It’s that time of year again. The days are warmer; the bugs are buzzing, and it’s getting darker earlier in the evening. That can only mean one thing: Backyard pest control is on its way. With summer comes increased gardening activity. This means more contact with potentially dangerous pests like ticks, mosquitoes, and poison ivy plants. Here are 4 safety tips for backyard pest control you need to know before your next barbecue or garden expedition.
Use Bright Lighting
If you’re working at night, make sure there is plenty of light around the area where you will be working. So that anything dangerous lurking under leaves or in bushes won’t surprise you. Make sure not to use any lights with a strong, narrow beam, as these can create a blind spot that could lead to dangerous accidents. This means replacing your porch light with something extra bright, also getting some exterior lamps for other dark areas on your property, like by the garden shed or garage door entrance. Brighten up the walkway from the house leading into those darker spots too! Remember: the goal here is to make sure you can see everything before it’s too late.
You are also checking yourself for ticks after gardening or hanging out in the backyard at night. The proper way to do this is by using a mirror and looking over your entire body. This includes all those hard-to-see spots like underarms, behind knees, and between toes. Ticks are tiny, but they don’t have legs that go down into skin folds. Thus, if you’re diligent about checking each part of your body, there should be no reason one would escape detection!
Using insect repellent when working outdoors
Experts recommend treating clothing with permethrin spray because it repels ticks longer than other types of repellents. Also, apply a good amount of bug spray all over your body if you’ll be spending extended time outside. Why? Because mosquitoes and other bugs will find exposed skin like the neck, face, and hands very appetizing.
Also, when protecting yourself against mosquitos, use the best mosquito misting system. Use them outdoors only and keep pets and children away from the area until it is completely dry. This type of insecticide best works when applied near standing water containers like birdbaths. Hence, be aware that any rain may wash the residue off these locations onto other areas where you don’t want it - or into your home if used indoors.
Avoiding Poison Ivy Plants
This is especially important for parents with young children who might not know that “leaves of three” means stay away! A lot of plants have leaves that come in groups. But only one type causes terrible rashes on contact: poison ivy. It’s impossible to identify these plants by sight. Therefore, it’s best to assume they are present whenever working outdoors at night or on sunny days when people are less likely to be wearing long sleeves.
Always Wear Protective Clothes and Be Aware of Precautions
Clothing like gloves when applying pesticides to prevent exposure with your skin or eyes. You’ll also want to cover up any exposed areas with long pants and a long-sleeved shirt for extra protection. A heavy-duty dust mask is recommended if you will spray yourself down while killing ants in an area that has been treated.
When using a pest control product in your backyard, it’s essential to be aware of the precautions you need to take. As with any chemical or biological agent used for killing pests like mosquitoes and ticks, safety measures should always come first. Some organic products are safe to use on children and pets if diluted. However, not all chemicals intended for outdoor use can be considered “safe” around kids or animals if you plan on spraying pesticides within proximity of humans or other living things that may wander into your yard (like cats). It is best to err on the side of caution by completely avoiding them all together rather than risk collateral damage from an errant spray.
Apply only enough pesticide needed to achieve control. Avoid wasting pesticides because they could have negative impacts on the environment.
The backyard is a great place to relax and have fun, but it’s also home to some potentially dangerous plants and bugs. This makes staying safe outside as crucial as being safe inside! Pay attention to where you’re walking. Stay on the lookout for ticks after spending time in your yard or garden. Also, use insect repellent when working outdoors and know what poison ivy looks like, so no one ends up with an uncomfortable rash.
Author Bio: Stephanie Snyder
Stephanie Caroline Snyder graduated from The University of Florida in 2018; she majored in Communications with a minor in mass media. Currently, she is an Author and a Freelance Internet Writer, and a Blogger.