Terminix Identifies Top Five Most Irritating Summertime Bugs

Mosquitoes Overwhelmingly Take Top Spot in Harris Interactive® Survey

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The best way to help protect your home from summer pests is to schedule a home inspection from a local professional. However, there are simple fixes that homeowners can do to help minimize summertime pest activity.

Memphis, TN (PRWEB) July 02, 2013

While Americans may be getting into the swing of summer, most will be doing more swatting throughout the next couple of months. Terminix, the world’s largest pest control provider, partnered with Harris Interactive® to identify the top five most irritating summertime bugs, and those that sting or bite took highest honors.

The Top Five Most Irritating Summer Bugs, according to the survey, are mosquitoes, ants, wasps, spiders and bees.

“The best way to help protect your home from summer pests is to schedule a home inspection from a local professional,” said Stan Cope, Ph.D. and entomologist with Terminix. “However, there are simple fixes that homeowners can do to help minimize summertime pest activity.”

Below is more detail about each of the most irritating summertime bugs, including the percentage of adults ranking it as one of their top five, along with simple tips and pointers to help avoid these annoying summer pests.

1.    Mosquitoes – 88%
Those in the Midwest (94%), South (90%) and Northeast (89%) find mosquitoes more bothersome than those in the West (78%), with women more likely than men to say they’re irritated (91% versus 84%, respectively).

Mosquitoes are not only annoying, but they can also be dangerous. In recent years there has been a dramatic rise in the number of reported cases in the United States of West Nile virus, with 2012 marking an all-time high. The potentially serious illness is transmitted through the bite of an infected mosquito. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend using an insect repellant to prevent bites and minimize risk. Terminix offers a line of all-natural mosquito repellers and misters designed to provide protection for spaces up to 2,000 square feet. Click here for more information.

Terminix also recommends the following practical tips to keep families and pets better protected from mosquitoes this season:

  •     Repair damaged and clogged gutters that allow water to collect. Use soil to fill in low areas in lawns and landscaped sections where rainwater may accumulate and stand for more than seven days.
  •     Regularly empty standing water found in outdoor pots, saucers, barrels and “kiddie pools.” Empty and refill birdbaths at least once a week.
  •     Drill holes in the bottom of tire swings to allow water to properly drain.
  •     Install an agitator in garden ponds or buy fish that eat mosquito larvae. The wave actions created by an agitator discourage female mosquitoes from laying eggs.
  •     Switch outdoor lighting from mercury vapor lamps to sodium vapor lamps to attract fewer mosquitoes to the building. Mercury vapor lights can be used to light areas away from the building and help to lure insects away from the building at night.

2.    Ants – 67%
Women (71%) are more likely than men (62%) to be irritated by ants, as are those ages 45-54 (76%) compared to 18-44 year olds (62%) and adults 55+ (68%). Simple tips to avoid ants ruining your summer include:

  •     When landscaping, avoid using plants like roses, shrubs and fruit trees that are prone to aphids and similar insects, which ants use as a primary food source. Layers of mulch and heavy vegetative ground covers hold the moisture needed by ants to thrive.
  •     Store any firewood away from the home and remove any dead wood or wood scraps from around the exterior foundation, where ant colonies can often be found. Trim dead limbs from trees and remove stumps.
  •     Seal all plumbing or roof leaks and check crawl spaces and attics for excess moisture.
  •     Water from rain gutters should be directed away from the home and not be allowed to accumulate close to the foundation.

3.    Wasps – 62%
Survey participants in the Midwest (67%) and Northeast (64%), as well as more women (65%) than men (59%) ranked wasps as one of their “top five” most irritating bugs. The key to avoiding being stung is to be aware, as outlined by these pointers:

  •     When working in a garden or flowerbed, be aware of numerous wasps flying into and away from a single point in the garden or to a hole in the side of the house. This will usually indicate where a colony might be located.
  •     Be careful when using powered lawn equipment, such as edgers, trimmers and mowers. Loud, vibrating noises disturb wasps and may send them into an attacking frenzy.
  •     If wasps are seen entering and exiting a wall, DO NOT plug the hole – you will only force them to find another way out. Sometimes they might actually eat through an interior wall and enter the house.
  •     Stay away from nests once they are located, as the colonies may contain several hundred workers by the end of the season. Instead, call a professional with expertise in wasp removal.

4.    Spiders – 54%
Women aged 18-34 (61%) are more likely than any age group of men to identify this bug as a “top five” summer irritant. The good news is that while there are thousands of species of spiders found in the U.S., most are not dangerous. However, the sight of even the smallest spider can send arachnophobes running. Terminix suggests these simple steps to help prevent the next scary encounter:

  •     Remove clutter in the basement and garage, as these are potential harborages for spiders as well as for the insects they prey upon. Do not store any items in a crawlspace.
  •     Remove all items lying on the ground, such as piles of lumber and other debris to prevent new infestations coming from the home’s exterior.
  •     Heavy vegetation like ivy and other ground covers should be cut at least 18 inches away from the building foundation. Branches of trees and shrubs touching the house should be cut back away from the roof and walls of the building.
  •     Seal cracks around pipes, wires, and cables leading up into the structure from the crawlspace or basement and down from the attic. Also seal cracks around vents and light fixtures in the ceiling.

5.    Bees – 50%
Those in the Northeast (63%) are most likely to say bees irritate them as compared to those in the Midwest (52%), South (46%) or West (44%). For most, bees are simply an irritating insect, but for about two million people in the U.S., bee stings can result in allergic reactions or even death. Terminix suggests these simple pointers to keep your back yard bee-free this summer:

  •     Fill in all animal burrows and holes in the soil to prevent bees from establishing underground nests.
  •     Seal holes in the building’s exterior and ensure that all vents have tight-fitting screens.
  •     Paint bare wood to deter carpenter and other bees.

Survey Methodology
The survey was conducted online within the United States by Harris Interactive from June 11-13, 2013 among 2,037 adults ages 18 and older. For more detailed information on the survey methodology, including weighting variables, please click here.

About Terminix
Terminix is the world’s largest pest control provider. Headquartered in Memphis, Tenn., Terminix services approximately 3 million residential and commercial customers in 47 states and 14 countries. Terminix provides pest control services and protection against termites, rodents and other pests threatening human health and/or safety. Terminix is a subsidiary of The ServiceMaster Company, one of the world's largest residential service networks. The company’s brands include Terminix, TruGreen, American Home Shield, ServiceMaster Clean, Merry Maids, Furniture Medic and AmeriSpec. To learn more about Terminix, visit http://www.Terminix.com.

About ServiceMaster
With a global network of more than 7,300 company-owned, franchise and licensed locations, Memphis-based ServiceMaster is one of the world’s largest residential service networks. The company’s high-profile brands are Terminix, TruGreen, American Home Shield, ServiceMaster Clean, Merry Maids, Furniture Medic and AmeriSpec. Through approximately 20,000 corporate associates and a franchise network that independently employs an estimated 31,000 additional people, the ServiceMaster family of brands provided services and products to approximately 8 million customers during the last 12 months. The company’s market-leading brands provide a range of residential and commercial services including termite and pest control; lawn, tree and shrub care; home warranties and preventative maintenance contracts; furniture repair; home inspections; home cleaning; janitorial services; and disaster restoration. Go to http://www.servicemaster.com for more information about ServiceMaster or follow the company at twitter.com/ServiceMaster or facebook.com/TheServiceMasterCo.


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