The 5 most dangerous insects to avoid this fall — Best Life

You might feel relieved that summer—the peak season for buzzing, prickly, and flying pests—is over, but fall has its own set of spooky critters to watch out for. Besides being disgusting (at least to most people!), these bugs can be incredibly dangerous. What is most worrying is that many of them seem harmless. To learn how to protect yourself this fall, we spoke to pest experts and scientists about the season’s most active insects. Read on to learn about the five most dangerous insects to avoid this fall and how to protect yourself from them.

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TH Chris / Shutterstock

In early fall, cooler temperatures cause flies to seek warmth in our homes. Although they don’t bite, they carry many diseases and bacteria that you may not have realized.

“The list of diseases that the common house fly carries and spreads includes many of mankind’s worst killers: typhoid, cholera, gangrene, tuberculosis, gonorrhea, bubonic plague, leprosy, diphtheria, scarlet fever, amoebic dysentery, poliomyelitis and many more,” explains Sholom Rosenbloom, owner of Rosenbloom Pest Control. “Some flies prefer the eye and transfer pink eye (conjunctivitis) and trachoma microbes from diseased eyes to your healthy eyes. Others spread yaws, a skin disease, when they feed on your cuts and wounds.”

Each fly can carry up to six million bacteria on its feet. If he has recently walked in the feces, he can transmit to humans, mainly to children, the pathogens responsible for the diseases mentioned above (as well as infectious hepatitis, as well as the eggs of parasitic worms).

To get rid of flies naturally, Rosenbloom suggests making a ginger basil spray. “There are also some other home remedies that people say have worked for them, including apple cider vinegar traps, eucalyptus oil spray, lavender oil spray, and hot pepper.”

two wasps

Wasp stings can be dangerous and potentially fatal if people are allergic. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), an average of 62 people die each year from the stings of hornets, wasps and bees. And autumn is their active season.

“Unlike bees, which can protect and maintain an entire colony in their hives over winter, only queen wasps survive each spring,” explains Charles van Rees, PhD, conservation scientist and naturalist. “They take all spring and summer to raise a new brood of young, a few at a time, into a bustling new wasp nest. that more wasps are more active in hunting for food, for more babies.”

Yellow jacket wasps, a common type of wasp, are known to be active in the fall. According David Price, an associate certified entomologist at Mosquito Joe, it’s because their food sources are drying up and they desperately need the sugar in sodas and fermenting fruits. “It’s survival of the fittest as winter approaches; workers will die and newly fertilized queens will seek shelter to overwinter and start a new colony in the spring. A single sting can be life threatening. for an allergic person.

The best way to keep wasps away is to make sure you don’t leave any food sources (candy, drinks, food) available to them. If you have a very large population of wasps, a baited wasp trap is an option, as are sprays for individual wasps. To remove a nest that is near or in your home, it is best to call a professional.

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Tick ​​on person's finger

One of North America’s most dangerous insects, the deer tick, is most active in the fall. This little plague gets activated when other species of ticks begin to slow down for the winter. Fall is when deer ticks complete their life cycle by assuming their adult form, finding mates and producing eggs.

“Like other tick life stages that require growth and molting, this means they have to forage for a blood meal,” according to van Rees. “Because they are at their largest size – especially females – and some have to produce energy-intensive eggs, this also means they need their biggest blood meal of their lifetime. They are adapted to seek out larger hosts in the fall, which in the past meant mostly deer.Since fall is mating season for deer, they are especially active and mobile at this time.

The young life stages of deer ticks can transmit several dangerous diseases, the main one being Lyme disease, from bacteria they can pick up from smaller hosts during their early life stages. According to van Rees, approximately 500,000 people in the United States contract Lyme disease from deer ticks each year. Other tick-borne diseases include anaplasmosis (a bacterial infection), Rocky Mountain spotted fever, and babesiosis (a red blood cell disease). Young ticks are more active in the summer, but that’s no reason to let your guard down in the fall.

To protect yourself from ticks, Price advises using “Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) registered insect repellents containing DEET, picaridin, IR3535, oil of lemon eucalyptus , para-menthane-diol or 2-undecanone” in wooded or leafy areas. . Additionally, it says to “treat clothing and gear, such as boots, pants, socks, and tents with products containing 0.5% permethrin.” And, of course, always check yourself and your pets when you come inside.

Spider building web

Turns out fall is mating season for spiders. According to Price, black widow spiders and yellow sac spiders release venom with their bite, which can be painful with fever, nausea, and sweating. Brown recluse spider bites are also very painful and can cause necrosis of subcutaneous tissue.

“As the days get colder, the poisonous spiders come closer or enter our homes,” Price says. “Particularly when the temperatures change and they prepare for winter.” To guard against this encroachment, “make sure screens are in good repair, doors are sealed, and seal cracks and crevices around the house. Also be aware that a spider or other insects may be lurking in the piles of wood”.

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Mattress with bedbugs

Fall is peak bed bug season. “As families return home from summer trips and children return to school, bedbugs have many opportunities to hitchhike in bags, backpacks , luggage and clothing,” according to M and M Pest Control.

These tiny reddish-brown bugs hide deep in your mattress and feed on you while you sleep. And while bed bugs aren’t medically dangerous (the bites are just itchy and don’t cause disease), they are extremely difficult and expensive to get rid of, which makes them very dangerous to your mental health, not to mention your social life.

Bedbugs live in the seams and creases of mattresses, in the cracks and joints of headboards and bed frames, in the corners and screw holes of dressers and bedside tables, behind wall decorations framed and in cracks along baseboards. The best way to be vigilant to prevent bed bugs is to make sure you clear out the clutter, install door sweeps to prevent the bugs from migrating from room to room, and record the luggage when returning from a trip (or when the children return from university).

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