WINSTON-SALEM, NC -- Warm weather is prime for outdoor activities, but this summer, experts say you'll have to deal with more bugs than usual in the Triad.
Yellow jackets, wasps, and mosquitoes can be some of the most annoying and the most painful pests out there.
But being proactive can make a difference.
When it comes to stinging insects like bees, wasps and yellow jackets, you need to know where to look.
Most times, yellow jackets and wasps build their nests underground, according to Frank Fowler with McNeely Pest Control in Winston-Salem.
"They do a very good job of blending into their environment,” said Fowler. “All you'll see is a little small opening and you will see the yellow jacket going in and out of a hole. So all the yellow jackets are going to launch out of that hole to come get you."
Fowler says wasps and yellow jackets are the most active during the summer months.
They build their nests in the spring and then feed all summer long to grow the colony as big as they can before fall.
“Their goal right now is to build it up as fast as they can and produce many offspring as they can,” said Fowler. “In doing that, they become really defensive and really aggressive towards anybody or any pet or any person that gets in their way.”
Fowler says stinging insects are highly dangerous because they attack with a “cling and sting” method -- when one latches on to the pheromones of the human body, the others can hone in and launch a group attack.
"We've had situations where customers have been hospitalized. They go into allergic shock,” said Fowler. “We've actually had some pets that have been killed because been stung so many times that they couldn't recover from it. It can be a danger to the pets and especially a small child."
Mosquitos are posing another pesky problem in the Triad this summer.
The Forsyth County Health Department put up a billboard on Highway 52 to warn people about the danger of mosquitos.
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“PROTECT YOURSELF from mosquito bites,” the sign reads, urging people to use insect repellent.
Increased rainfall totals over the spring brought on an unusually high mosquito count this summer, according to Ryan Harrison with the Forsyth County Health Department.
Some have been known to carry viruses.
Harrison says crews are working overtime -- treating highly populated areas around schools and shopping centers.
To avoid mosquitos around your property, Harrison says you should empty out any rain water left in toys, buckets, or any other containers in your backyard.
Mosquitos breed in standing water.
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