Tips for keeping your summer and your yard tick & mosquito free
Warm summer weather has arrived! As you prepare to spend more time outdoors, now is the right time to start thinking about protecting your home and yard from ticks, mosquitoes, and other biting pests.
The number of infections, such as Lyme disease and West Nile virus, have more than tripled between 2004 and 2016 in the United States.
Here are some helpful tips to protect your yard, yourself, and your family from the annoyances and dangers surrounding mosquitoes & ticks.
Get rid of standing water: The kids pool in the backyard is fun on a hot day, and the decorative fountain brings nature watching opportunities to your yard, but if you are not cleaning them regularly then it is time for them to go. Mosquitoes nest in stagnant waters, here the larvae can grow into the barbecue busting buzzers that are the mosquito. Clean fountains and pools weekly to make sure you don’t create a nasty, unintentional mosquito breeding-ground. Remember to also clean out other places where standing water can collect, places like rain gutters, old tires, bird baths, and wheelbarrows.
Create a mulch moat: Use gravel, or dried wood chips to build a 3 foot to 3 ½ foot wide barrier between any wooded areas and your yard. This prevents ticks from entering your lawn, and can be used as a warning sign to visitors that they are about to head into a heavily populated tick zone.
A clean yard is a happy yard: Keeping your yard neat and tidy can prevent ticks, and rodents that carry them, from entering your yard. Make sure there is no debris in high traffic areas. These pests like to hide in shaded areas, and a dirty yard is a perfect place for them to hide. Less mess in your yard can mean less ticks and mosquitoes for you to deal with.
Protect your pets: Man’s best friend is also a favorite meal for ticks and other insects. Help all of your furry friends by talking with your vet to insure you have the right medication and or form of protection for your pets. If your pet is protected you are helping them, your yard and your home to be pest free.
Repellent: The most effective chemical repellents contain Deet, Picaridin, PMD, or IR3535 insecticide, which are all considered safe when used as directed. The CDC says they’re safe for pregnant and nursing women, as well as babies over 2 months, though you want lower concentrations of deet for children. Just watch out for skin irritation and avoid spraying chemicals around the eyes or mouth. If you are in a heavily wooded area, or in a known tick and mosquito zone make sure to check your body over at the end of the day for bites or ticks.
Keep these tips in mind when you are working or playing in the yard to help keep every day of your summer tick, mosquito, and pest free!