How often have you heard someone say they want to get rid of pests like ants, flies, or spiders? If you live in an area with these types of pests, then you probably know what I’m talking about. The problem is that most homeowners don’t know how to get rid of them. Bugs and little critters are not only annoying, but some can even be dangerous. Approximately 476,000 Americans are diagnosed with Lyme disease every year, so getting rid of these pests can protect you and your family from disease. If you want to eliminate those pesky backyard pests, keep reading!
Know Your Bugs
The first step to eliminating backyard pests is knowing what types of bugs you have in your yard. While some bugs can cause illness or detrimental damage to your backyard garden, some bugs are harmless or even beneficial. Here is a list of some helpful bugs.
- Ground beetles
- Non-Venomous Spiders
- Praying Mantis
On the other hand, some bugs can be extremely damaging to your yard. Here are a few harmful pests to watch out for.
- Fire ants
Luckily, there are several ways to get rid of and prevent these bugs.
Pre-Treat Your Yard to Prevent Backyard Pests
Before prime bug season, which is typically June to October depending on your state, spray your yard with an insecticide. This can be very effective in preventing infestation. Insecticides with the active ingredient bifenthrin are particularly effective at preventing bugs. If you have pets or young kids, be sure to verify that your insecticide is safe to use around them!
Get Rid of Standing Water
Standing water, like bird baths or puddles, attracts many types of insects and bugs. Standing water is a breeding ground for mosquitoes and flies. It’s time to get rid of that birdbath and bring in any utility buckets you have in the yard. Be sure your outdoor potted plants have a proper drainage system as well. Make sure your children close up their sandbox if it is going to rain.
Seal up or Remove Attractants like Food
After you have a backyard BBQ, you may notice a larger amount of bugs around. Food and open trash containers are like beacons to bugs likes flies. These types of bugs feed on rotting food and lay eggs in it as well. Try thoroughly cleaning the inside and outside of your trash can with water and vinegar to eliminate any bacteria that can attract flies. Be sure to keep your trash can tightly closed at all times. Also, always clean up any food scraps after eating outside and keep food covered when grilling outdoors. Removing attractants like trash and food is a great way to eliminate backyard pests.
Choose Bug Repellent Plants or Bugs
There are several natural options for bug repellent, including certain types of plants and even other non-invasive bugs. For example, ladybugs are natural predators of aphids, which eat at plants causing yellowed leaves and plant death. You can buy a small tub of ladybugs at many outdoor stores.
Plants can also be bug-repellent. Citronella plants are green leafy plants that are very effective at keeping mosquitoes away. You can even buy citronella-scented outdoor candles for your patio.
Change Out Your Lights
It is common knowledge that many types of bugs are attracted to certain types of lights. Bugs are specifically attracted to bright white lights that emit a blueish, green color. If your outdoor lights are a bright white, try switching the bulbs out for a warm yellow or orange.
You can also use bugs’ attraction to white light to your advantage. Invest in an outdoor bug zapper or UV light that will attract bugs and zap them instantly. It is important to note that these zappers only work at night!
Birds and Bats Can Eliminate Some Backyard Pests
Birds and bats can help reduce the number of bugs in your backyard. Bats are predators of moths and other large insects like mayflies, leafhoppers, and mosquitoes. To attract bats to your yard, build a dark bat house and plant fragrant, night-blooming plants around it.
Birds, like bluebirds, eat a variety of insects like grasshoppers, aphids, and bark beetles. Bring more birds to your yard with a birdhouse and several types of bird feed.
Keep a Clean Yard
Keeping your landscaping clean and trimmed is a great way to prevent backyard bugs and pests. Tall grass can attract pests like fleas and ticks, and it can prevent water from draining into the ground properly, which attracts even more bugs. Cutting your grass reduces the potential for bugs to create homes in your yard, and it makes your yard hostile to many pests.
Start using these tips today to prevent and eliminate the pests in your backyard!
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