Four children and dog running

6 tips for pest-free outdoor living

When you’re relaxing outdoors, the last thing you want is for pests to join you. Keep them away with these six tips from Western Exterminator.

insect repellent

1. Use an insect repellent

Apply an EPA-registered insect repellent when outdoors. Ticks and mosquitoes carry diseases and can pose serious health risks.

The CDC provides a comprehensive list of effective ingredients for repelling ticks and mosquitoes. Whether you apply it to your skin or clothing, creating a protective barrier between you and disease-carrying mosquitoes and ticks will decrease your risk of being bitten while enjoying the outdoors.

Additional safety measures such as wearing light-colored clothes and avoiding being outside during “peak” mosquito hours – from dusk until dawn – are also recommended.

standing water in birdbath

2. Remove standing water

Mosquitoes only need a tablespoon or more of water to breed.

Pools, ponds, birdbaths and planters may add to the enjoyment and ambiance of your yard. However, they also offer the perfect breeding ground for female mosquitoes to lay their eggs in. Any stagnant water in your yard should be treated or changed often to avoid an infestation, especially since they can lay up to 100 eggs at a time and have them hatch in as little as 5 days. This includes your pets’ water dishes, too!

Removing standing water will lessen mosquito populations in your yard and decrease your chances of being bitten.

keep lawn trimmed

3. Keep your lawn trimmed

Mosquitoes and ticks like to hang out in cool, damp and shady vegetation.

Removing overgrown vegetation around your property and keeping a well-manicured lawn doesn’t only look good, it removes resting and hiding areas for ticks and mosquitoes. Ticks may not be able to fly, but they do tend to perch on tall grasses, waiting for a passerby (animal or person) to latch onto. 

Keeping your lawn short and vegetation thinned out is an easy way to prevent mosquitoes and ticks from lingering in your yard.

4. Keep an eye out for anthills

An anthill in your yard could result in an infestation in your home.

You may notice a small anthill in your yard while mowing your lawn or weeding your garden and think nothing of it. However, under that mound of dirt or sand lies a colony made up of hundreds, maybe thousands, of ants. A colony, that if disturbed, may defend their nest by inflicting a painful bite. Even ants that don’t bite are a nuisance as they tend to invade homes in search of food. With their ability to quickly spread and divide into more colonies, it is best to treat anthills as soon as you spot one.

Prevention is key for avoiding an ant infestation in your home.

carpenter bee on flower

5. Check wood structures

Large bees flying around could signify a carpenter bee nest.

Carpenter bees are often mistaken for bumblebees. The main difference is a carpenter bee has a shiny black and hairless abdomen, while a bumblebee has a fuzzy abdomen. Although they are pollinators, carpenter bees can cause extensive damage to structures, as they bore holes through soft, untreated woods to build nests in. 

If you can pinpoint the entry to the nesting site, plug it up. However, you may want to first talk to a pest control expert who specializes in carpenter bee control to see what your options are.

wasp nest on wood fence

6. Watch out for stinging insects

Inspect your home and property for hives and nests.

Flying insects can be tricky to treat since they can build their nests in hard to reach places, not to mention they sting! As weather warms, you may notice an increase in activity around your home and yard. This is the time of year when workers are collecting food for the larvae. Nests may be high in trees, under your eaves or deck, the wall voids of your home or occupying an abandoned rodent borough. Different species require different treatments and come with their own unique challenges.

Understanding a stinging insect’s behavior and habitat is the first step to a successful and effective stinging insect control approach. Avoid being stung by consulting with one of our certified and licensed pest control specialists.

 

Pest control for all your outdoor pests

Don’t give up your outdoor activities and backyard barbeques because you’re being overrun by pests. Since 1921, Western has been providing customers with pest-free living. Whether it’s pests making their way inside your home or invading your outdoor space, Western is here to help ensure you, your family and your home are protected from pests.

Tiffany Tenley

As a Marketing Content Manager, Tiffany has come to love and appreciate the diverse and complex world of pests—good, bad and ugly. Not only does she research and write about them, she admits to having eaten a few crickets on some cheese-laden nachos. When she's not working, Tiffany enjoys spending time with her family, exploring new restaurants, concert-going, reading, writing and traveling.

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