Warm temperatures, clear blue skies, and fragrant flowers are welcome signs that summer has arrived, but unfortunately, they are always accompanied by unwanted guests in the form of pesky or even dangerous insects. When this happens, families who have spent the winter dreaming of lounging on the patio, swimming in the pool, or working in the garden often find their dreams have become nightmares filled with buzzing, swarming, or biting insects. If this problem is a familiar one for you, consider using some or all of the following tips to make your backyard into a pest-free zone that you can enjoy to its fullest.
Reduce or remove habitat and attractants
Many of the most troublesome backyard insects flock to areas where there they can find a comfortable place to reproduce or where they can find a dependable food source. By removing these options, mosquitoes, flies, bees, and ants will quickly learn to avoid your backyard and move onto to others where the food or lodging fitting for their needs. To discourage these pests:
- Remove open trash receptacles or use tight-fitting lids
- Clean outdoor eating areas thoroughly after cookouts to remove all traces of grease, spills, and food crumbs
- Keep the lawn mowed and trimmed short to reduce shelter for pests
- Remove any sources of standing or stagnant water
- Change the water in pet bowls at least once or twice per day to prevent stagnation
- Pick up and remove any fallen fruit from backyard fruit trees often
The family dog can also be an attractant for biting insects, like fleas, ticks, and mites, so remember to also treat them with an approved pest control product regularly throughout the year.
Utilize natural repellents
Another weapon in your arsenal for winning the war against pests is to utilize natural repellents to make your yard less attractive to insect activity. Good options for this include:
- Using citronella candles during backyard activities, including during the day
- Planting flowers and herbs that naturally repel insects along the patio and in flowerbeds and planters near the home, such as lemongrass, basil, marigolds, and many varieties of mint
- Making natural insect repellent sprays by steeping lavender to make a tea
Insect infestations that are large or resistant to natural repellent attempts should be referred to a pest control expert in your area; this is especially important if you or a family member are at risk of a health emergency due to insect stings, such as those of wasps or bees, or if you have young children. To learn more, contact a pest control company like Alliance Pest Management, Inc.