Spotting more bugs than usual around the house? While a pest problem can cause embarrassment and concern, this summer you can take comfort in the fact that not only are you not alone, there are new ways of dealing with insects that can help you manage the problem without harsh chemicals.

“A warm winter and a humid, wet spring set the stage for insect populations to thrive this summer, and that is what people are experiencing right now,” said Dr. Josh Benoit, an entomologist at the University of Cincinnati Department of Biological Sciences.

Seconding this sentiment is the National Pest Management Association, which early on projected that termites, cockroaches, ants, mosquitoes and other insects would thrive in regions nationwide this season.

Finding a roach in the home ranked number one in terms of “Grossness,” beating out cleaning the toilet, cleaning the gutters and removing hair from the shower drain, in a recent survey conducted by Zevo, a maker of bug killer sprays and traps that are safe for use around people and pets when used as directed. But beyond the “ew” factor, households will want to manage pest problems for health and safety reasons.

“Cockroaches and filth flies can serve as mechanical vectors for diseases,” Benoit said. “And ticks, mosquitoes, and kissing bugs can transmit pathogens that cause diseases.”

What are some smart, safe ways to prevent bug infestations and manage existing ones? Consider these tips to keep bugs in check this summer and beyond:

• Keep food sealed and stored properly. Get rid of crumbs around the kitchen or anywhere else you eat around the house. Regularly sweeping and wiping down counters can help.

• Prevent buildup of moisture on surfaces and remove standing water to prevent mosquito (and other bug) breeding around the home.

• Never bring in unwashed, used furniture and other objects. Before introducing such items into your home, inspect them carefully.

• Bugs often enter homes through garages and open doors. Set up a line of defense by keeping windows, doors and garages closed as much as possible, and by placing chemical-free traps in your garage or other areas that get high bug traffic. The traps plug into outlets around the home and use multi-spectrum light technology and a body heat attractant to lure pesky flying bugs to their doom.

Summers are an especially challenging time of year to keep homes insect-free and this year is no exception. Arming yourself with information and effective solutions can help prevent and combat infestations.

This article was contributed by StatePoint.