As we approach the unofficial start of summer this Memorial Day weekend, we will be more aware of the pests they see in our yards. Mosquitoes, ticks, flies, and stinging insects can quickly ruin any outdoor fun.
Clark your friendly termite, mosquito, grounds care, and pest control expert, would like to remind you that – if not properly addressed and controlled – these backyard pests can move inside your home and turn into a much bigger issue.
Pest attraction points
A yard filled with tall grass, overgrown shrubs, and tall weeds can provide blood-sucking pests – ticks, fleas – easy access to such hosts as pets and people. Fleas can also enter a yard by hitching a ride on rodents and other wildlife, as well as on shoes, picnic blankets, and clothing.
Eaves and overhangs, as well as the undersides of decks and porches, provide ideal sheltered locations for such stinging insects as yellowjackets, wasps, and hornets to build nests. Additionally, these airborne pests are attracted to exposed food and open garbage cans, along with sweet-smelling fragrances like perfume, cologne, and even some lotions and sunscreens.
Aside from feeding on people, mosquitoes can use yards to reproduce, breeding in areas of standing water. Mosquitoes only need a half-inch of stagnant water to reproduce, so many items in your backyard can provide ideal breeding grounds, such as bird baths, baby pools, grill covers, and potted plants.
There are more than 700 ant species found in the U.S., so it isn’t surprising that you might stumble upon an ant hill or two in the backyard. In California, Argentine ants are the most encountered species; they build nests beneath plants and sidewalks. In parts of southern California, you might encounter red imported fire ants in landscaping in your backyard. Fire ants will sting if their nest is disturbed, and the sting can be quite painful – so please don’t be too aggressive in kicking that ant mound in your backyard.
Mosquitoes and ticks
Some of the most common outdoor pests are mosquitoes and ticks. These pests can plague any yard, especially yards near wooded areas. These pests primarily feed on human blood meals, and are good candidates to show up at any backyard barbecue. Capable of spreading debilitating diseases such as West Nile virus and Lyme disease, mosquitoes and ticks pose a far greater threat than just their bites. Concerned about mosquitoes on your property? Ask about Clark’s Swat-Away mosquito service.
Stinging insects, including yellowjackets, wasps, and hornets, can wreak havoc on any outdoor activity. According to the National Pest Management Association, stinging insects send more than 500,000 people to the emergency room every year. These pests build nests in a variety of places around the house, such as overhangs, eaves, the undersides of porches and decks, in trees and ground nests around the yard, and along fence lines.
Attracted to warm-blooded hosts, fleas typically make their way to yards in search of people and pets. They can also transport themselves on rodents and other wild animals, quickly making their presence known upon arrival. Although fleas have a short lifespan of about 100 days, females can produce up to 400 to 500 offspring during that time.
Tips to eliminating backyard pests
- When spending time outdoors, apply an insect repellent containing an EPA-registered ingredient, such as DEET, picaridin, or oil of lemon eucalyptus.
- Wear long-sleeved and long-legged clothing, and tuck pants into socks, especially if you’re spending time in higher grass.
- Prevent mosquitoes from breeding in your yard by eliminating standing water and routinely changing the water in birdbaths and kiddie pools.
- Seal and cover any trash with tight lids, making sure to place cans far from primary entertaining spots. If you’re cooking out in the yard, keep yellowjackets, wasps, and hornets away by covering all food while you’re outdoors.
- Overgrown brush and weeds can house and hide bugs like ticks and mosquitoes. Keep shrubbery trimmed, and mow the lawn on a regular basis.
- Seal exterior housing cracks, install screens on windows and doors, and inspect both pets and people before coming inside to keep those pests outside where they belong.
Have questions about backyard pests? Call or text Clark
If you have questions about pests in your backyard or home, call or text (800) WE-NEED-YOU (936-3330) or e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Until next time, the pest management professionals at Clark Pest Control thank you for helping us keep unwanted pests out of your home and yard.