Simple Steps to Fight Insects Outside Your Home
With the warmer months looming, homeowners will be spending more and more time outside, enjoying their patios, decks, gardens, etc. One result of the constant activity in the backyard and of course barbeques, are the uninvited insects that can make a way into your home.
So, how does one go upon enjoying their outdoor living space without rolling out the welcome mat for insects?
Here are a few tips to keep those buggers out of your outdoor living areas:
General yard clean up: Remove clutter, in particular leaves and grass clippings from around the foundation and clean out window wells and drainage guttering. Prune shrubs and tree limbs touching the house to eliminate entry points.
Use pest resistant trash receptacles: Lids should be self-closing with a tight seal. Dumpsters must be steam cleaned frequently.
Pest proof your compost bin: A well-maintained compost bin will not attract pests into the area. Do not compost any meats, fish, bones, oils, fatty foods or dog/cat manures. Burying food waste into the center of the pile will reduce smells that attract pests. Ensure that each layer remains slightly damp and turn or poke holes in the pile every week or two to discourage nesting. Harvest finished compost at the bottom of the bin every three to six months.
Avoid rodents and other small animals gaining access with a secure lid and stop them from burrowing in by lining the bottom and sides of the bin with hardware cloth (galvanized wire mesh). Piling rocks or bricks around the outside is also helpful.
Encourage birds and bats: They are excellent predators of pests. To persuade birds to take up residence in your yard, plant trees or shrubs for nest sites, and provide a fresh water source. To encourage bats, put up houses for bats to roost during the day.
Plant flowers: This will help to encourage many beneficial insects. For example, the annual flower, alyssum, attracts flower flies and tiny parasitic wasps. As long as no one in the family is allergic to wasp stings, you can set aside an area of your yard for insect plants. Wildflowers and native shrubs are an effective and attractive addition to a yard.
Regular maintenance checks: This requires a specific “walk-around” to inspect areas of previous insect activity and ensure all pest-proofing measures have remained intact.
While it's tough to create a fully secure, bug free backyard, pest proofing will reduce almost all incidents.