Invasion of insects: How to keep them out of your home

Sweep, squish, or save?

That’s the big question as the warmer weather brings in unwelcomed intruders.

“Through June the number one call we get by far will be ants, now that the termites have dwindled down some,” Derek Keith, general manager for Bug Man Exterminating said.

Exterminators told me that if you see just a couple of carpenter ants, it’s a good idea to squish them.

“Deal with them however you’d like to but if you are starting to see more and more then there could be a problem behind a wall or something like that. So, it’s definitely worth having someone come out,” Keith said.

The Virginia Cooperative Extension said that carpenter ants don’t damage sound wood-only water-damaged wood that is soft or rotten.

Ticks are also on the rise as summer comes around, Bug Man Exterminating told me a yard spray in places they will hide, like shrubbery is the way to go.

“Spiders, stink bugs, bees, all those types of things kick in the later parts of the summer,” he said.

Most of the insect bites in Virginia happen on your fingertips or feet. I’m told to always check your shoes for spiders before slipping them on.

Exterminators said that recently calls for stink bugs in the area have gone down, but it’s not uncommon to find them in your home.

“Correct, you do not want to squish a stink bug because that’s what actually causes them to secret the smell. It’s a defense mechanism. And in certain times of the year that can actually attract the other ones so it’s something you definitely don’t want to do if you don’t have to. If you have to pick it up and remove it take a paper towel and don’t squeeze,” he said.

Bug Man Exterminating said the main thing is being careful and knowing what it is. If it’s something that can sting, squishing it isn’t the best idea.

“Never squish a honeybee, if you can save those, push them out, that’s what you want to do with those,” he said.

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