3 Ways to Have an Insect Free Backyard Party
It’s summer, the perfect time to throw a true blue Aussie barbeque backyard party, especially with Australia Day around the corner. One of the things you need to do is keep out unwanted guests – insects.
There are 300 types of mosquitoes in Australia, of which about a dozen are a nuisance, according to Dr. Cameron Webb, medical entomologist, University of Sydney. These creatures are tiny, but they are big party poopers.
One study found that 77% of homeowners said that mosquitoes limited their backyard activities. You don’t want your guests scratching themselves instead of enjoying the lipsmacking food and beer.
How to have a Insect free backyard Party?
Here are the things you need to do to have an insect free backyard party.
1. Identify Standing Water Areas
Why is important to ensure your backyard does not have any standing water areas? Mosquitoes lay their eggs anywhere they find moisture – the eggs feed on bacteria found in water. The most common mosquito biting Australians, the aedes notoscriptus is “found in pot plant soils, bird baths and rainwater tanks in our backyard.
Any container – doesn’t matter how small it is – that traps a bit of water in the backyard … you can find this mozzie moving in,” says Dr. Webb. Water holding plants like bromeliads also attract these mosquitoes. They are more active mid to late afternoon, so they can ruin your barbeque backyard party.
“Something as small as a bottle cap can be a breeding spot for mosquitoes,” says the chief entomologist for the US National Pest Management Association, Jim Fredericks, Ph.D. “The good thing is that they can’t fly very far (less than 200 metres), so if you can eliminate breeding spots on your property, you can greatly reduce the number of mosquitoes near your house.”
Reducing mosquito breeding sites in your backyard falls in one of “dump it, clean it, drain it, or fill it” categories. Scan your entire lawn for possible standing water areas. Dark coloured containers in the shade are mosquito favourites. Change the water in watering cans and birdbaths every few days so that mosquitoes don’t get nutrients.
You’ll also need to check for water pooling by weeds, clogged drains and trays under flower pots. If your swimming pool is filtered and well chlorinated you needn’t worry about that though. Turn over a kiddie pool or wheelbarrow when it’s not being used.
If you have any sunken areas in your yard, fill them in with dirt. You should remove any areas where water can accumulate and be retained for 7-10 days, especially where there are leaves, soil or other organic matter.
Cover any water holding containers that you can’t remove, like rain barrels when it’s not raining. For containers without lids, use wire mesh with holes smaller than an adult mosquito. You can drill drainage holes in water holding containers you need to keep in your garden, to let accumulated water run through.
Removing standing water areas is one of the most cost effective and oldest ways of mosquito control. Do this exercise all summer so that you’re not left scrambling at the last minute. It’s especially important to run this drill after it rains.
If you’re feeling adventurous, in summer you can check for mosquitoes in a water source by dipping a cup in the standing water. You might see mosquito larvae the size of your fingernail squiggling around.
2. Keep Trimming Your Verge
While preventing mosquito breeding grounds controls them at the egg stage, you also need to deter adult mosquitoes. These insects like to move around under cover when it’s hot – the lower limbs of shrubs (their source of plant nectar), shade trees and weeds. Weeds and tall grass are magnets for mosquitoes, since they are quiet places.
Cut your grass short and thin your branches. Trim and prune your shrubs and bushes. The lesser areas there are for bugs to hide in, the lesser bugs there’ll be. For shaded areas, a professional pest control application will reduce mosquito harbourage sites.
3. Plant the Right Grasses
Add plants that keep insects away to your garden for a fragrant and effective party perimeter. Citronella grass grows fast and is easy to maintain. Citronella essential oil is even used in mosquito repellents – that’s how effective it is. Citronella has a strong but pleasant citrus scent that masks other scents. If a mosquito can’t smell your guests, it can’t bite them.
Lemongrass has citronella oil too. Lavender’s strong fragrance comes from essential oils in its leaves, which will prevent mosquitoes from smelling the carbon dioxide humans exhale. Common herbs like basil, mint and rosemary are natural bug repellents too.
Marigold and chrysanthemum look pretty and ward off a range of insects as well, from aphids to mosquitoes. Sadly, you’ll need to trample your insect repellent plants to fully release their fragrance. Do this at the last minute, so that you can enjoy their beauty till then.
Tips from Competitive Pest Control (CPS)
While you can take the steps mentioned earlier to reduce mosquitoes in your home, a reliable pest control service will ensure that mosquitoes will stay away for good. Competitive Pest Control Services (CPS) has been keeping Australian homes mosquito free for 25 years.
A professional inspection by a CPS technician will get rid of any long standing mosquito problems you have. The company does enhanced inspections for homes and backyards and use targeted solutions to get to the root of the problem and keep insects out.CPS works with the latest in environmentally friendly pest control treatments and technology, so that your family and pets are safe. They have an ISO1401 certification for environmental impact management. CPS has been awarded Australian Pest Control Manager of the Year four times by the Australian Environmental Pest Managers Association (AEPMA).
Your backyard is meant for your enjoyment, but you need to take care that mosquitoes don’t enjoy it too. Make it a practice to ruthlessly remove standing water, keep your foliage short and plant grasses that keep mosquitoes away. In case those pesky mosquitoes persist, you can always call in a professional pest control company like CPS.
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