6 tips for outdoor living, pest-free!

6 tips for outdoor living, pest-free!

Nothing ruins a fun day in the sun quite like pests.  Outsmart them with these six tips from Avay Pest Control.

1. Use an insect repellent
Apply an EPA-registered insect repellent when outdoors. Mosquitoes and ticks can transmit life-threatening diseases. West Nile virus and Lyme disease are some of the most common; however, there are several others to be concerned with as well.

The CDC provides a comprehensive list recommending ingredients for effective repellency. Creating a barrier between you and disease-carrying mosquitoes and ticks is an excellent way to stay safe while enjoying the outdoors.

Additional Tips: Wear light-colored clothing and avoid being outside during “peak” mosquito hours (from dusk until dawn). Dark clothing attracts mosquitoes. Also, long pants, socks pulled over pants and long-sleeved shirts will act as yet another protective layer between you and blood-sucking pests.

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

This doesn’t mean to drain your pool, toss your planters, or store your birdbath. We simply recommend treating, or the water in these items, weekly, to avoid a mass mosquito take over. Female mosquitoes can lay 100 eggs at a time and have them hatch in as little as 5 days. Backyard items with stagnant water offer a perfect breeding ground for female mosquitoes to lay their eggs in. This includes your pets’ water dishes, too!

Addressing any stagnant water around your yard will lessen mosquito populations in your yard and decrease your chances of being bitten.

3. Keep your lawn trimmed
Mosquitoes and ticks like to hang out in cool, damp and shady vegetation.

Overgrown vegetation and lawns make for the perfect mosquito and tick oasis. Mosquitoes love to rest on tall, shaded grass to avoid the hot temperatures. Ticks crawl up vegetation to wait for a passerby to latch onto, be it human or mammal. Keeping your lawn mowed and vegetation trimmed back will remove the habitat that ticks and mosquitoes need. It’s one of the easiest ways 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.

Ever notice a small anthill in your yard with a line of busy little worker ants coming and going? You reach for a magnifying glass and… No, you didn’t. Well under that mound of dirt is a colony of ants. It may start off small, but it has the potential to grow. Depending on the species of ant, it could grow into the thousands. Some ants bite, while others peacefully invade your home. If they are carpenter ants, they may gnaw into your home, causing extensive damage. With their ability to quickly spread and divide into more colonies, it is essential to treat anthills as soon as you spot one.

Prevention is key for avoiding an ant infestation in your home. Consult an ant control specialist before you try any DIY treatments. DIY treatments can make ants scatter and spread into other areas of your yard and home, making matters worse.

5. Check wood structures
Large bees flying around could signify the presence of carpenter bees.

With their large shiny and hairless abdomens, carpenter bees are sometimes mistaken for bumblebees. The main difference is that bumblebees have a fuzzy abdomen. While kind of cute and usually harmless to people, these bees can do extensive damage to homes as they bore holes through soft, untreated woods to build their homes in.

If you spot a dime-sized, perfectly rounded opening on the exterior of your home, consult a pest control expert who specializes in carpenter bee control to see what your best course of action is. Usually, having the hole treated, then filled with a wood filler or sealant will do the trick. However, you should also consider preventative maintenance such as painting or staining the exterior wood on your home to deter future carpenter bees from boring holes in your home.

6. Watch out for stinging insects
Inspect your home and property for hives and nests.

Stinging insects seem to invoke fear in both children and adults. Children run and flail about, while adults swat at them with shoes, newspapers and hats. And, let’s be honest, some running may be involved, too. The problem with stinging insects besides the fact that they hurt when they sting is that they build all sorts of nests in all sorts of places and just when you knock down one nest, another nest is being built. So how do you keep stinging insects out of your yard? Due diligence and a certified stinging insect specialist, that’s how.

Taking down a nest by yourself is not safe, nor is it advised. Different species require different treatments and come with their own unique challenges. For instance, yellow jackets become increasingly aggressive as their food supply runs out toward the end of summer. Understanding a stinging insect’s behavior and habitat is essential for successfully combating these pests. Avoid being stung. Call one of our certified and licensed pest control specialists.

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