Welcome to summer—a season of fun outdoor activities and, unfortunately, the peak time for unwelcome pests like mosquitoes, ticks, and ants. Effective summer pest control is crucial to keep these summer bugs at bay.

This guide delivers swift, effective strategies to manage these pests, ensuring they don’t spoil your summer enjoyment. From preventative tips to quick fixes, we’ll help you keep your home pest-free so you can focus on enjoying the sunshine.

Common Summer Pests and Their Dangers

As we continue to enjoy summer activities, staying vigilant against pests is crucial. Here’s how you can safeguard your summer from these unwelcome guests:

Mosquito feeding on a person - Summer Pests


Often just a buzz away, mosquitoes are notorious not only for their itchy bites but also for spreading diseases like West Nile Virus and Zika. Minimize their breeding by clearing out standing water from containers such as bird baths and old tires.

Enhance your home’s defenses with window and door screens, and protect yourself with EPA-approved repellents and light-colored clothing when outdoors. Additionally, consider setting up fans in outdoor areas; mosquitoes are poor flyers in windy conditions.

Flea and Tick Summer Pests

Fleas and Ticks

These pests are not only a concern for pet owners but for anyone enjoying green spaces. Regular yard maintenance, such as mowing and removing debris, is essential to reduce their hiding spots.

Protect your pets with approved flea and tick treatments and perform regular checks especially after outdoor activities. For broader control, treat your yard with pet-safe pesticides and establish barriers like gravel or wood chips to prevent ticks from entering recreational areas.

Group of carpenter ants on the wall Summer Pests


Ants in the kitchen are a common summer nuisance, often attracted by the smallest of food remnants. To deter these persistent invaders, it’s crucial to store all edibles securely in sealed containers and address any spills or crumbs without delay. You can also create natural barriers at doors and windows using solutions like vinegar or diluted essential oils.

Should you encounter a trail of ants, a quick spray of soapy water can help erase their scent trails, confusing their pathfinding. For areas where ant activity is intense, setting up bait stations can decisively reduce their numbers by eliminating the colony from within.

Termites eating house walls Summer Pests


Termites often work silently, causing significant damage that you might not notice until it’s too late. To safeguard your home, stay vigilant for early signs of their presence. Are your wooden structures sounding hollow when you tap them? Do you see thin mud tubes along your walls? Or have you spotted swarmers—winged termites ready to start new colonies? These are clear warnings.

Act swiftly by clearing away wood debris from around your house and ensuring that your foundation areas remain dry, as moisture attracts termites. If you spot these indicators, don’t wait—consult a licensed pest control expert to evaluate and treat the problem, preventing further damage and securing your home against future invasions.

House fly on leaf Summer Pests


Despite their small size, flies can be a major sanitary nuisance in homes, carrying pathogens that can lead to illness. Effective fly management starts with hygiene—regularly dispose of trash and seal waste containers. Install screens on windows and doors to block their entry.

For a DIY solution, create a trap using a mix of sugar water and dish soap in a jar covered with plastic wrap pierced with small holes; this will attract and trap them. Additionally, planting fly-repelling herbs like basil and mint near entry points can serve as a natural deterrent, helping to keep your indoor spaces fly-free.

Stinging Insects (Bees, Wasps)

Stinging Insects (Bees, Wasps, etc.)

Bees and wasps are important for the ecosystem but can become a hazard if they nest too close to human activity. If you discover a nest on your property, exercise caution. Avoid any interference during their active periods in the day. If the nest isn’t in a high-risk area, consider leaving it undisturbed to allow the insects to contribute to local pollination.

However, if the situation poses a safety threat, especially for those with allergies, it’s wise to call in pest control experts who can remove or relocate the nest safely. To prevent these insects from being attracted to your area in the first place, ensure that food remnants and sugary drinks are not left out in open spaces.

Preventive Measures to Protect Your Home

As you get ready to enjoy the warmer months, it’s crucial to also prepare your home against unwanted pests. We’ve gathered a mix of both well-tried and innovative strategies to help you create a pest-resistant environment effortlessly.

Let’s dive into how you can keep your home comfortable and pest-free with methods that are easy to implement and effective.

Optimizing Your Home’s Defense Against Pests:

  • Seal Those Gaps: First things first—take a walk around your home and look for any small openings that might welcome unwanted guests. A bit of silicone caulk works wonders for those tiny cracks, while expandable foam can fill in the bigger gaps. Don’t forget to fit brush strips under your doors; they’re great for keeping pests out.

  • Keep It Clean and Clutter-Free: A tidy home is your first line of defense. Reducing clutter not only makes your space more pleasant but also leaves fewer places for pests to hide. Instead of cardboard, which can be a feast for cockroaches and silverfish, opt for plastic bins for storage. These are harder for pests to penetrate and will help keep your belongings safe and clean.

  • Smart Waste Management: Pests love a dirty kitchen, so let’s shut down the buffet. Invest in trash cans with automatic lids to keep odors contained and pests out. Regularly washing your bins and the surrounding areas helps eliminate any lingering smells that might attract critters.

Innovative Natural Deterrents:

  • Biocontrol Options: Introduce beneficial insects, such as ladybugs to control aphids in your garden, or nematodes that target soil-dwelling pests.

  • Electromagnetic & Ultrasonic Devices: Utilize these devices to create a barrier that deters pests. These devices emit sounds or vibrations that are uncomfortable for many pests but are inaudible and harmless to humans and pets.

  • Botanical Insecticides: Products like pyrethrin and azadirachtin are less harmful to the environment and are effective against a broad range of pests. They break down faster in the environment than synthetic chemicals.

Chemical Strategies with Caution:

  • Targeted Insecticides: Instead of widespread application, use gel baits and spot treatments for areas where pests are confirmed, reducing the overall chemical usage.

  • Growth Regulators: Employ insect growth regulators, which don’t kill pests outright but inhibit their ability to mature and reproduce, effectively reducing the population over time.

Preventive Tips for Uncommon Pests:

  • Master Your Drainage: Soggy yards create perfect breeding grounds for pests such as mosquitoes and termites, which thrive in moist conditions. Ensuring that your property is properly graded to avoid water accumulation is crucial. This simple landscaping adjustment can significantly deter these water-loving pests by eliminating stagnant water where they breed.

  • Control Your Climate Indoors: Did you know that pests are less likely to invade a dry environment? Many household pests, such as silverfish and dust mites, thrive in moist conditions. Using dehumidifiers in damp areas of your home can make these spaces less inviting to pests. It’s a simple change that can make a big difference.

  • Brighten Up Your Garden: Reflective mulches aren’t just good for your plants; they’re also great pest deterrents. These mulches reflect sunlight and create a confusing environment for insects that might otherwise harm your garden. Plus, they can add a decorative touch to your plant beds!

By integrating these advanced and often overlooked strategies, you not only keep your home pest-free but also do so in a way that is safe for both your family and the environment. These methods ensure that your home remains a sanctuary against the intrusion of summer pests, combining innovation with safety and effectiveness.

Managing Pests in Your Yard

As we continue our guide to creating a pest-resistant environment, let’s focus on the yard—your first line of defense against seasonal pests. Effective yard maintenance not only keeps your space looking great but also significantly reduces pest problems.

Why Effective Landscaping Matters:

A well-maintained yard can deter pests before they become a problem inside your home. Here’s how to keep your outdoor spaces as pest-free as your indoors:

  • Trim and Tidy: Regularly cut back bushes, mow the lawn, and trim tree branches. This prevents pests like mosquitoes and ticks from finding shelter. A clean yard means fewer places for pests to hide and breed.

  • Water Wisely: Adjust your sprinklers to avoid excess moisture, which attracts pests. Water deeply yet infrequently to prevent standing water, a perfect breeding ground for mosquitoes.

  • Plant with Purpose: Grow plants like marigolds, lavender, and citronella, which naturally repel insects. These plants add beauty and functionality, making your garden unappealing to pests.

Tailored Tips for a Pest-Free Yard:

  • Debris Management: Keep your yard free of debris like fallen leaves and branches. These can shelter various pests or provide material for nests.

  • Barrier Strategies: Install gravel or rock strips around your home’s foundation to deter ants and termites. These physical barriers are effective and chemical-free.

  • Mulching Choices: Choose cedar or pine needle mulches to deter pests and add a fresh scent to your garden.

  • Manage Moisture: Clear gutters and eliminate standing water to discourage mosquitoes.

  • Optimal Outdoor Lighting: Replace standard outdoor bulbs with yellow bug lights, which are less enticing to night-flying insects, reducing their presence around your home.

Adopting these strategies will not only beautify your yard but also fortify it against pests. Effective pest management is about more than just appearances; it’s about creating a consistently enjoyable and healthy outdoor environment. Stick with these practices, and your yard will be a place of relaxation and natural beauty all summer long.

Pet Safety During Summer

As we protect our homes and yards from pests, it’s equally important to ensure our pets are safe during the summer months. Here’s how you can protect your beloved animals from fleas, ticks, and other pests.

Key Tips for Protecting Your Pets:

  • Regular Preventative Treatments: Use veterinarian-approved flea and tick prevention treatments. These can include topical solutions, oral medications, or collars designed to repel and kill pests.

  • Check Your Pets Regularly: Especially after they’ve been outside, check your pets for ticks and fleas. Focus on areas like the ears, neck, and under the legs where these pests like to hide.

  • Maintain Your Yard: Keep your lawn mowed and bushes trimmed. This reduces the habitat for pests and minimizes the risk of your pets picking up unwanted hitchhikers.

  • Keep Sleeping Areas Clean: Regularly wash your pet’s bedding and any fabric areas they frequent. This helps remove any flea eggs or ticks that may have been brought inside.

  • Avoid High-Risk Areas: During peak tick season, try to avoid walking your pets in heavily wooded areas or tall grasses where ticks are more prevalent.

By adopting these easy tips, you’ll help ensure your pets thrive during the summer months. Just like their owners, our furry companions love soaking up the sunshine, undisturbed by annoying pests. With your diligent care and preventive actions, your pets can fully enjoy every sunny day right by your side.

When to Call a Professional

After exploring numerous DIY pest control strategies, it’s important to recognize when these measures might not be enough, and professional help is required. Knowing when to call a pest control service can save you time and prevent infestations from escalating.

Key Signs You Need Professional Pest Control:

  • Recurring Infestations: If pests continue to reappear despite your best efforts, it may indicate a larger or more entrenched problem that requires professional intervention.

  • Large Infestations: When the scale of an infestation overwhelms regular home remedies, professionals can provide more potent solutions and resources.

  • Risks of Damage: Certain pests like termites can cause significant structural damage. Professional pest control is necessary to prevent costly repairs.

  • Health Risks: If pests pose a health risk (e.g., wasps for those allergic, or rodents carrying diseases), professionals can ensure safe and thorough removal.

What to Expect from Pest Control Services:

  • Detailed Inspection: Expect a comprehensive review of your home. Technicians will thoroughly assess your property to pinpoint the specific pests and the scale of the infestation, ensuring that no area is overlooked.

  • Personalized Treatment Plans: Based on the inspection, you’ll receive a plan specially designed for your home’s layout and your particular pest issue. This means treatments are tailored to be as effective as possible.

  • Careful Application: The experts apply treatments with precision. They use methods that are strong against pests but safe for your family and pets, balancing efficacy with safety.

  • Ongoing Support: Most companies offer follow-up services to make sure pests don’t return. These visits are key to maintaining long-term protection and ensuring your peace of mind.

By understanding these indicators and what professional services entail, you can make informed decisions about managing pest issues effectively. Sometimes, the expertise and advanced methods of a professional are what’s needed to ensure your environment remains conducive and secure.

DIY vs. Professional Pest Control

Choosing the right approach for summer pest control is crucial for keeping your home tranquil and free from pests. In this guide, we’ll explore the benefits and challenges of both DIY and professional options, helping you manage summer bugs effectively and choose the method that best suits your lifestyle.

DIY Pest Control:


  • Cost-Effective: Generally more affordable, letting you manage your budget without strain.

  • Instant Response: You can act immediately on problems, which is great for quick fixes.

  • Customized Approach: You choose the methods and products, tailoring the treatment to your comfort level and home’s needs.


  • Limited Effectiveness: May not catch all infestations, especially those hidden or widespread.

  • Safety Risks: Incorrect use of chemicals can lead to health hazards and reduced effectiveness.

  • Time-Intensive: Requires a good chunk of your time for research and application, which can add up.

Professional Pest Control:


  • Expert Knowledge: Pros bring a depth of knowledge for tackling complex issues, ensuring problems are solved efficiently.

  • Comprehensive Care: Offers more thorough solutions that address the root of the problem, not just the symptoms.

  • Reliable Follow-up: Includes regular checks to keep your home pest-free long-term.


  • Higher Costs: While effective, it’s generally pricier than DIY methods.

  • Scheduling: You’ll need to fit into the professionals’ timetables, which might not always align with yours.

When it comes to minor pest issues, going the DIY route can often suffice, offering a quick, cost-effective solution. However, if you’re facing a large-scale or dangerous infestation, professional services provide a safe, stress-free way to rid your home of pests.

Evaluate the severity of the infestation, your own capacity for effective pest control, and consider if investing in professional help might save you time and trouble in the long run.

Take Action to Protect Your Home and Health

Pest control isn’t just a chore—it’s essential for your well-being and the integrity of your living space, especially when dealing with summer bugs. Prompt intervention is key, whether you opt for DIY methods or professional summer pest control solutions.

Facing persistent or severe pest issues? Don’t let them escalate. Contact Bobcat Wildlife & Pest Control. Our team is ready to provide you with rapid, effective, and safe pest management solutions tailored specifically to your situation. We’re here to ensure your home remains a safe haven, free from unwelcome guests this summer.

Don’t wait—protect your home today. Reach out to us and take the first step towards maintaining a peaceful and secure environment for you and your family.

About the Author

Bobcat Wildlife & Pest Management, established over 12 years ago in Des Moines, IA, specializes in resolving wildlife and pest issues. Emphasizing “Your Property, Our Priority,” we are licensed by the Iowa Department of Fish and Game and the Department of Agriculture. Our team, committed to superior service, offers both one-time and yearly management programs across Des Moines and its environs, ensuring effective solutions and customer satisfaction.