There is nothing worse than trying to have a nice, relaxing summer evening on the deck and your yard is full of mosquitos or ticks. These two insects are more than just an invasive nuisance that could ruin your outdoor barbeque or party, they could pose serious health risks for you, your family, your guests, and even your pets.
So… How do you keep them away from your home? Two words: Home Maintenance.
Mosquito Control – In Yard
Mosquitoes love standing water. After a decent rainfall, you may find children’s toys, flower pots, trash can lids, and even any landscaping tools like buckets or wheelbarrows, full of standing water. Be sure to empty them and eliminate that mosquito breeding ground.
Standing water can also collect in gutters. Complete any exterior home maintenance projects by periodically checking gutters and downspouts for any clogs that might contribute to water collection – which can be a haven for mosquitoes.
Empty any decorative water features weekly and refill the water in items like birdbaths. Ponds (without a running filter) can also cause a influx of mosquitoes. If there are no fish adorning those ornamental ponds – consider treating them with mosquito repelling pellets.
Walk around your yard and check for an low grassy spots that could collect water. Filling them in with top soil and grass seed could also help.
In addition to standing water, mosquitoes may also lay their eggs in other damp places like decaying logs, firewood piles, and leaf piles. Keeping your firewood dry with a tarp or permanent cover and removing unwanted wood and leaves will assist with your mosquito-eliminating mission.
Mosquito Control – In Home
In addition to prepping your yard to keep mosquitoes away, there are a few key things to either check (or repair) to keep those flying blood-suckers out of your home.
Inspect any window or door screens and ensure there are no gaps or holes large enough for a mosquito to get through. Also check around those same doors and windows for gaps. Filling those cracks or openings with spray foam or insulation could provide effective mosquito control in your home.
Enjoying the atmosphere of a home in the country can also mean dealing with ticks. Ticks can be as small as the end of a pin and as large as a quarter of an inch but keeping them at bay can reduce the possibility of contracting tick-borne illnesses like Lyme Disease, Babesiosis, and Ehrlichiosis – some of which could have lifelong effects.
Ticks tend to live in wooded areas that don’t get much sunlight. With just a few landscape changes – you can keep those ticks at bay.
Keep any tall grasses or brush trimmed shorter in or around your yard while also working to keep your grass cut. Allowing grass to get too long or allowing leaves to pile up can be a formal invitation for ticks to live and breed.
Aside from lawn maintenance, consider adding some strategic landscaping options like a three-foot-wide mulch border around the property to separate the grassy lawn from any wooded areas. Not only could it add to the backyard ambiance, but also work to provide a natural barrier for ticks.
Pesticides can be effective as an preventative or corrective measure for mosquitoes and ticks. Do your research first. Some chemicals may be harmful to household pets, children, or other wildlife. It may be helpful to contact a professional who can periodically spray your yard and keep your loved ones safe all summer long.