Kids rejoice as outdoor pools open, backyard grills are dusted off and all of a sudden white is popping up replacing blue jeans. Yes, the unofficial start to summer is upon us, and unfortunately, so is a bumper crop of mosquitoes and ticks.
The summer of 2012 is being predicted by health officials as one of the worst seasons in recent history for mosquitoes and ticks, but there five simple steps you can follow to protect yourself to keep mosquitoes away, as well as six preventative measures to make sure ticks don’t ruin your summer fun either.
“By practicing good mosquito and tick control habits, homeowners can protect themselves, their families and pets from potentially serious illnesses,” said Boyd Huneycutt, vice president of Mosquito Squad and the company’s resident vector expert.
The Five T's to Take Back Yards from Mosquitoes
1. Tip. Reduce standing water. Check children’s sandboxes, wagons or plastic toys; downspouts, plant saucers and dog bowls. Other hot spots: gutters, and flat roofs.
2. Toss. Remove excess grass, leaves, firewood and clippings from yards.
3. Turn. Turn over larger yard items that could hold water like children’s plastic toys.
4. Remove Tarps. If tarps stretched over firewood piles, boats or sports equipment aren’t taut, they’re holding water.
5. Treat. Utilize a mosquito elimination barrier treatment around the home and yard. Using a barrier treatment at home reduces the need for using DEET-containing bug spray on the body. Mosquito Squad’s eliminates up to 90% of the mosquitoes and ticks on a property.
The Six C's to Tick-Proof Your Yard
1. Clear out. Reduce tick exposure by clearing out areas where lawn and tree debris gathers. Ticks thrive in moist, shady areas. Locate compost piles away from play areas or high traffic. Separate them with wood chips or gravel. Don’t position playground equipment, decks and patios near treed areas.
2. Clean. Eliminate leaf litter and brush by cleaning it up around the house and lawn edges, mow tall grasses and keep the lawn short.
3. Choose plants. Select plants and shrubs that are not attractive to deer and/or install physical barriers to keep deer out of your yard. Check with your local nursery to determine the best choices for your area.
4. Check hiding places: Know tick-hiding places and check them frequently. Fences, brick walls and patio retaining walls are popular hiding places.
5. Care for family pets. Family pets can suffer from tick-borne disease and also carry infected ticks into the home. Talk to your veterinarian about using tick collars and sprays. As with all pest control products, be sure to follow directions carefully.
6. Call in the Pros: Professionals utilize both barrier sprays that can kill adult ticks on the spot as well as “tick tubes”. Strategically placed “tick tubes”, prompt field mice to incorporate tick-killing material in their bedding, effectively eliminating hundreds of tick nymphs found in each mouse nest.
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