Mosquitos Flying In Garden

How to Avoid Pesky Summer Pests

Greenfly all over your summer veggies or bluebottles flying round the BBQ are a real summer buzzkill. The abundance of food in our houses and gardens make them very attractive to summer pests like flies, ants and rodents, but there are steps you can take to minimise these unwanted visitors.

Preventing summer pests is always easier than removing them so even if you’ve never been bothered by creepy crawlies before, have a scan through our tips to keep it that way!

Ants                                                                                

Ants On Stone Floor
Why They Come Visiting:

Ants will be attracted to the food in your home and will want to both eat it and take it back to their nest. Initially scout ants will enter your house whilst foraging. If these ants report back that there is food to be had in your kitchen you may soon find yourself inundated with more!

Three Top Tips To Avoid Ants:

  1. Fill your kitchen with natural plants, oils and other substances that deter ants and mask their scent trails like peppermint, citrus fruits, vinegar, cinnamon and coffee grounds. Mint or lavender planted near entrances to your home are also effective.
  2. Keep your kitchen counters dry as well as free from crumbs as ants are attracted to water sources.
  3. If you see a single solitary ant it’s most likely a scout ant. You’ll need to squish it to avoid it returning to the nest. Wipe down the area around the ant with cleaning spray or a vinegar solution to eliminate scent trails.

How to Get Rid of These Summer Pests:

  • Don’t leave any food for the ants to take advantage of. Seal up food packages, clean any crumbs or spillages, wash dishes promptly and wipe down areas around pet foods. If there’s no food for the ants they may move on of their own accord.
  • Follow the ants’ trail to see where they are entering your home from. Fill any holes with sealant or put ant powder in the gaps to block off the routes into your home.
  • If you’re still being invaded a smoke killer is an effective way to eliminate ant infestations or you can try poisoned ant bait which ants will carry back to their nest, wiping out the whole colony

Flies

Summer Pests: Fruit Flies On Fruit
Why They Come Visiting:

Flies only reproduce in the warm summer months, hence the summer invasion. They’re attracted to both light and food, particularly meats and sugary foods like fruit so you’ll most likely find them buzzing about your kitchen. Some types can even lay eggs in your rubbish bin and hatch in your own home if you’re not careful!

Three Top Tips to Avoid Flies:

  1. Keep a lid on your bin and empty it regularly.
  2. Keep outdoor compost piles far away from your windows and doors.
  3. Minimise food around your home. As with ants, wash up your dishes after eating, sweep up crumbs promptly and clean up any uneaten pet food from your pet’s bowl.

How to Get Rid of These Summer Pests:

  • Fly stickers look like flowers and are stuck on the windows where it’s light, which attracts the flies. Once they land on these stickers they’re stuck for good!
  • Hanging fly tape around your home will also trap the flies – it’s not so pretty but it’s effective.
  • Insect spray works well on winged insects like flies. Make sure to sweep up the dead flies and disinfect the area though, to avoid the germs flies bring with them.
  • Don’t leave your windows open when your lights are on inside. In no time at all you’ll find an invasion of flies, midges and moths buzzing around your bulbs.

Slugs

Slug Wrapped Around Stem
Why They Come Visiting:

Slugs love juicy stems and leaves that sprout up in your garden in spring and summer, like succulent lettuce or tender tulips. They love moisture too so you’re most likely to find them in the damper areas of your garden.

Three Top Tips to Avoid Slugs:

  1. Plant plants that slugs dislike as a deterrent such as ferns, grasses, lavender, rosemary and roses.
  2. Encourage birds into your garden with bird-feeders and trees and hedges for them to roost. Your new feathered friends will then eat the slugs.
  3. Water your garden in the morning not the evening so the ground is less damp at night and clear any piles of damp leaves or garden debris which may have built up around your garden.

How to Get Rid of These Summer Pests:

  • Slug traps filled with beer or lettuce in salty or soapy water around your garden will draw slugs in and keep them away from your precious plants.
  • Use copper tape to mark out areas of your garden. It’ll give slugs a small electric shock which will stop them entering your flower beds or vegetable patch. But make sure there aren’t any stems, leaves or branches outside the area you’ve taped off that sneaky slugs can use to get across!
  • You can also use salt or slug pellets to kill slugs, but these have the unfortunate downside of potentially seeping into your soil and affecting the growth of your plants.

Aphids (Greenfly)

Greenfly Underneath Leaf
Why They Come Visiting:

Aphid eggs that have lain dormant over winter hatch in spring, just in time to enjoy the sap in the lovely tender sprouting stems of your rose bushes or vegetable plants.

Three Top Tips to Avoid Greenfly

  1. Plant buddleia or wall flowers that attract aphid predators like ladybirds, or lacewings. These flowering plants have the added benefit of making your garden smell lovely.
  2. Plant plants that deter aphids like garlic, onions, sage, thyme, mint and lavender.
  3. Banana and orange peels pushed into the soil around the base of aphid susceptible plants are also said to deter these bugs.

How to Get Rid of These Summer Pests:

  • If aphids have infested your greenhouse, you can fumigate it with a smoke fumigator to get rid.
  • Alternatively you can spray aphids off your plants with a hose (though be sure not to let the jets of water damage the plants you’re trying to save!)
  • Aluminium foil reflects light which aphids don’t like and so put it at the base of your plants and the aphids should move on. Foil also has the added bonus of helping your plants get more light.

Mice & Rats

Mouse On Sesame Seed Bread
Why They Come Visiting:

The saying goes that you’re never more than six foot away from a rat. Whilst research suggests that this is thankfully a myth, there’s no denying that rats and mice are common in the UK. They’re actually more prevalent in homes in winter as they take refuge from the cold weather and food is scarcer. But in summer you may find rodents are enjoying your tasty ripe vegetables before you get the chance to, or hiding out in your garden shed in rainy weather.

Three Top Tips to Avoid Mice and Rats

  1. Keep your shed secure, blocking off any small gaps and holes rodents may use to gain entrance.
  2. Keep lids on your bins and compost heaps so rodents move on in their search for food.
  3. If you see a rodent near your home act fast – rats and mice breed very quickly so one rat could soon become an infestation

How to Get Rid of These Pests:

  • Ultrasonic repellers are a great way to ward off rodents without doing them any harm. These repellers can also discourage birds from entering your garden (so they’re not the best option if you’re a keen birdwatcher)!
  • Traditional traps are the classic way to rid homes of rodents, they just need baiting with a bit of cheese or cake.
  • Electronic traps instantly kill rodents humanely, shocking them when they come into contact.

Now all this advice wouldn’t be much good if we didn’t also provide the tools for the job. If it’s getting hard to live with the small creatures that have made their way into your home without an invitation you can find a number of pest repellents and killers on the eSpares site.

Do you have an old wives tale that actually works when it comes to getting rid of summer pests? Share it with us in the comments!


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