As you’re spending more time at home this summer, why not enjoy it even more? Now is a great time to create an outdoor oasis in your backyard, or on your patio or deck.
By incorporating a few basic principles used in pest control, you can ensure a cozy, comfortable space to enjoy for years. Here are some ideas to make these areas more inviting and comfortable for family and friends – but not too tempting for ants, flies, wasps, or mosquitoes.
Start your project by thinking creatively about how you’ll enjoy your time outdoors. Planning to cook and eat outside? Consider a gas grill and a table with chairs and an umbrella. Love curling up with a cup of coffee and a good book? Make sure you have a comfortable place to sit, along with shade and the right lighting. Are you planning to invite guests and entertain? If so, provide plenty of seating options, including portable chairs that you can stow between gatherings.
While you’re shopping, think about centerpieces, accessories, water toys, or furniture that might collect rain and create pools of water where mosquitoes can thrive. If you’re thinking about adding a water feature, choose one that keeps the water moving constantly. Remember, pesky mosquitoes need just one capful of standing water to breed.
Consider comfort. Shade is a necessity to escape summer heat, and retractable awnings let you choose sun or shade with the flip of a switch. Canopy awnings are also a good option if you want a permanent structure that won’t retract but can be removed seasonally if needed. In addition, adding a fan keeps you cool on particularly hot days and helps deter insects. Fans make it more difficult for flying pests to get around, and also help disperse carbon dioxide emitted by humans, which attracts mosquitoes.
To enjoy your space during cooler weather, you may want to add a fire pit or heat lamps. Smoke from real fires deters flying pests, and piñon wood is especially effective to burn as mosquitoes hate it. Before installing anything, check fire-pit codes in your area; they may require that the fire pit be a certain number of feet away from any structures or overhanging trees.
Revamp your décor. Adding a new rug or throw pillows can give your oasis new life, but make sure that they’re durable and able to weather outdoor conditions. When it comes to dining outside, a new set of colorful dishes and linens can make your backyard table feel fresh and new at very little extra cost. Add some candles to your table to create a festive atmosphere; citronella may help keep pests away from the immediate area. However, your best bet for bug control is a small, battery-operated portable fan placed on the table. Moving air discourages flying pests, like flies, wasps, and mosquitoes. Unfortunately, common myths such as eating garlic and other fresh herbs, or burning them on the grill, won’t discourage pests from lingering or biting.
Remember your pets. Be sure they have comfortable spots to lounge as well as plenty of fresh water. After time outdoors, be sure to empty and clean any pet bowls; pet food left out may attract ants, and standing water can lead to a mosquito infestation.
Maintenance is key! By mowing your lawn regularly and trimming back trees, bushes, and plants close to your home, you’re not only maintaining a well-kept outdoor area but preventing ants, termites, and other unwanted pests from moving in.
While there are many gadgets designed to repel, capture, and kill bugs, few are effective when it comes to fully controlling pests in your yard. Electric bug zappers may kill a few mosquitos, but they also reduce the number of beneficial insects – the kind that can help keep the mosquito population down. A battery-powered diffuser that emits geraniol, a natural repellent derived from plants, might be more effective.
If after trying our pest prevention tips, you still have a significant pest infestation in your backyard, you may need expert assistance to effectively control it. HomeTeam professionals can work with you to determine the safest, most effective methods of ant, mosquito, and wasp control – as well as recommendations for an ongoing pest control plan. Visit our website at www.pestdefense.com or call 855-855-4873.