When it comes to a love of humidity, humans and pests are on opposite ends of the spectrum. While we tend to despise air that is thick with heat and water vapor, most bugs actually thrive in it and need it to live.
Unfortunately, this means that the impending summer humidity in certain parts of the country is about to bring these summer pests out in a big way.
Summer’s Most Common Pests
The German cockroach is the most common roach species infesting our homes in North America. They are attracted to warm and humid places, making your kitchen and the water heater in the basement their most frequented hideaways.
These small, wingless insects are nocturnal and need to keep their bodies moist at all times in order to survive. You are likely to find them beneath boxes or furniture in your basement, the shower, or hiding in your kitchen.
Carnivorous and nocturnal, with their 100 feet, these pests can move quickly and spend most of the day hiding in humid, secluded places. They are highly attracted to the moist, humid parts of the home because they need to rehydrate constantly in order to live.
Known to burrow into topsoil outside, these nocturnal bugs can also infiltrate dark and humid areas of your home. You are most likely to find them around floor drains, bathrooms, or under rugs or furniture.
Also known as pill bugs, sow bugs, potato bugs, or armadillo bugs, these bugs often infest damp basements.
Tips to Prevent/Eliminate Summer Pests:
So you bought your first house and can’t wait to rip up that crummy carpet. Go for it! But if you hit dirt, you might need to call in backup. As more millennials take the plunge into home ownership, it’s becoming more and more common to see DIY projects big and small. Things like carpet removal are doable. But no matter how many tips and tricks you’ve picked up from HGTV, Pinterest, or YouTube, there are some projects that simply aren’t worth the money, time, or risk to do yourself.
Setting Limits on DIY Home Projects
Skill Level for DIY Home Projects:
For some people, DIY is a way of life. For the rest of us, we need to be honest about our skills and level of experience. Sometimes a “simple” job can actually be a lot more complex than it appears. Hire a professional for these projects before you try it yourself and make a mistake that costs way more to fix.
- Paving your driveway
- Custom kitchen and bathroom jobs – backsplashes, flooring, countertops
- Pest removal
- Window Installation
Time Commitment for DIY Home Projects:
Some home improvement jobs can take weeks to complete when you try to do them yourself. For big projects, hiring a professional will mean a quicker and more efficient job done well so you can get back to enjoying your home without interruptions.
- Large landscaping projects
Permission for DIY Home Projects:
Some home improvement projects require permits due to building codes. Save yourself the headache, and possible code violation, by hiring a professional who’s familiar with the process when it comes to these types of jobs.
- Additions and remodels
- Deck or patio addition
- Major electrical/plumbing work
- Pool installation and repairs
Safety Risk for DIY Home Projects:
If there’s any question of your ability to do something without injury or structural damage to your home, it’s most definitely a job for a professional.
- Mold, asbestos, lead removal
- Tree removal
- Roof and foundation repairs
- HVAC system installation and repair
When you’ve decided you need a pro, try to keep the process simple to save you time and headaches. Start by reaching out to a few trusted contractors in your area to get estimates on the work, (recommendations from friends are a great place to start) and then consider price and professionalism before making your decision.
When it comes to HVAC work, we make it easy to find a pro. Along with plumbing and electrical work, HVAC is an area where it’s crucial to get the job done right the first time.
50 Years Later: The Clean Air Act of 1970
50 years ago, Congress signed a landmark bill – The Clean Air Act of 1970. This bill helped reduce air pollution, spurred energy-efficient machines, cars, and helped Americans breathe easier, but there’s still more work to be done. Now, the American Lung Association is asking everyone to join the Stand Up For Clean Air initiative to help make healthy air accessible to everyone.
Stand Up for Clean Air Initiative
The initiative focuses on creating clean air at home, at work, at school, and outdoors. It also focuses on reducing climate change and addressing air quality concerns after a natural disaster. Lastly, people can read about the state of the air in their community in the American Lung Association’s annual State of the Air report.
Its most recent State of the Air report states that nearly half of Americans live with unhealthy air. Most of that unhealthy air is a result of the byproducts of climate change.
“Climate change results in increased levels of wildfire smoke, worsened ozone pollution, more extreme storms and frequent flooding, which leave behind mold, polluted floodwater residue and other damage, exposing people to indoor air pollution as they clean up and repair homes. Many sources of climate pollution – power plants, oil and gas operations, and cars and trucks – also produce air pollution that is directly harmful to lung health.” – Harold Wimmer, American Lung Association CEO and President
Air pollution contributes to premature deaths, heart attacks, strokes, cancer, and asthma attacks. Children, older adults, and those with underlying health conditions are most vulnerable.
Resources to Create Healthy Indoor Air Quality
Indoor Air Quality for Workplaces
With its Stand up for Clean Air initiative, the American Lung Association wants to create better indoor air quality. In doing so, the ALA provides several resources to help users advocate for these changes.
Fortunately, the ALA is not only the group advocating for healthy buildings and better indoor air quality.
The TH Chan School of Public Health at Harvard has been advocating for healthy buildings for 40 years. Through its advocacy, the school has completed and promoted studies that indicate production declines when employees are in an unhealthy workplace. Workers in these poor conditions type slower, take more sick days, and are generally less productive. Healthy insurance provider Kaiser Permanente estimates that the net result of this absenteeism and poor production costs businesses thousands of dollars per employee.
Indoor Air Quality for Schools
Students in poorly ventilated schools face similar problems. They lack focus, are more likely to get sick, and subsequently are more likely to be absent. This can result in lower performance. The American Lung Association and Environmental Protection Agency have collaborated to create a toolkit to help schools improve their indoor air quality with low-cost initiatives. Benefits include improved academic performance, higher rates of attendance, and healthier children.
Advocate for Clean Air
To join the fight against poor indoor air quality and air pollution, you can visit the American Lung Association and become an advocate.
“Everyone has a role to play in addressing climate change and ensuring clean air for all,” Wimmer said. “Our hope is that everyone – from individual citizens to industries, federal and state governments, and companies and brands – recognize that everyone is needed to ensure clean air for all and address an obstacle as unprecedented as climate change. I hope you’ll join us in realizing our vision of a world free of lung disease.” – Harold Wimmer
Please note: Aprilaire is a partner of the American Lung Association. We are a national sponsor of the American Lung Association’s fundraiser Fight for Air Climb FY20.