(BPT) – If you’re like many people, the warm months of summer are when you are most active outdoors. You’re not alone. The same is also true for fleas, ticks and mosquitoes. New findings show these pests are more than just an annoyance, they can pose a health risk. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, illnesses caused by these pests are on the rise, and in recent years, nine new germs spread by ticks and mosquitoes have been identified or introduced into the U.S.
Now more than ever, it’s important to be proactive by putting a plan in place to protect your home and outdoor space from these pests, and any of the other 200 insect types that could inhabit your lawn and enter your home. Start with these five tips:
* Narrow down your summer guest list. Different pests are drawn to different things. Mosquitoes can breed and thrive in even the smallest amount of water, and yellow jackets enjoy spending time around trash. Many stinging insects are also drawn to the bright bulbs of certain flowers. Remove these appealing targets from your space to keep these unwanted guests away from your family.
* Protect your home inside and out. When creating your indoor and outdoor pest control strategy, a few preventative measures go a long way. Apply Ortho(R) Home Defense Insect Killer for Indoor & Perimeter early in the season to protect your home from ants, roaches and spiders and create a long-lasting barrier around your home to keep bugs out. To protect your yard and keep pests at a minimum, apply Ortho(R) Home Defense Insect Killer for Lawns Granules to your grass. A 10-pound bag treats up to 10,000 square feet and provides three-month protection against listed insects before they can ruin your fun. As always, follow the label directions for any products you apply.
* Keep your yard clean. Insects love dark, moist areas, many of which can be found in your yard if you don’t keep it tidy. Mow the grass at least once a week so insects have less room to hide and remove debris or clutter as soon as it accumulates, particularly in areas like your wood pile. If you put off these tasks, unwanted visitors may have already moved in.
* Check your screens. With the windows shut all winter, it’s easy to forget about the condition of your screens when you open them once again. However, even the smallest hole in one of your screens can be all an insect needs to get inside. Check each of your screens — no matter how high the window is off the ground — to be sure it still works, and don’t delay if a replacement must be made.
* Be proactive about infestation. When you’re outside, take a moment to look for signs of insect infestation on your property. For example, wasps tend to build their nests in the crooks of your roof and carpenter ants will set up shop in old wood if left to their own devices. Clear these infestations yourself or contact a pest control expert to prevent the problem from growing worse. Don’t assume they’ll go away on their own, or you’ll be dealing with these pests all season long.
The summer months can be some of the best times of the year, and you should be able to enjoy your summer on your terms. Apply the tips above and you and your family will have a home and yard to enjoy all season.