How to protect your home from bugs, pests as temperatures rise

Have you noticed more bugs around your home or yard lately?

If you have, you’re not alone. Experts say that tends to happen this time of year.

University of Hawaii at Manoa associate professor Helen Spafford, who is also the chair of the Department of Plant and Environmental Services, tells us the influx of mosquitoes, flies and slugs are due to wetter weather and warmer temperatures.

“It’s normal for pest populations to fluctuate over the course of year. For insects, it’s driven by temperature. As we see the temperatures rise, you will tend to see more insects out and about and around,” explained Spafford. “Mosquitoes do tend to require very moist, wet habitats in order to lay their eggs. We’ll see flies increase with the warmer months. Slugs also prefer moist habitats. After a rain, or around the time it’s going to rain, you’ll see slugs coming out of their protected areas.”

Spafford says managing the environment around you is the best way to control pests. That means get rid of standing water around the house, and keep your gardens clean to keep the slugs away.

“The key to managing mosquito populations is to reduce the breeding sites. Look at those potted plants around the house, any kind of garbage and things like that that may be lying around. Any pools of water are breeding sites for mosquitoes,” she said.

As for flies, there’s not much you can do, unfortunately. Spafford said, “I think a lot of it is just about keeping them out of their homes and making sure your screens are in place so flies aren’t getting in the house.”

At City Mill’s Kaimuki store, assistant manager Ron Souza says he gets customers asking for products to control mosquitoes and flies.

More recently, customers have been concerned with slugs, because of recent reports of Hawaii residents contracting rat lung worm disease.

“They’ve got an influx of it, got some coming through their yards they haven’t seen before, asking for help. We’ve got a few products,” said Souza.

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