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21 Common Summer Insects to Look Out For

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summer insects

For many people, summer is the best time of the year. It’s the season to get outside, soak up the sun, and spend time with family and friends.

Unfortunately annoying summer insects can put a damper on those plans.

Here at Pest Dude, we help people learn about and get rid of summer insects every year.

In this blog, we’ve compiled our extensive experience to provide a complete guide to help you reclaim your space. 

Why are Insects so Common During the Summer?

We all notice more insects during the summer months, but why is that?

Here are a few key factors:

  • Increased Temperature: Insects are cold-blooded, so they rely on external conditions and temperatures to regulate their body heat. When the weather warms up in the summer, insects grow and develop faster. The heat also makes insects more active, increasing their chances of feeding and reproduction.
  • Longer Daylight Hours: Longer days provide more opportunities for insects to forage for food and mate. Some insects are mainly driven by daylight duration as a cue for the timing of their emergence and breeding cycles.
  • Abundance of Food: Summer months often coincide with a boom in plant growth and the availability of other food sources, making it easier for insects to nourish themselves and their offspring. This abundance supports larger populations and a greater diversity of species.
  • Optimal Conditions for Life Cycles: The summer provides optimal temperatures and conditions for egg-laying and larval development.

The Most Common Summer Insects & How to Control Them

Crawling Insects

Summer brings a variety of crawling insects into our gardens and homes. Here’s how to identify and manage some of the most common ones.

1. Ants

ants

Identification: Ants are small, segmented insects, typically black, brown, or red, with a narrow waist.

Habitat and Damage: Ants live in colonies often located in the ground, wood, or walls of houses. They can contaminate food and damage property.

Prevention and Management:

  • Seal entry points around the home.
  • Keep kitchen areas clean and free of crumbs.
  • Use ant baits and repellents strategically placed around the home.

2. Ticks tick

Identification: Ticks are small, spider-like creatures, brown to black, that swell after feeding.

Habitat and Damage: They are commonly found in wooded, grassy areas and can transmit diseases (such as Lyme disease) through their bites.

Prevention and Management:

  • Wear protective clothing in tick-infested areas.
  • Use tick repellents on skin and clothing and spray tick repellents in your yard (check out our top recommendations here).
  • Check for ticks after spending time outdoors.
  • Learn more about how to get rid of ticks here

3. Fleas

flea

Identification: Fleas are tiny, dark brown insects that jump when disturbed.

Habitat and Damage: Pets often bring fleas into the home. Their bites cause discomfort and can transmit diseases.

Prevention and Management:

  • Regularly wash pet bedding and vacuum areas frequented by pets.
  • Use flea treatments on pets as recommended by a veterinarian.
  • Employ environmental controls like sprays and powders in the home.
  • Learn more about how to get rid of fleas here

4. Bed Bugs

bed bugs

Identification: Bed bugs are small, reddish-brown insects that feed on blood and are often found in mattresses and furniture.

Habitat and Damage: They can live in any environment as long as they have access to humans as their food source. They are not known to spread diseases but can cause itching and discomfort from bites.

Prevention and Management:

  • Inspect hotel rooms or second-hand furniture for signs of bed bugs before use.
  • Use protective covers on mattresses and pillows (check out our list of top bed bug treatments here).
  • Treat infested areas with heat or insecticides.
  • Learn more about how to get rid of bed bugs here

5. Termites

termites

Identification: Termites are pale, soft-bodied insects that live in large colonies. They’re often mistaken for ants.

Habitat and Damage: Feed on wood, causing significant damage to structures over time.

Prevention and Management:

  • Eliminate wood-to-soil contact around the home.
  • Reduce moisture in and around the home to make it less attractive to termites.
  • Regularly inspect the home for signs of termite activity and use baits and barriers as preventive measures.
  • Learn more about how to get rid of termites here

6. Japanese Beetles

japanese beetles

Identification: Japanese Beetles are green and copper-colored winged insects that are about 0.6 inches long.

Habitat and Damage: These insects feed on the leaves, flowers, and fruits of more than 300 plant species, causing significant damage.

Prevention and Management:

  • Hand-pick beetles off plants early in the morning.
  • Use traps placed away from desired plants to lure and capture beetles.
  • Apply insecticidal soap or neem oil to affected plants.

7. Spiders

spider on the green background

Identification: Spiders are a diverse family of insects classified by eight legs and a two-segmented body. Size and color vary widely.

Habitat and Damage: There are an estimated 45,000 species of spiders worldwide. The most common household varieties can be found in undisturbed areas like corners, under furniture, or gardens. While spiders control other pests, some species can bite when threatened.

Prevention and Management:

  • Keep areas clean and free of clutter.
  • Seal cracks and crevices around the home.
  • Use natural predators like birds or ladybugs in gardens.

8. Centipedes centipedes

Identification: Centipedes have long, slender bodies with one pair of legs per body segment. They are typically yellowish or dark brown.

Habitat and Damage: These pests prefer moist and dark environments. Although they prey on other insects, their appearance can be unsettling, and they can bite people or pets when threatened.

Prevention and Management:

  • Reduce moisture in and around the home.
  • Seal entry points to the home.
  • Remove leaf litter and debris from around the property.
  • Learn more about how to get rid of centipedes here

9. Millipedes

millipedes

Identification: Millipedes have cylindrical bodies with two pairs of legs per body segment, often dark brown or black.

Habitat and Damage: These pests thrive in damp environments and feed on decaying organic matter. They don’t cause structural damage but can invade homes in large numbers.

Prevention and Management:

  • Keep the home and its perimeter dry.
  • Remove organic debris from around the house.
  • Use perimeter pesticides as a barrier.

10. Roaches

cockroach

Identification: Cockroaches have oval-shaped bodies, long antennae, and six legs. They can vary in size and color.

Habitat and Damage: Roaches live in dark, warm areas, especially near food and water. They can spread diseases by contaminating food and surfaces.

Prevention and Management:

  • Keep kitchen areas clean and free of food debris.
  • Seal all food containers.
  • Use baits, traps, and insecticides as needed.
  • Learn more about how to get rid of roaches here

11. Spider Mites

spider mites

Identification: Spider mites are tiny red or spotted mites, often visible as moving dots on the underside of leaves or as webbing on plants.

Habitat and Damage: These pests live on plants, causing yellowing, browning, or death of leaves by sucking sap. They thrive in hot, dry conditions.

Prevention and Management:

  • Increase humidity around plants.
  • Introduce natural predators, like ladybugs.
  • Use insecticidal soaps or oils.

12. Aphids

Aphids

Identification: Aphids are small, soft-bodied insects that vary in color. They are often found in colonies on the undersides of leaves.

Habitat and Damage: These pests feed on plant sap, causing leaves to curl, yellow, or deform. They can also spread plant diseases.

Prevention and Management:

  • Use water sprays to dislodge aphids from plants.
  • Introduce natural predators.
  • Apply neem oil or insecticidal soap.

13. Lace Bugs

lace bugs

Identification: Lace bugs are small, flat insects with transparent, lace-like wings. Found on the underside of leaves.

Habitat and Damage: These pests suck sap from leaves, causing stippling, yellowing, or death. Primarily affect ornamental plants.

Prevention and Management:

  • Check the undersides of leaves regularly.
  • Remove and destroy heavily infested leaves.
  • Use insecticidal soaps or oils.

Flying Insects

14. Mosquitoes

mosquitoes

Identification: Mosquitoes are tiny, flying insects with a distinctive buzzing sound. Females have a proboscis for sucking blood.

Habitat and Damage: Mosquitos breed in stagnant water and are known for biting humans and animals, causing itchy welts. Species like the Asian Tiger Mosquito spread dengue, and other species spread diseases like malaria, Zika, and West Nile virus.

Prevention and Management:

  • Eliminate standing water sources.
  • Use mosquito repellent.
  • Install screens on windows and doors.
  • Learn more about how to get rid of mosquitoes here

15. Wasps

wasps

Identification: Wasps have a slender body with a narrow waist and yellow and black markings.

Habitat and Damage: Wasps nest in soil, walls, or trees. These pests can become aggressive when threatened, stinging multiple times. In some cases, their stings can cause allergic reactions

Prevention and Management:

  • Keep food and drinks covered outdoors.
  • Seal entry points to homes.
  • Use wasp traps or insecticide for nests.
  • Learn more about how to get rid of wasps here

16. Fireflies

firefly

Identification: Fireflies are soft-bodied, winged insects known for their bioluminescent abdomen.

Habitat and Damage: Fireflies are found in fields, marshes, and wooded areas. Generally harmless, known for their enchanting light displays at dusk.

Prevention and Management:

  • No specific prevention is needed, as they do not cause damage.

17. Bees

bees

Identification: Bees are fuzzy, flying insects with black and yellow stripes. They’re widely considered a beneficial species since they’re critical for pollination.

Habitat and Damage: Bees live in hives and are rarely aggressive unless provoked. Stings can be painful and dangerous for those with allergies.

Prevention and Management:

  • Avoid disturbing bee hives.
  • Use smoke or professional services for hive removal if necessary.

18. Hornets hornet

Identification: Hornets are larger than wasps, with black and white or yellow markings.

Habitat and Damage: Hornets build large paper-like nests. They can be very aggressive when nests are disturbed.

Prevention and Management:

  • Avoid nests and keep a safe distance.
  • Contact professionals for nest removal.

19. Flies

outdoor fly

Identification: Flies are small, dark-colored insects with two wings. They are known for persistent buzzing.

Habitat and Damage: Most species of flies thrive in decaying organic matter, spreading germs and more than 65 diseases.

Prevention and Management:

  • Keep living areas clean and free of waste.
  • Use fly screens and traps.
  • Learn more about how to get rid of flies here

20. Yellow Jackets

yellow jacket wasp

Identification: Yellow jackets resemble bees but have a brighter yellow color and slimmer body.

Habitat and Damage: These pests build nests in the ground or cavities. They are known to be aggressive and sting in defense of their nest.

Prevention and Management:

  • Cover food during outdoor events.
  • Seal garbage cans tightly.
  • Use traps or seek professional nest removal.

21. Sawflies

sawfly

Identification: Sawflies look similar to wasps but do not sting. Their larvae resemble caterpillars.

Habitat and Damage: Sawfly larvae feed on plant leaves, causing significant damage to foliage.

Prevention and Management:

  • Handpick larvae off plants.
  • Use insecticidal soap or neem oil.
  • Encourage natural predators like birds.

You Don’t Have to Live With Annoying Summer Pests Forever

Do crawling or flying summer insects have you down? While DIY approaches can be practical, there comes a time when you just need some extra help.

Fortunately, we’re here for you.

We work with a network of skilled pest management professionals.

Call (844) 532-0076, and we’ll connect you with a reliable professional in your area!

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Get a Free Quote

Give us a call today to receive your free, no-obligation pest control quote.

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Author Bio: Zachary Smith

Zachary Smith is the founder of PestDude.com. Zachary is a licensed pest control professional with 20+ years of hands on experience eradicating pests from homes and businesses. Zachary earned his Bachelor of Science from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo in 2002. He specializes in rodent and insect infestation management of structures and landscapes. His passion is to share his extensive knowledge with the world.

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