Georgia is home to a multitude of animals, and that includes insects. And some of them can be dangerous or destructive. The start of spring heralds a new wave of these pests, but you can take measures to protect yourself and your home from these unwanted bugs.
Atlanta, Georgia ranks tenth in the U.S. when it comes to bedbug treatments. While more common in urban centers, even smaller cities like Rome, Powder Springs, and Riverdale reported serious bedbug infestations — notably in high-rise apartments. Bedbugs are scary creatures. They exclusively feed on the blood of sleeping humans or animals — and constant exposure to their nighttime bites often leads to insomnia, anxiety, depression, skin problems, and infections. Early signs of bedbugs in your home include tiny bloodstains on your pillows and sheets — signs that bedbugs have been feeding as you sleep.
You can also check for maroon or rust-colored stains on the bed or furniture around it. These stains are blood-rich droppings and are clear signs that a nest is nearby. If your bedroom starts to reek of musk and coriander, then you have a full-blown infestation. Bedbugs produce a musky odor through their sweat and pheromones. Once the scent is noticeable, you probably have hundreds or thousands of them in your bedroom. Bedbugs are hardy insects, and the usual bug spray will have little to no effect on controlling them. You’ll need to call exterminators and have them perform heat or chemical treatments, specifically for bedbugs.
While mosquitoes are mostly just annoying bugs, they can be dangerous vectors of disease. The most common disease you’ll get from Mosquito bites is the West Nile virus — but there have been a few outbreaks of Dengue, Chikungunya, and Zika in states like Florida, Hawaii, and Texas. Diseases aside, mosquito bites are more than just irritating.
This website www.mosquito-authority.com helps you understand how you could control mosquitoes in your area and how to differentiate it from a harmless insect bite. Mosquito bites often get infected and lead to cases of hives, swollen lymph nodes, varying degrees of swelling, as well as mild to severe fever. Mosquitoes are easily repelled by store-bought repellent, particularly ones that have diethyltoluamide or DEET. You can also prevent them from breeding by making sure your surroundings are free from stagnant water.
3. Bees and Wasps
The more rural parts of Georgia are often home to swarms of bees, hornets, or wasps. Although the state is yet to have problems with Africanized honeybees, there have been reports and sightings in nearby Alabama. These stinging insects often target hikers who pass close to their hives — but speeding cyclists can also be targeted if they fail to avoid the flying insects. Stings can be dangerous as they can cause allergic reactions or anaphylactic shock to individuals sensitive to their venom.
Even if you aren’t allergic to bee stings, an encounter with an angry swarm can leave you swollen and bleeding. Bug repellents are often effective measures, and so are light-colored clothing. Bees are more likely to perceive dark colors like black, blue, and red as threatening — increasing the likelihood of stinging. However, repellents and light clothing are useless if you are a cyclist traveling at high speeds. Bees will sting on impact, and the only way to avoid them is to be wary of your surroundings.
Termites are more destructive than dangerous — but not a few homeowners have lost their homes (or required extensive repairs to their property) to termite infestations. Rural homes are particularly vulnerable to subterranean termites. These termites dig their way from the ground up, going straight to your hardwood floors without you noticing.
Once you see visible signs of infestation like tube-like mud structures or hollowed portions of your wall, it probably means the termites have already done extensive damage to your property. Call pest control the moment you see signs of infestation or opt for preventive measures to keep termites away from your property.
Hikers will often have gruesome encounters with ticks if they travel without protection. Ticks can burrow into your skin, and the toxins in their saliva will often numb you to their drilling. You’ll need tweezers to pull them out, and you’ll need to be careful, or you might leave half of it inside your skin. These bugs can stay undetected in your skin for ten whole days, and they have been known to transmit Lyme disease. Check for ticks every time you go outdoors and head to the doctors if you experience fevers and joint pains after a bite.
Bugs are a normal part of life in Georgia. However, you can take measures to keep yourself and your property safe from these pests.