Stinging and Biting Pests: A Comprehensive Guide To Stay Safe
The warmer months have begun for us in Pennsylvania, and many families are eager to take advantage of the warm, sunny weather. But with the summer weather comes summer bugs, known as stinging pests. While many bugs are just a mild annoyance. There are few that can wreak all sorts of havoc with their bites and stings. Today, we’re providing you with our comprehensive guide to Pennsylvania pests and the key signs to watch out for if they bite or sting you!
Pests That Bite
A common nuisance for us here in southeastern Pennsylvania is the carpenter ant. These usually black, half-inch-long ants can be found near moist, wooded areas. While their nests tend to be outside, there are times that they will nest inside your house and can cause significant damage to the wooden structures within your home.
It is best to call in a professional to handle any infestation, as carpenter ants are known to bite to defend their nest. While the bite is relatively harmless in the long term, its powerful jaws and acid venom can cause a painful, burning bite.
Prevention: Avoid any wood waste (stumps, firewood, branches, etc.) or wooden vegetation (shrubs, evergreen trees, bushes, etc.) being in contact with your house or within 100 yards of your property. Ensure you moisture seal and check for rotting in wooden structures within your house.
One of the most common bug bites is that of the mosquito. Most people are familiar with the raised, itchy bite caused by mosquitoes. While it may just seem like a general annoyance of itching for a few days, mosquitoes are one of the top disease carriers and the top spreader of the West Nile virus in PA.
Prevention: When you’re outside, you’ll want to wear long-sleeved shirts and pants to protect your skin from these blood-sucking pests. To further deter mosquitoes, invest in a bug repellent specifically designed to target mosquitoes.
If you’re having a mosquito problem at your home, drain or cover all sitting pools of water, and call in the professionals at Pest Control Technicians, Inc. for environmentally friendly, fast-acting mosquito treatment.
While most of our native Pennsylvania spiders are harmless, we do have to worry about the black widow. Despite popular belief, black widows are not aggressive and only bite when they feel cornered or threatened. The bite itself isn’t that painful, if at all. After roughly an hour, the area will swell to look almost like a target. If you experience muscle aches along with this, it indicates a high likelihood of a black widow bite, and you should seek immediate attention.
Prevention: Avoid sticking your hands or feet into dark, small spaces such as crawl spaces or even shoes that haven’t been worn for a while. Black widows like to hide in enclosed spaces, so reduce clutter to give them less space to find a place to nest. If you find a web with a black widow, call in a professional for safe removal.
Unfortunately, Pennsylvania has some of the highest cases of Lyme disease in the nation — many of these cases are concentrated in our own Lehigh Valley. If you’ve lived in Pennsylvania for any length of time, then you know just how prevalent a pest ticks are. Tick bites are particularly problematic due to the number of tickborne diseases they spread, including Lyme disease.
If you’ve been bit by a tick, gently remove it with tweezers, grabbing its head as close as you can to the skin and pulling upward. Seek medical attention immediately, and if possible, bring the tick body with you to the doctor for testing.
Prevention: Ticks are almost always found outside, so when you know you’ll be out in nature, add an extra layer of protection by wearing long-sleeved clothing, pants, and close-toed shoes. Avoid areas of tall grass and other vegetation and stay on cleared trails. Use insect repellent to further reduce your risk of a tick bite. After being outdoors, conduct a full-body check to ensure there are no ticks hiding on your skin.
Pests That Sting
Often mistaken for the bumblebee is the carpenter bee. These little pollinators are a common sight in the Pennsylvania spring and summer. Carpenter bees are quite docile creatures and won’t go out of their way to sting you. However, if they feel threatened, they will defend themselves with their stinger.
Though they can produce a painful sting that can cause a painful bump for a few days. The venom is harmless for most people, and they don’t leave their stinger in your skin. If you do have an allergy to bees, then these stings can be fatal, and you should seek medical attention immediately.
Prevention: Similar to carpenter ants, these bees are attracted to wooded areas and objects where they can build their nest. Most of the time, simply sealing or changing the outside shell of a wooden object will be enough to deter them from settling. If you suspect you have an infestation, call in the professionals at PCT. We want to help you! We can recommend the best treatment for your home.
Cicada Killer Wasps
Coming across a two-inch-long wasp can be an alarming experience for anyone. However, despite their large size and scary name, humans hold little interest for cicada killer wasps. While they can sting, you’d have to provoke one pretty hard in order for it to actually sting. This sting will be painful but won’t have any serious effects unless you’re allergic to bee stings.
Prevention: Cicada killer wasps like to burrow in bare patches of soil, so if you notice patches in your lawn, cover these to prevent them from building a nest. They tend to be the most active in the late summer, so you may want to keep your grass just a touch longer to deter them. If you have concerns about cicada killer wasps or other native wasps species like paper wasps being on your property, stringing insect pest control can treat the nest at the source.
Unlike their other stinging pests, yellow jackets are extremely aggressive and territorial. These pests are particularly dangerous because if they make a nest on your property and feel threatened. They will continue stinging multiple times, chase you if you try to run, and can even mobilize the rest of their hive against you.
Not only are the stings incredibly painful, but they can also quickly become deadly if you have an allergy. Yellow jackets are incredibly sneaky. They build their nests on the ground so you don’t know it’s there until you mow your lawn and anger an entire colony.
Prevention: Because of the aggressive nature of these pests, we do not recommend you try any home remedies if you find a nest. It is in your best interest and safety to let professionals handle a yellow jacket nest and keep you and your property safe.
Don’t Worry About Bites and Stings This Summer with PCT!
We know you and your family want to be able to enjoy the warm summer months without fear of these stinging pests. That’s why we’re dedicated to eliminating any pest problems so you can enjoy your backyard without any stress or worries. We want you to get your summer started as soon as possible, so check out our special deals on pest control and call us today!
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