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Dog-day Heat Sending Pests Inside Homes

Hot, dry days are doing more than wilting plants outdoors. They're chasing bugs indoors, say University of Georgia experts.

"Insect pests normally found on the outside will move inside in search of water or food during dry periods," says Beverly Sparks, an Extension Service entomologist with the UGA College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences.

"Several species of ants, including fire ants and Argentine ants," Sparks says, "are normally found outdoors. But they become indoor pests during hot, dry periods."

Cockroaches, millipedes and scorpions are other pests that move indoors in search of cooler temperatures and water. Look for yellow jackets to be more aggressive toward water and soft drinks, too.

Extension horticulture educator Walter Reeves says cicada killers (ground-nesting wasps) are getting more active, too. "They're very nonaggressive, though," he said. "You'll see them swarming around, but they generally won't hurt you."

(Faith Peppers is the director of public affairs with the University of Georgia College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences.)

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