Nothing is a bigger bummer than not being able to enjoy your yard because you are getting eaten up by bugs. There is no doubt that living and playing outdoors in Maryland can put you at risk of exposure to fleas, ticks, and mosquitos. Can you control these pesky insects? There are definitely steps you can take to control bugs in your yard.
8 Ways to Controlling Fleas and Ticks
1. Mow the Lawn Correctly
Make sure your lawn is neat and trimmed. Both fleas and ticks like to hide in high grass. The caveat is not to mow too short, though, because it will drive away spiders and ants, which eat fleas and ticks.
2. Don’t Overwater Lawn and Shrubbery
Fleas and ticks thrive in moist environments. Avoid overwatering. If you have a drainage issue, aerating your lawn may help. Check under shrubs to make sure water is not pooling.
3. Keep the Yard Clean and Trimmed
Remove any yard debris such as piles of lumber, bricks or stones. Neatly stack gardening items. At the end of each season clean up the gardens, flower beds, storage areas, and under decks and porches.
Keep trees and shrubs pruned to allow for more sunlight on your landscape.
4. Inspect Your Pet’s Hangouts
Fleas and ticks know when they have a good thing going. Larvae will remain within 50 feet of your pet’s favorite resting area. Clean up and treat shady areas under low-hanging shrubs and under porches, etc.
5. Discourage Wildlife from Your Yard
Animals such as deer, squirrels, rabbits, raccoons, mice and feral cats carry fleas and ticks. If you have a birdfeed, make sure squirrels cannot access it. Always cover trash cans and recycling bins securely. Never allow wildlife to live and breed on your property.
6. Create a Barrier Around Your Home
Treat your yard with chemicals to create a protective barrier. It will prevent fleas and ticks from migrating onto your property, and into your home. Remove any brush or trim overly wild areas in and around your yard.
7. Use Cedar Mulch
Cedar mulch repels fleas and ticks. Use it in border areas, under shrubs and in flower beds.
8. Encourage Flea and Tick Predators
Make your landscape appealing to flea and tick predators. Keep your lawn properly trimmed. Many birds eat these pests so hang a bird feeder to attract them. You must be careful, however, to also make sure it is squirrel proof.
Standing water is your worst enemy when it comes to comes to controlling mosquitos in your yard. They can breed in only a capful of water. So, staying vigilant about stagnant water in your yard is your best to begin controlling them. Look around in your yard for any of the following things:
- Old tires, tin cans, buckets of water, literally anything that can catch rainwater.
- Keep gutters and other drainage areas free of leaves and debris, and keep the water flowing.
- Inspect all air conditioning drip pans.
- Make sure to keep all trash cans and recycling bins covered to keep out rainwater.
- Fix leaky faucets and hoses, mosquitos will breed in pooled water.
- Clean birdbaths and change water regularly.
- Dump water out drip trays under flower pots.
- Check all trees trunks on your property for any holes, no matter how shallow they seem.
- Turn over boats and kayaks.
- Check tarps covering firewood for creases and collected water.
- Inspect all your screens in windows and porches.
- Properly maintain all ornamental landscape ponds and water features.
- Keep your backyard pool clean and treated all year.
- Replace outdoor light bulbs with bug repelling light bulbs.
What Else Can You Do?
While some people swear by bug zappers, according to the American Mosquito Control Association, bug zappers, do not necessarily reduce the amount of mosquitoes in your yard. What’s more is that these devices kill beneficial non-pest insects that are a food source for many types of songbirds.
But, it is also important to note that in Maryland, while it seems that during the hot and humid summer months it is the season for pests like fleas, ticks, and mosquitos, it is not so. These bugs can be active all year, even in winter. Believe it or not, 65-80 degrees Fahrenheit with 75-85 percent humidity makes for the ideal climate. Also, consider misting systems, bug traps, lanterns, citronella candles, and lawn sprays.
Cape Ace Hardware has a wide range of products to help control bugs in your yard. Yet another reason why your Cape Ace is the Place!