As Americans celebrate Independence Day outdoors, pest control giant Orkin, Inc., warns about the four common pests that are most likely to crash the holiday festivities: mosquitoes, ticks, fire ants and wasps.
“Pests usually are attracted to food, water and optimal temperatures, so they love July Fourth as much as anyone,” said Ron Harrison, Ph.D., Orkin entomologist and technical director. “By understanding what attracts these pests, people can take simple steps to protect themselves.”
Mosquitoes, which transmit malaria, encephalitis and other deadly diseases, are among the most dangerous pests in the world. Although malaria has been eliminated from the U.S., mosquitoes still spread West Nile virus (WNV) and other harmful viruses. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, mosquitoes that spread WNV are most likely to bite between dusk and dawn.
Ticks, most active from May through September, can transmit Lyme disease and Rocky Mountain spotted fever.
Orkin: fight the bite of mosquitoes and protect family members and pets against tick bites:
- Apply an EPA-approved insect repellant on exposed skin or clothing.
- Wear long-sleeved shirts, pants and socks outdoors, especially when near standing water, shrubbery or tall grass.
- Remove standing water from gutters, flower pots and elsewhere; mosquitoes can breed in only a thimble-full of water.
- Always check family members and pets promptly after being outdoors.
Fire ants are very protective of their colonies. When threatened, they repeatedly sting, causing blisters or pustules. Wasps, including yellow jackets and hornets, can sting, causing headaches, fever, vomiting and other symptoms.
These insects can even be deadly to people allergic to their venom. According to the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology, stinging insects send more than 500,000 people to hospital emergency rooms and cause at least 40 deaths annually in the United States.
To prevent injury from stinging insects:
- Seal food tightly in containers.
- Cover soda cans or drink from clear cups. Yellow jackets love sugar and may enter cans unseen.
- Empty and wash garbage cans regularly.
- Mow yards to make ant mounds visible and avoidable.
About Orkin, Inc.
Founded in 1901, Atlanta-based Orkin, Inc. is an industry leader in essential pest control services and protection against termite damage, rodents and insects in the United States, Canada, Mexico, Central America, the Middle East, the Caribbean and Asia. With more than 400 locations, Orkin’s almost 8,000 employees serve approximately 1.7 million customers. The company serves homeowners and numerous industries including food and beverage processing, foodservice, hospitality, healthcare, retail, warehousing, property/facilities management, schools and institutions. Learn more about Orkin on our website at www.orkin.com. Orkin is a wholly owned subsidiary of Rollins, Inc. (NYSE: ROL).