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Thursday, Sep 18, 2014
Health & Fitness

Take the sting out of summer


Published:   |   Updated: June 29, 2013 at 03:42 PM

It's so darn hot outside, all you want to do is grab a cold drink and make a beeline for the a shady seat poolside. But what if bees or other stinging insects are stationed between you and your favorite chaise lounge?

Here's a list of some of the stinging insects you might encounter this summer.

Wasps: Wasps are the most aggressive of the summer stingers. They love to build nests in your patio chairs and umbrella. They should be given a wide berth as they sometimes attack humans for no apparent reason.

Fire Ants: Many think red imported fire ants bite, but the actually sting. Avoid their signature mounds as they will sting multiple times if their nest is disturbed. If you accidentally step in a mound, make a run for the pool - it seems to reduce the pain.

Mosquitoes: Mosquitoes are summer's most notorious stinger and can transmit diseases, includingWest Nile Virus and encephalitis, in addition to the painful, itchy welts they leave behind.

Yellow jackets: Yellow jackets typically create their nests in the ground but they can also be found in attics. A fully developed nest can contain thousands of adult yellow jackets and these stingers will vigorously pursue intruders if their nest is disturbed.

Hornets: Like wasps, yellow jackets and fire ants, hornets are social stinging insects and present a greater threat because they attack in large numbers if they perceive their nest is danger.

Here are a few steps you can take to avoid the stingers in your yard:

Serve sugary drinks in covered pitchers and keep desserts in tightly sealed containers.

Make sure all outdoor trash cans have a secure lid that is kept in place.

Remove sources of standing water, such as old tires, children's wading pools, birdbaths and saucers of flowerpots.

Cut back or get rid of unnecessary vegetation around your home; keep plants that attract bees away from walkways.

Seal all cracks around the foundation of your home and ensure all screens are in good repair.

If you plan to take out a single nest, most experts advise waiting until evening to spray. If an infestation is suspected, homeowners should contact a licensed pest professional to remove the insects from the property.

Sources: Arrow Exterminators (www.arrowexterminators.com); mamapedia.com

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