Yellowjackets, Hornets, Crickets, Caterpillars Among Those Driving You Crazy? There Are Many Solutions, Including Green Options

SMITHTOWN, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — Some people’s homes are crawling with critters right now — everything from ants to wasps and in larger-than-usual numbers.

Some of these pests are always active as we approach fall, but others are living longer because of our weather, CBS2’s Elise Finch reported Monday.

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Joseph and Georgia Matasavich of Kings Park are enjoying the mild weather as we transition from summer to fall. What they’re not enjoying are the bugs that thrive in these conditions.

“This year there’s an awful amount of crickets,” Georgia said.

“This is like yellowjacket season, they’re about the peskiest,” Joseph said.

Hornet nest (Credit: CBS2)

William Somerville is the general manager of Suburban Exterminating in Smithtown. He’s also a certified entomologist. He said yellowjackets, hornets, crickets, fleas and even caterpillars have all been reported as problems this year.

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“A lot of large nests up in the trees are becoming visible with the leaves that are starting to fall,” Somerville said. “We’ve had extreme periods of heat followed by some extreme wet periods, which just extends the season.”

Experts say when it comes to getting rid of the things that bug you start by modifying your home, then follow that up with targeted treatments specifically for the pests you’re dealing with, CBS2’s Finch reported.

“Eliminating food and water sources around your property is going to be huge and second to that is eliminating harborage so anywhere where they can hide,” Somerville said. “Any bushes, shrubs within 12-24 inches of your foundation. Make sure that screens around your building are properly sealed up and small gaps or openings are sealed up.”

Then apply pesticides.

If you don’t like the idea of harsh chemicals, Somerville said most exterminating companies now offer green alternatives. There are sprays made of essential oils like peppermint to repel mice. Somerville’s employees use HEPA vacuums to suction wasps, bees and their hives from inside your home and sticky glue traps catch a number of pests.

The key is to take action and do it quickly.

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Fall decorations can also cause problems. Experts say avoid corn, hay and pumpkins, for they will attract mice and rats that are looking to get out of the cold and into your house to keep warm.