University of Maryland Extension

June Indoor and Outdoor Insect Tips

Asian tiger mosquito on arm
Asian tiger mosquito. Photo: Susan Ellis,

(More tips from HGIC)

  • Reduce mosquito problems by turning over any pots, lids or saucers that might collect water and create a breeding site. Use Bt dunks in ponds that have no fish in them. The Bt dunks are safe with fish, but when fish are present they alone will take care of mosquito larvae.
  • Hornets and wasps, including yellow jackets, are active building nests now. Bees are also very active. See our section on stinging insects for more information. PDF EB 248.
  • Carpenter bees cause concern at this time of year. They make clean, round holes about ½ inch in diameter. They usually will not bother wood that is freshly painted or stained. They can be a problem in weathered and untreated wood. Contact a pest control professional if you’re having a serious problem with carpenter bees.
  • Ticks are active year-round. Wear light-colored clothing, apply repellent, and get in the habit of checking yourself, your children and pets closely for ticks after spending time outdoors. Repellents are also effective at keeping ticks at bay. Deer tick populations are especially high around the Chesapeake Bay. Keep grass and weeds mowed and move bird feeders to the edges of your yard to minimize tick problems. The seed dropped from bird feeders attract mice which are the first host for ticks.
  • Pantry pests, like Indian meal moths, grain beetles, cigarette beetles and carpet beetles, may be found around windows trying to get out of your home. These pests can be swept up or vacuumed. Carefully check all opened packages, throw out infested foods, wash infested storage containers, store cereals and grains in closed containers and vacuum and thoroughly clean pantry shelves and floors. No chemical controls are recommended. (PDF HG 67)
  • Many different types of ants may be found inside and outside the home. The largest ant is the carpenter ant. Carpenter ants tend to nest in wood that has been previously damaged by prolonged exposure to moisture. They build their nests in outside wood piles or structures. You must locate the nest to control this pest. Try using bait stations to control minor infestations of indoor ants. Indoors they are most often found in kitchens and bathrooms.
  • Mining bees are active now. They are solitary bees that nest in underground burrows, fly low over the ground and make ¼ inch holes in loose soil. They are not aggressive and the males have no stinger. 
  • Beneficial insects, including ladybird beetles, lacewing larvae, and syrphid fly larvae are actively feeding on aphids. Look for signs of these beneficials before using a water or soap spray against aphids. It is usually not worthwhile to purchase and release beneficial insects, except in the case of predatory mites for controlling spider mites. Beneficials will come into your landscape if you plant flowers that bloom throughout the summer, like zinnias, yarrow, asters, mint, thyme, nasturtiums, goldenrod, daisies, dill, fennel etc. To encourage butterflies, consider planting butterfly weed, milkweed, parsley, and fennel. Birdbaths and pans of water will provide the necessary water to keep beneficials from leaving your yard.
  • Keep pesticides stored in a cool, dry location, like the basement in a locked cabinet out of reach of children. The heat that builds up in outdoor sheds can damage pesticides.
  • Buying the smallest quantity of any pesticides that you anticipate needing this summer. Buy and maintain a separate sprayer for herbicides. Do not apply fungicides or insecticides with a sprayer previously used for herbicides.

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