3 Pests That Can Ruin Your Fourth Of July

Fourth_Of_July_Family

Among all of your festive Fourth of July BBQ’s, fireworks, pool parties, and parades can lurk unanticipated nuisances that may very well wreak havoc on the day’s festivities (and I’m not talking about your Uncle Roger who drinks too much). I’m talking of course about bugs!

Here are three such nuisances, or outdoor pests, that can ruin your Fourth of July holiday:

Yellow Jackets

Wasps_On_Watermelon

One of the most popular Fourth of July activities are family picnics or barbeques. In fact, Last July 4th some 78 million Americans had a barbecue; grilling everything from hotdogs, to hamburgers, to shish kabobs. The sweet watermelon and sticky sodas draw in unwanted pests to your barbeques or picnics… Stinging pests!

Feeding on foods rich in sugars and carbohydrates (fruits, flower nectar, and tree sap), the Yellowjacket wasp also feeds on proteins (insects, meats, fish, etc.). So that means that just about anything you’ll eat on the Fourth of July can draw in yellowjackets. Building their nests in trees, shrubs, or in protected places such as inside human-made structures, yellowjacket nests expand rather rapidly with as many as 5,000 stinging wasp members. The worst thing about these flying pests? All female members of the species are able to sting multiple times, causing incredible pain to anyone who has been stung.

Be on the lookout for their nests before you set out the day’s yummy food. If you do find a nest, keep away, and get a professional wasp removal service.

Fire Ants

Hands In Ant Nest

“The Red Coats are coming!!!”  “The Red Coats are coming!!!”

On April 18, 1775, Paul Revere rode from Boston to Lexington and Concord, screaming “the Red Coats are coming,” warning patriots that the red clad British army was marching. Some 238 years later a different kind of Red Coat is coming; a Red Coat that is malicious and spiteful just like a British soldier.

I’m talking, of course, about the Red Imported Fire ant and if you live anywhere in the Southern United States you are very familiar with their tactics. Their mounds can be huge, and if disturbed, hundreds of these stinging ants can come pouring out looking to violently defend their queen (much like the British Army did back in 1775). These extremely painful stings will cause welts on the skin and in rare cases even cause death. To top it all off, these ants may be on the move this July Fourth, looking for your food.

If you have Fire Ant mounds in or around your home or property, get professional Fire Ant control.

Mosquitoes

Many mosquitos on skin

The most prevalent Fourth of July pest is the blood-sucking mosquito, and they just happen to be the most active during the dawn and dusk hours; the exact times you will be outdoors for parades and fireworks. Female mosquitoes feed on the blood of the living, and can transmit extremely harmful or even deadly diseases like West Nile Virus and Yellow Fever. Some authorities even argue that mosquitoes are the most deadly animals on earth.

Since September 2012, the Center for Disease Control reports some 3,142 cases of the West Nile virus disease in people, including 134 deaths. These numbers continue to grow. Don’t add to them this Independence Day. Make sure you wear mosquito repellant with DEET while you are outside celebrating.

Happy July 4th!

All of us bug guys here at blogpestcontrol.com and Bulwark Exterminating would like to wish you all a happy and safe Independence Day! Spend some time with family and friends, eat way too much potato salad, marvel at the stunning firework shows, and reflect on all of the blessings that are bestowed upon us as we live in the greatest country on Earth! Happy July 4th!

 

Top 5 Best & Worst Mosquito Repellants

Mosquito repellantThursday is the Fourth of July! It’s a time we will gather together with our families and friends; celebrating living in the world’s best country. We will commemorate our nation’s independence by waving flags at parades, cooling off in swimming pools, woofing down tons of hotdogs and potato salad at BBQ’s, and cap the day off by lighting or watching vibrant fireworks.

With all of the day’s festivities, the last thing you want to worry about is blood-sucking pests like mosquitoes and ticks. One of the best ways to keep these irritating bugs from ruining your holiday is to wear a good insect repellant when you are outdoors. With so many bug sprays on the market today, we are all left wondering which ones work the best; and which ones will simply drain our wallets and offer no relieve from flying pests.

Here are the top five best and worst mosquito repellants:

Top 5 Best Mosquito Repellants

Consumer Reports recently released their ranking for the best mosquito repellants on the market today. Factors used to determine the mosquito repellant rankings include: cost per ounce, percentage of active ingredient (DEET) hours of effectiveness, and damage to materials. Here are the rankings:

 

Best Mosquito Repellants
Best Mosquito Repellants

 

Note: Only four of the top five mosquito repellants offered protection for eight hours or more. Non-coincidently, these four repellants also contained the active ingredient DEET in varying levels; the most effective mosquito repellant on the market.

Top 5 Worst Mosquito Repellants

GoodGuide also recently released their mosquito repellant rankings based on health, environment, and society factors. They count the number of ingredients in each product that are categorized as low, medium or high health concern; and then factor in other negative information (such as regulatory restrictions) and any available positive information (such as third-party certifications) to assign product scores. Here are the five worst mosquito products as determined by GoodGuide:

 

Worst Mosquito Repellants
Worst Mosquito Repellants

 

Note: It’s important to note that all of the tested products will keep the mosquitoes from biting if you’re going to be outside for only a short period of time. Look for a highly rated product to protect you on longer excursions.

How Mosquito Repellants Were Tested

For these insect repellent reviews, courageous testers at an outside lab bared their arms in mosquito-filled cages and also let ticks crawl on them. Scientists recorded how long it took for mosquitoes to start biting and for ticks to crawl over treated areas.

Factors used to determine the mosquito repellant rankings include: cost per ounce, percentage of active ingredient (DEET) hours of effectiveness, damage to materials, and the health, environmental, and social performance of products and companies.

Mosquito_Close-up_Sucking_BloodMosquitoes & West Nile Virus

There are currently some 176 different species of mosquitoes living here in the United States; all sharing one common characteristic… They are irritating! One common misconception about mosquitoes is that they all bite and suck blood. The truth is, it’s only the adult female mosquitoes that have a long piercing mouthpart needed to suck blood. She does so in order to provide for her future brood of mosquitoes. Males differ from females by having feathery antennae and mouthparts not suitable for piercing skin. A mosquito’s principal food is nectar or similar sugar source.

One unfortunate characteristic about the mosquito is that they can carry the deadly West Nile Virus. The Center for Disease Control urges the public to take precautions when outdoors. Make sure you wear an insect repellent with DEET; dress in clothing that covers as much skin as possible, and completely avoid the outdoors between dusk and dawn if at all possible.

To stop mosquitoes from breeding on your property, make sure to eliminate any standing water like in puddles, in kiddie pools, in tire swings, and in bird fountains. The easiest way to remove mosquitoes on your property is to kill their larva. Mosquito dunks, or larvicides, are dropped into water killing larva and stopping mosquitoes from laying their eggs. Treatments last for 30 days and cover 100 square feet regardless of depth. Pest control professionals can also spray your property frequently to help control the mosquito population.

 

Have a happy and mosquito free Fourth of July!