5 worst-case cottage-arrival infestation scenarios

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When you arrive at the cottage after weeks away, these are the nightmare bug-infestation scenarios you dread. From wasps and hornets to cockroaches and ants, learn how these infestations happen—and how to handle them.

Wasps and hornets
When you arrive in the spring to open the cottage, you might encounter a bustling wasp or hornet nest precariously close to your summer paradise. They can be found hanging downward from awnings, soffits, window ledges, or a nearby tree. In the spring, queen hornets and wasps begin building their new paper-like nests for the summer and their troops will do whatever it takes to protect them. If these stingers are disturbed or feel threatened, you can expect an attack. Luckily, keeping your home hornet and wasp free involves killing the nest, which you can do with a bug spray like Raid Max® Wasp & Hornet Foam Bug Killer. Be sure to spray the nests in the early morning or early evening, when insect activity is minimal.

Carpenter ants
A couple of ants in the kitchen are easy to take care of with a little extra sweeping, but a full infestation is another story altogether. Carpenter ants enter cottages via nearby tree branches, cracks in the foundation, through gaps in windows and doors, or on firewood that’s brought inside. Once they make their way indoors, they gnaw at wood to build their colonies. If a carpenter ant infestation isn’t treated swiftly, the damage can match that of termites. There are a few steps you can take to eliminate the intruders and prevent them from coming back. Because these ants are particularly attracted to moisture, check around the sinks, showers and leaky pipes for any activity. If there are any water problems, get those areas fixed or repaired as soon as possible. Next, remove any tree branches or shrubs that touch the house—these offer easy access to your home. And finally, attack problem zones with a spray bug barrier using Raid® Ant Roach & Earwig Insect Killer.

The infestation of all infestations, cockroaches are perhaps the most reviled pest among homeowners. They reproduce in droves and live in hard-to-reach cracks and crevices. Although they prefer chowing down on sugar and starch, they’ll eat basically anything. These pests can spread harmful bacteria like salmonella and leave a mess of feces wherever they travel. When it comes to getting rid of roaches, there are plenty of effective ways to kill the critters, such as using a spray specific for cockroaches. Once you’ve started a treatment, be sure to take the garbage out regularly, clean up any food spills, keep food stored in closed containers, and don’t leave dirty dishes in the sink.

These notorious wood-eaters will make a meal out of your cabin if you’re not careful! Although termites commonly live outside, deep in moist soil, they’ll come above ground and into your home looking for wood to eat and nest in. And these pests are not picky eaters either. They’ll eat everything from structural to decorative wood. Unfortunately, you might not be aware of an infestation until it’s too late, so look for the early signs. Keep an eye out for sagging floors and hollow areas of foundations, and look for termite nests or mud tubes on exterior wooden beams and walls—the bugs move from nest to nest in these tunnels. Depending on your infestation, however, it might be safest and most effective to call a professional for help.

Despite what its name suggests, the woodworm is actually not a worm at all. It’s a general term for the larvae of any wood-boring beetle. These bugs will eat any raw wood, whether it’s your grandmother’s antique rocking chair, your brand new wood floors or your fishing poles. After they’re done feasting, they leave tiny round holes that are usually surrounded by a powdery dust. Woodworms can enter your home via infested firewood or could have been the result of an adult beetle laying its eggs in a window frame or favourite piece of furniture. Once you’ve assessed the extent of the infestation, you can start a treatment plan with a professional.