Your guide to dealing with pesky summer bugs in Michigan

Your guide to dealing with pesky summer bugs in Michigan

It’s summertime in Michigan, and with all of the sunshine and blooming flowers come some of our least favorite things: bugs.

While bugs are important to our ecosystem, they can certainly be a nuisance in our lives. And never is that nuisance worse than it is during the summer months.


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All summer, Michiganders are going to deal with mosquitoes, ticks, wasps and more — but we aren’t doomed to suffer.

to Mark VanderWep from Rose Pest Solutions, there are steps we can take to help prevent the insects from invading our personal space, even if we can’t get rid of them altogether.

Below, VanderWerp joins us to share his expertise and provide tips for avoiding, ticks, wasps and more this summer.

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Preventing mosquito bites

Last year, Michigan had an epic mosquito season, according to VanderWerp, greatly to the above-average rainfall the region received during the summer.

In many instances, the mosquitoes biting you near your home are actually breeding near your home, too — likely either on your property or an adjacent property.

If you have backed-up gutters or standing water near your home, like an old bird bath that hasn’t been dumped out in a few weeks, you might be growing your own mosquitoes right in your backyard.

In the segment below, VanderWerp discusses his favorite ways to deter mosquitoes when hanging out outdoors.

It’s summertime in Michigan, and with all of the sunshine and blooming flowers come some of our least favorite things: bugs. While bugs are important to our ecosystem, they can be a nuisance in our lives. We’re sitting down with Mark VanderWerp from Rose Pest Solutions to learn more about what we can do to limit the nuisance. Here, VanderWerp tells us how we could be creating space for mosquitoes near our homes, and what we can do to deter them.

More: Mosquitoes are buzzing around Michigan: Here’s how to protect yourself from bites, diseases

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Preventing ticks through rodent control

What many people don’t know: The life cycle of a tick occurs over several years; they don’t just pop up in the spring.

The parasites, which are active during the warmer months, are extremely small when they’re young and are often barely visible to the naked human eye. When tick season comes around, people really only see the adult ticks — which are bigger and more likely to land on humans and their pets, as they seek larger prey.

When ticks are small and growing, they like to attach to smaller prey, like small game rodents.

VanderWerp says that by doing rodent management around your home, you can ease your tick burden, too. See what he had to say in the video below.

It’s summertime in Michigan, and with all of the sunshine and blooming flowers come some of our least favorite things: bugs. While bugs are important to our ecosystem, they can be a nuisance in our lives. We’re sitting down with Mark VanderWerp from Rose Pest Solutions to learn more about what we can do to limit the nuisance. Here, VanderWerp shows us what to do to help prevent ticks from around our homes.

More: Let’s talk about Michigan ticks: 5 you should be familiar with, how to prevent a bite and what to do if you find one

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Managing wasps, yellow jackets around your home

Wasps and yellowjackets are particularly annoying summer insects, as they can sting and potentially cause significant or severe reactions in people and pets.

According to VanderWerp, the main problematic stinging insects in Michigan are the paper wasps and the yellow jackets. The stinging insects are considered social insects. They started off with a single female in the spring, and then that colony grew over the season, our expert said.

People don’t usually notice a problem with stinging insects until the end of the summer and/or fall, like August through October, because that’s when the colonies are at their largest. During the spring months, colonies are still fairly small and fragile, VanderWerp said.

To help prevent colonies from growing near your home while it’s still early in the season, it’s important to do an inspection and look for small hives before they become too large or difficult to handle. Hear more of VanderWerp’s advice in the video below.

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It’s summertime in Michigan, and with all of the sunshine and blooming flowers come some of our least favorite things: bugs. While bugs are important to our ecosystem, they can be a nuisance in our lives. We’re sitting down with Mark VanderWerp from Rose Pest Solutions to learn more about what we can do to limit the nuisance. Here, VanderWerp is helping us learn how to manage wasps and yellowjackets.

Flower, light placement can limit insect interaction

You may not want to hear it, but it’s true: The things planted and placed around the outside of your home may actually be contributing to your insect problems.

Many of the plants and light fixtures that exist on your property are attracted to the insects that are causing you a headache during the summer.

VanderWerp says that people “love to plant bug food” in their yards, such as flowers.

While bright flowers are beautiful for humans to look at, that’s not why they bloom. Our expert says flowers bloom for pollinators to come visit them, and those pollinators are preeminent insects.

So, what can you do? It’s all about placement: Where you plant your flowers can have an impact on the number of insects hanging out in an area.

The same goes for exterior lighting. VanderWerp says that many bugs are, as we know, attracted to light — but there are ways to limit how many see those lights. Learn more in the segment below.

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It’s summertime in Michigan, and with all of the sunshine and blooming flowers come some of our least favorite things: bugs. While bugs are important to our ecosystem, they can be a nuisance in our lives. We’re sitting down with Mark VanderWerp from Rose Pest Solutions to learn more about what we can do to limit the nuisance. Here, VanderWerp tells us how the placement of our plants and flowers, and our exterior lights, can attract insects to undesired areas around our homes.

Related reading: Let’s talk about Michigan’s invasive trees and shrubs: How to identify them and the threat they pose

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