The dark, depressing days of winter are a great time to make plans for activities your family can enjoy during the coming summer season. In many areas of the United States, however, families may find themselves altering their plans for outdoor activities because of pressure from seasonal insects.
If your family is one of the many that has grown weary of having their favorite summertime activities interrupted or ruined by the appearance of stinging, biting, or swarming insects, there are some things you can do to ensure that the coming summer is your most pest-free one yet.
Plan to discourage ticks
If your family members have begun to avoid playing or relaxing in the backyard because of the risk of being bitten by ticks, you can start now to discourage these annoying pests. Since ticks typically enter residential areas by crawling through overgrown areas, creating obstacles can be helpful in discouraging them.
Homeowners can help to thwart tick invasions by creating a wide barrier of pea gravel or mulch around the perimeter of the lawn. Ticks are reluctant to cross this type of material because there are few places for them to hide.
In addition to creating this type of barrier, it is a good idea to lower the deck on the family lawn mower to keep the grass cut very short. The combination of a barrier and extremely short grass will lessen the chances that ticks will want to invade your lawn.
Plant to discourage mosquitoes and flies
Being bitten by hungry mosquitoes or hearing flies buzz about in outdoor eating areas can take all the fun out of leisurely outdoor meals. Luckily, homeowners can use the winter season to plan to plant specific flowers and herbs throughout their backyard that will help to repel these winged pests.
Some of the most effective plants for repelling mosquitoes and flies include:
- lemon balm
These plants also add visual interest and pleasant fragrances to your outdoor spaces.
In addition to using plants to help discourage the interest of mosquitoes, flies and other pests, homeowners will also want to carefully manage their outdoor spaces to eliminate wet areas and standing water where mosquitoes breed.
Additional tips for discouraging pest activity in outdoor spaces near your home include removing overripe or dropped fruit or rotten vegetables, and trimming overgrown bushes and trees.
Winter is also a good time for homeowners to contact a pest control service to schedule periodic pest control treatments throughout the spring, summer, and fall season. By using these tips, your family is sure to enjoy their most pest-free summer yet.