It’s officially summertime – the season of backyard barbeques, pool parties and campfires. But, with a general uptick in time spent outdoors during the warmer months comes an increased risk of encountering yellowjackets, wasps, hornets and other stinging insects, Magic Pest Control forewarns.
Stinging insects are most active in the summer and early fall as they forage for food, which is why we frequently see them abuzz around our properties this time of year. Reports state that stinging insects send more than half a million people to the emergency room every year, so it’s important to take the proper precautions to keep them at bay, especially during outdoor gatherings with family and friends where food and drinks are often abundant.
Magic Pest Control recommends heeding the following expert advice from the National Pest Management Association (NPMA) on stinging insect prevention:
- Seal all visible cracks and crevices to keep stingers from moving indoors, and regularly inspect around the perimeter of the home for nests.
- During a picnic, cover all food when outside and be sure to keep tight fitting lids on trash bins.
- Drink out of clear containers, as stinging insects can sneak into aluminum cans unnoticed.
- If spending long periods of time outdoors, skip the perfume, cologne or scented body wash in favor of unscented shampoos, soaps and lotions. Yellowjackets and other stinging insects are attracted to sweet-smelling fragrances.
- Wear closed-toe shoes, especially in grassy areas where hornets and other pests often nest.
- If you find a stinging insect nest on the property, don’t attempt to remove it on your own. Instead, contact a licensed pest control professional.
We certainly encourage people to enjoy spending time in the great outdoors this summer, but we also advise them to be ever mindful of stinging insects. If you do see a yellowjacket flying around the bowl of watermelon, the best advice I can give is don’t swat at it.