What's bugging you?

Monday, June 21, 2010

It's spring turning to summer today and that means the bugs are out, including those pesky "no-see-um" gnats that have plagued us for several weeks and finally appear to be phasing out as the weather heats up.

With more than a million species of insects in this world, bugs are literally everywhere. But don't be alarmed because most of them - most of them - are harmless and beneficial.

But some bugs can damage you, your home and impact your family's health.

Consider these facts:

Cockroaches can spread at least 33 kinds of bacteria and six kinds of parasitic worms.

Termites and carpenter ants cause structural damage in excess of $5 billion per year.

Flea bites can cause dermatitis.

Ants can infest stored food.

Most spiders are harmless; however, nearly 10,000 spider bites are reported in the United States annually, with 20 percent of those from the brown recluse - one of six poisonous spiders in the U.S.

The best way to control pests is to prevent them from entering your home and eliminating what might attract them. For example:

*Fix leaky plumbing and don't let water accumulate anywhere in an around your home.

*Store food in sealed glass or plastic containers and keep the kitchen free of cooking grease and food particles.

*Caulk cracks and crevices to control pest access.

*Bathe pets regularly so they don't carry fleas and ticks into your home.

*Dust and vaccuum often, and change and launder bedding regularly to help eliminate dust mites and other organisms from infecting you and your family.

And remember, if your home or yard is "attacked" by any group of insects, don't hesitate to use proper pesticides to eradicate the problem. Just please follow label directions.

Now, get out there and enjoy the summer season!