Spring is here and summer is on the horizon; but with good weather comes increase insect activity. Every living creature has its place on this planet but sometimes summer insects like ants and wasps can bump up against people and cause problems in their homes and gardens.
The fellows at Greenway IPM have shared some tips with us on how to help get this sorted out.
You have to draw the line somewhere
The increase in activity in ants and wasps is entirely natural in summer; but does this mean you need to put up with a pest invasion in your home and garden? Both wasps and ants are attracted to sugary foods, which isn’t good news when trying to enjoy some food in your outdoor spaces, or if ants find their way into your kitchen cupboards. The first thing to do would be to remove any foods that might attract these pests. Both wasps and ants utilise scouts to find new food sources. Once a scout finds a food source they will take the message back to the nest and bring back more individuals. This can lead to kitchen cupboards or outdoor eating areas quickly being swamped with ants or wasps which can be dangerous in the case of wasps, who possess a painful sting. Keeping desirable food and drinks out of reach will help suppress numbers of these insects.
Tackle the nest, not the individual if activity levels get too high
If you have tried to keep desirable foods out of the way and they are still a problem it may be time to think about tackling the source of the problem. Targeted treatments for both wasps and ants can lead to low chemical usage with 100% effective results. How many times have you seen somebody sprinkle large amounts of ant powder on the floor just to see ants emerging a foot away from where the powder is. Area treatments are not very effective as they do not destroy the nest (the source of the problem) and actually lead to the death of more non target species. The best treatments deal with only the target species (ants or wasps) without killing other insects or leading to the release of large amounts of chemical into the environment. Greenway always use targeted treatments, to reduce their chemical usage and to remove the threat to non target species.
Maintaining a natural balance; environmentally-friendly pest control
As much as ants and wasps are pests, they each have biological importance to the habitat, so it would be in your best interests to collaborate with environmentally conscious professionals to come up with the best solution that solves the problem of them being pests, but maintains their role in the surrounding ecosystem.
Many of the more aggressive and synthetic solutions for the killing off of wasps would affect the bees that pollinate the plants in the area, for instance, but there definitely needs to be a balance, because surely you should be able to enjoy your home and garden and not have to share it with pests if you don’t choose to.