With warmer weather’s arrival, my family is excited for backyard cookouts, hide-and-seek at sunset, and roasting marshmallows by the fire. Unfortunately we have a few pests in the way of our good time. The mosquitoes and ticks that arrive with the onset of warm weather are never welcome guests. Today I’m sharing tips for creating a bug free backyard this spring and summer.
Why should you worry about ticks and mosquitoes?
My daughters enjoy spending every minute outside in our backyard. We have a lot of greenery - plants, trees, bushes - and the girls play all around it. My husband and I set up a fire pit where we like to sit, watching our girls play during the golden hour. The only problem we ever encounter is ticks and mosquitoes.
Did you know a mosquito bite can come with more than just an itch? Zika virus, Chikungunya virus, and West Nile virus are just three of many dangerous diseases transmitted through a mosquito bite. It is scary to think either one of my little girls could contract a disease from a mosquito - so we would rather be safe than sorry.
Whether your property is wooded or not, ticks may be waiting patiently to attack a person or pet that passes by. One tick bite can put you at risk for Lyme disease. In fact, there are reports that as many as 75% of Lyme disease cases originate from ticks found around the home.
Tips for Mosquito Control
Hiring a professional pest control service is a very effective way to reduce the mosquito population in your yard. However it’s important to remember mosquitoes don’t respect property lines or fences. Make sure you talk to your neighbors and work together to eliminate conditions where mosquitoes can breed.
Where do mosquitoes breed? Standing water. Dump out the kiddie pools and any other standing water around your home as mosquitoes need less than an inch of water to breed.
Tips for Tick Control
Ticks are hard to control because they live in areas with dense vegetation such as in woods and where there are a lot of bushes. Tick infestations can go unnoticed until they show up on pets or people. The best way to control ticks in your yard is to PREVENT their existence.
Tip 1: Keep grass trimmed short, remove tall weeds and eliminate leaf litter and other debris to reduce tick hiding spots.
Tip 2: Ticks can’t fly but they do crawl, so protect your body. Wear appropriate topical tick repellent when outdoors or near wooded areas.
Tip 3: When returning indoors, inspect your pets, your visitors, family members and yourself for ticks. Pay special attention to checking in and around ears, underarms, behind knees and other areas where your clothes may be in close contact with your body.
Caitlin Houston is a Wallingford blogger and mom of two who loves sharing all of her favorites on the Caitlin Houston Blog. Learn about fun activities at home, family friendly travels, easy recipes and more.