One of the better parts of the summer months is the amount of time we get to spend in the yard. Whether we’re playing fetch with our best furry friend, sipping sangria while reclining in a hammock or planting new hydrangea bushes, working under the warm sun and feeling the kiss of a cool breeze on our skin is a summer delight!
There’s only one thing that can ruin it: pests!
How can you sit back and relax when you have mosquitos buzzing around your head looking to come in for a landing? How can you take in the fragrance of the new hydrangea bushes you planted when aphids are chowing down on new growth? Don’t even talk about the mole holes in the lawn!
Okay, deep breath. To keep your summer fun going strong this summer, here are four ways to keep your yard pest free.
Free of Mosquitos
As you may know, mosquitos are drawn to stagnant water. Does your toddler have a kiddie pool that could do with a deep cleaning and fresh water? Then get on it! Mosquitos breed near unmoving water, and your child’s kiddie pool (even the dog’s water bowl!) is an ample breeding ground. Popular Mechanics recommends tipping the kiddie pool and other containers of stagnant water regularly. If the containers are dog bowls, plant saucers and the like, refill with fresh water.
For double the protection, treat your yard with insect repellent. If you have pets, make sure it’s pet safe!
Free of Aphids
You’re not going to want to treat every insect-infected area with pesticide; it’s unhealthy for your plants and for you. Natural Living Ideas suggests treating your aphid infestation using organic supplies. Mixing a combination of essential oils that include “equal parts thyme, peppermint, clove and rosemary” in a spray bottle filled with water and sprayed directly on the plants and aphids will kill the bugs and their larvae and eggs.
If you don’t want to kill the aphids (everybody’s gotta eat, right?) you can physically remove the bugs one-by-one, place them in a bucket and take them to another area. Just make sure to spray your plants with the above essential oil mixture after to stop the aphids from coming back.
Free of Moles
A lop-sided lawn can prove a liability for you. If you have friends over for a cocktail and one of them twists their ankle after accidentally stepping on a mole hill, they can sue you for injury. Though you may think none of your friends would do such a thing, you never know until you’re actually in that situation. Homeowners’ insurance would cover the medical fees and doctor’s visits, and you can even score discounted home insurance quotes online should you need to get a new policy. But, you can’t get discounted insurance unless your home is as safe as can be, including your yard.
You can bait and trap the moles ruining your yard, catch and release or use natural repellents like garlic and coffee grounds to keep them from digging through your dirt.
Free of Garter Snakes
Snakes are naturally drawn to overgrown vegetation, long grass and ample flower beds. If your yard resembles an English garden, chances are you have a garter snake or two enjoying their shade.
Though garter snakes aren’t poisonous, running into them when you’re mowing the lawn or pruning the bushes can cause a nasty fright. To keep garter snakes from taking up residence in your yard, keep the yard well-manicured and never skip raking! Rose Pest Control also advises using moth balls to keep the snakes at bay, though know that moth balls are unsafe for curious children and pets.
Are you looking to spend your summer outside in the yard? Do it to the fullest!