Bug Control and Your Yard
by Barb Hopkins
Backyard fun during the warm weather months includes cookouts, playing games with the kids and relaxing afternoons spent lounging with a good book. However, time spent in your outdoor living space can be ruined by a bug infestation. Backyard bug control is necessary to reduce pests such as mosquitoes, stinging insects, ants and common garden insects such as spider mites.
Bug control: Mosquitoes
Nothing spoils a backyard party quicker than a swarm of bloodthirsty mosquitoes. Insect repellent or bug spray can be worn by individuals. However, controlling mosquitoes throughout the outdoor living space is another solution.
Protect your guests from annoying, buzzing mosquitoes by placing citronella torches around the deck or patio. The lemony-aroma from the citronella can help deter mosquitoes for about 30 to 40 minutes. Fashionable citronella torches are available at Kmart in a variety of styles ranging from the classic tiki torch to a modern, elegant Chambord metal torch.
Other citronella products such as tabletop candles and bucket candles can be used along with the torches to keep your backyard living space mosquito-free.
Cutter Backyard Bug Control spray concentrate helps control mosquitoes plus other insects such as fleas and ants for up to eight weeks. It can be used on lawns, flowerbeds or landscaping areas and on outdoor surfaces such as decks, walkways and patios. Cutter’s backyard fogger also kills mosquitoes plus gnats, flies, moths, wasps and more. The fogger kills the bugs on contact—ideal to use before hosting a backyard party.
Outdoor bug control must include the elimination of stinging insects such as wasps, yellow jackets and hornets. The North Dakota State University Extension Service recommends, “Stinging insects should be controlled in the evening when they are resting in their nests.” Wasps, yellow jackets and hornets build similar nests that look like gray papier-mâché.
Look for the nests under the eaves of the roof, in the upper corner of a back porch, under a gutter, in trees and in any other space that’s protected from intruders. Consider a product such as K-gro Wasp Killer in an aerosol can from Kmart.com.
Keep ants from spoiling your backyard picnics by applying Terro® Ant Dust directly in the path of the bugs. This bug control product kills ants (including fire ants and carpenter ants), box elder bugs, ticks, silverfish and more on contact. The bug control won’t wash away in the rain either—it offers ant and insect protection for as long as eight months.
Cucumbers, raspberries and flowers such as petunias often become infested with spider mites. You can eliminate this garden pest with a solution of mild dish soap and water. Mix the solution and apply it to the undersides of the affected plant leaves using a gallon lawn and garden sprayer. Rosemary oil also can be used instead of the soap and water solution.