PUBLISHED ON May 16th, 2011
Summer is right around the corner, and that means a lot more outdoor activities for you and your family. While camping, hiking and barbeques may all be fun, they do expose you to some pretty annoying outdoor pests. The following are the top five most irritating backyard pests and a few outdoor pest control methods you can employ to keep them at a distance.
1. Mosquitoes. They buzz, they bit and they’re incredibly persistent. When most people think of summer outdoor pests, mosquitoes are the first that come to mind. Not only are they annoying, but mosquitoes are known to carry infectious diseases such as the West Nile virus. The best way to handle mosquitoes is to remove any standing water around your home, use a strong insect repellent, and burn candles that contain natural repellents, such as calendula.
2. Flies. Flies come in all shapes and sizes, but one characteristic unites them all: They’re gross. They can ruin picnics, contaminate food and just plain get in the way. They can also carry diseases. One good pest management technique is an electric fly killer, but be warned – they can be quite loud and use a lot of energy.
3. Ants. These pests are notorious for spoiling picnics. Just like flies, ants are everywhere and want nothing more than to eat your food. Outdoor pest control for ants isn’t a good idea, as most outdoor ants are an important part of your yard’s ecosystem. However, if you notice a trail of ants leading toward your food, you can interrupt it by spraying vinegar or sprinkling black pepper.
4. Gnats. Also known as mites or biting flies, gnats love warm standing water. If you have a gnat problem, the first thing you should do is check if there are any pools or puddles nearby. After you’ve found and removed the water source, pest management for gnats is similar to that for mosquitoes; use a repellent spray or candle.
5. Fleas. Most commonly known for making your pet’s life miserable, fleas are easy to pick up outdoors. The best pest management strategy for fleas is to keep your lawn raked and cut short. Avoid tall, grassy areas and moist, shady or leaf-covered ground.
[ photo by: tylerkaraszewski ]