With summer in full swing, it’s time to get out and enjoy the outdoors. But before you fire up the grill and relax in the hammock, survey your property for potential pest hot spots. Don’t let unwelcome guests spoil your summertime fun. Start with the tips below.

Remove Standing Water

Mosquitoes aren’t just an annoyance — they’re a disease vector for the West Nile and Zika viruses. You may know that they lay their eggs in water, but did you know that a mosquito can lay up to 200 eggs in a pool of water the size of a bottle cap? Get rid of potential breeding spots in common outdoor items, like planters, birdbaths, gutters and flipped trash can lids. A dripping faucet can provide a suitable puddle, so address any leaks as well.

Maintain a Tidy Yard

Keeping your lawn well-groomed is also necessary for controlling pests. Ticks and other critters often seek shelter in nooks and crannies. Trim back overgrowth, and collect and dispose of fallen leaves. Move firewood as far away from the house as possible, and store it in a rack off the ground if possible. Lay gravel or wood chipsbetween your yard and any wooded areas to further discourage ticks from creeping too close.

Are Pests Already a Problem?

If you have unwelcome visitors making themselves at home in your yard or garden, there are various ways to handle it. For those looking to avoid chemicals and pesticides, natural solutions, such as a spray mixture of hot pepper and garlic, can help. Serious infestations, however, may require a professional pest control service.

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