open windows and stop them being able to enter the home so easily.
Varnish wood shelves and units to seal them off from pests such as cockroaches. Ensure you secure small holes giving access into loft spaces, cupboards, or any cracks in the walls which pests might look to hide in.
4. Keep your home clean and banish the damp
Keeping your home, particularly your kitchen clean, is super important when preventing pests. Food crumbs and dirt can attract pests to your home. Dirt can also mask the signs you have pests such as dropping or marks, which stops you from catching a pest infestation early on in your home.
Pests such as fleas and bedbugs can hide in furniture, soft furnishings and carpets as well as baseboards and cracks in walls, so make sure you hoover the sleeping area, carpets and skirting boards regularly.
5. Use smells to repel pests
Certain smells do work to discourage certain pests, if you’re looking for hassle free method or a natural way to stop pests infesting your home then this could work for you.
Although using natural smells and plants to discourage pests, it is not a full proof method and you shouldn’t rely on it alone to keep your home pest free, there’s no harm in trying it!
Treating your timbers with eucalyptus oils, menthol or citronella oil can deter wasps from entering your home and building a nest. Citronella also can repel pests such as mosquitos.
Plants such as Basil, Lavender, Rosemary, and Sage all are said to deter insects due to the scent they release.
5 top tips to stop attracting pests to your garden in summer in the UK
1. Keep the bins sealed
When not properly sealed, your outdoor bins act as a restaurant buffet for any pests near your home!
It’s important to keep your outside bins sealed and covered, in order to stop attracting pests such as mice, wasps and flies to your property. Bins can also be the target of pests such as seagulls or even animals such as cats, so keeping them sealed also stops you from finding your rubbish all over your garden!
2. Maintain your garden landscape
Avoid having overgrown grass, bushes and trees as these make the perfect home for pests!
Keeping your garden tidy ensures there’s less materials for pests to build their home and allows you to see if there are nests already present.
3. Choose plants to help you
Certain plants are more prone to pests, so it’s important to do your research into what plants will be best for your garden. Did you know that plants that attract aphids, will then tend to attract wasps?
You can use smell to stop pests from visiting your garden as well as your home. Plants such as Lavender, Marigolds and Basil discourage insects from frequenting your garden.
You can also consider having plants such as a ‘Venus fly trap’ which catches flies for you, reducing the population of them in your garden. Although you might need a fair few to make much of an impact!
4. Remove Wood
If you have large piles of wood in your garden, maybe used for firewood or just for decoration, you may want to consider getting rid of these or at least moving them away from your home. Having large piles of wood can make the perfect home for pests looking to shelter, or wasps looking to make wood pulp for their nest early in the season. It also can entice woodlice or woodworm to your home. By keeping wood elevated and away from your home you reduce the risk of pests being attracted.
5. Ensure you use the right materials in your garden
Materials such as wood mulch, attract insects such as wasps who like to build their home from wood. It also can serve as food for many insects as the matter starts to decompose. The humid habitat and instant food source it creates, makes it a breeding ground for many pests.
To avoid this, ensure you use mulch made from another material such as gravel or rubber. Not only will this not attract so many pests, but it will last longer too!
How to know when you need a pest controller.
If you’ve already taken all these steps of precaution but are still worried about the number of pests around your home, then why not reach out to your local pest controller for some advice.
If it’s too late to take precautions as you have already have a fully blown insect infestation, then check out our website for some top tips on stopping various kinds of pests
In the cases where you’ve found a wasp nest, or you have a pest problem that isn’t easily solved such as mice, rats, moles, then you should get in touch with a pest controller who can expertly handle the situation in the safest, most humane manner.
Summer Pests in the UK: How to keep your home and garden free from unwanted pests
Preventing pests, is always the best way to stop them. By denying them access to food, water and shelter, you deny them the right habitat to breed and live in, therefore encouraging them away from your home and garden.
There are many steps you can take to prevent pests and manage them. However, if you’re worried about a problem or just need some friendly advice, don’t hesitate to give us a call.
Other Useful Links
Wasps: How to tell the difference between wasps and bees