SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV) — While we try and relax to take in all the beauty that summer brings, we also have to accept the more than less appreciative aspect of the season — the bugs.
There are around 1,350 types of insects in Georgia and though the vast majority are harmless, there are a couple of bad apples that you should stay away from.
We know all about cockroaches, spiders and mosquitos, but here are some bugs you never want to run into.
This Southern-loving parasitic vampire carries the Chagas Disease, which affects more than 200,000 U.S. citizens a year. With a one-year lifespan, the kissing bug bite can cause fever, swelling of the face and if left untreated, congestive heart failure.
Kissing bugs love to hide under porches, between rocks, beneath bark, in animal burrows and in homes. If you find one in your home, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends to not step or squash it but to capture it in a container and fill it with rubbing alcohol.
Fun Fact: It’s most likely to bite on the face while the host is sleeping.
Small yet mighty, chiggers are mite larvae that have parasitic bites that leave skin itchy with red bumps. Chiggers love hot, humid temperatures and prefer grassy areas, so lawn maintenance and trimming bushes is a good way to keep these bugs at a distance.
The larvae may also be caught in clothing coming from outdoors and like to bite behind the lower legs, waist and groin, with females able to live a year long.
Fun Fact: They do not drink blood but liquify tissue cells to eat.
Hornets and wasps
These flying terrors can sting multiple times and inject their venom, which can be life-threatening for those who are allergic. Hornets are very territorial and like to build their nests in trees and underneath homes.
To keep these bugs away, make sure to hide food and cover garbage that they love to feast on. In a garden, planting mint could also keep hornets and wasps away due to the strong scent of the plant.
Fun Fact: Near the end of summer when fruits begin to ferment and rot, wasps will eat them and become drunk. They then will fly around and sting anything.
Everyone’s favorite fly has one of the worst bites, mostly due to their sharp mouthparts. Savannah marshes and streams are the perfect breeding ground for these blood-sucking critters that live for 30 to 60 days.
They typically like to stay in shaded areas and in tree lines. As of now, the best protection against them would be a natural bug repellent and long sleeves.
Fun Fact: Only the female horse flies bite and drink blood once a day.
Although scary, insects are good for our environment.
The chigger and hornet regulate other insect populations. The wasp and horse fly aid in pollination, but not the kissing bug. They are true pests.