Summer’s long days and warm evenings are the perfect time of year for spending time with family and enjoying the outdoors. Months spent mostly indoors coupled with this year’s unseasonably cool spring has many of us itching to light the grill and remove our pool covers. Now that Memorial Day Weekend has come and gone, BBQ season is in full swing. However, this is also the time of year during which some of our region’s most dangerous pests are most active. To help you get the most out of your backyard, this summer, we’ve compiled a list of pest control tips to keep wasps, yellow jackets, ticks, and mosquitos from crashing your parties.
Hornets & Yellow Jackets
The familiar papery comb suspended from a tree or building is the hive built by bald-faced hornets. While the mere presence of this hive is warning enough to stay away, hornets post guards at hive entrances, and any nearby rapid movement or vibrations can provoke a sting response. Outdoor parties, children playing, the rumbling of a lawn mower, or the incessant buzzing of a weed whacker can all excite hornets, and a mature colony can hold up to 700 adults.
Your planning for any BBQ or backyard gathering should include surveying your property for hives, but not all hives are as obvious as those built by hornets. Yellow jackets build their hives underground and within walls. Like hornets, they guard the entrances to these structures and are put on high alert by the same stimuli.
Yellow jacket colonies are much larger than those of hornets, holding up to 4,000 workers at peak. More alarming yet, unlike other species of bees, yellow jackets do not lose their stingers after using them. Each bee can sting multiple times, and the initial sting from a yellow jacket guard releases a chemical that signals the rest of the hive to swarm. Yellow jackets also scavenge for sugary food like fruit and are attracted to garbage cans and outdoor activities like cookouts and picnics.
Because of their aggressive nature, both hornets and yellow jackets should be dealt with only by trained professionals. Leave it to the Masters. Call (877) 546-9575 to schedule a property survey, or request a quote here: https://masterspestcontrol.com/yellow-jackets/
Not all ticks carry disease, but deer ticks can carry Lyme. Ticks do well in high grass, shrubs, and moist places like leaf piles, so keeping up with yard work is one of the best pest control tips for making your property less attractive to ticks. Ensure grass gets mowed regularly and that leaves are raked and put in bins.
Your tick control efforts should also be aimed at keeping ticks from arriving on your property in the first place. Ticks make their way to your yard by hitching a ride on hosts such as rodents and deer. Move woodpiles, which attract mice, away from the home, and when planting shrubs, favor those that do not attract deer.
Masters Pest Control offers a green tick control program that can greatly reduce the number of ticks around your home. Call (877) 546-9575 to schedule an inspection of your property.
Mosquitos lay their eggs in shallow water, so clear your property of items that could allow water to stand long enough to become a breading ground. Such items include tires, tarps, pools, and birdbaths. As with ticks, proper lawn care can reduce mosquito populations. Thin out areas of dense ground cover. Level the spots in your yard that are prone to puddles, and clean out roof gutters.
Masters Pest Control offers an environmentally friendly long-term solution for mosquito problems. The In2Care mosquito program lures mosquitoes to a trap, where they are contaminated with a bioactive larvicide, which they then carry to their area-wide breeding grounds. After killing the larvae, the bioactive agent then kills the mosquitoes that carried it, reducing the spread of disease. In2Care reduces the use of chemical pesticides and, therefore, does not harm beneficial insects like bees and butterflies. It can also be used around pets and remains active 24/7. Click here for more information on our In2Care mosquito program.
We all deserve a summer full of sun, food, family, and friends. Don’t let bites and stings drive you back indoors. Masters Pest Control has the knowledge and tools to help you take back the backyard!