Combatting warm-weather bugs
Tips to prevent pest-related illness and irritation this summer
With temperatures rising and homeowners heading outdoors for picnics, parties and gatherings, insect- induced risks are fully in-season. With disease-carrying bugs buzzing around, it's time to take the proper steps in protecting your lawn so that you can enjoy living life outside to the fullest and get the most out of your backyard this summer.
Warm-weather bugs, such as fleas and ticks, offer risks that include irritating bites and Lyme disease, which is transmitted by deer ticks and is typically accompanied by fever, headache, fatigue and a skin rash. If left untreated, Lyme disease can cause nervous system damage. Ticks can often be found in heavily wooded regions and naturalized areas with tall, un-mowed grass and other plants. Pets and families should be aware of tick problems in these areas if left untreated.
Fleas are also a problem for pets if left undetected. Fleas thrive in warm, dry periods of summer and can be difficult to control. Other lawn pests including chiggers, ants and spiders can be an irritation for families playing in their yard.
Taking proper preventive measures can help protect your family and your yard from these and other nuisance pests. The National Pest Management Association and the Centers for Disease Control recommend the following tips: * Clear tall grass and brush.
* Mow frequently and keep leaves raked.
* Remove vegetation or trash from around any source of standing water that cannot be changed, dumped or removed.
* Screen windows, doors and other openings with fine mesh and keep doors and windows shut to prevent entry.
* Have pets treated for flea and tick control and keep them on a regular regimen.
* When outdoors, use an insect repellent containing DEET, picaridin or oil of lemon-eucalyptus on exposed skin.
Concerned homeowners should also consider contacting an outdoor pest control professional who can help reduce exposure to fleas, ticks and other pests, decreasing the risks for pestborne illnesses. For example, the TruShield Lawn Pest Control Plan available through Tru-Green includes an inspection of your lawn and treatment of any problem areas. The service also includes a broad application to significantly reduce the population of any other active lawn pests, and additional applications every four to six weeks for lasting control and ongoing protection.
'Using a professional to help control lawn pests should be part of a well-rounded, comprehensive defense program,' said Bob Mangan, TruGreen director of technical services. 'Because ticks and other nuisance pests can congregate in backyards, it is especially important to help protect yourself and your family so that you can fully enjoy your outdoor time.'
Learn more about how to reduce your exposure to dangerous pests and help defend your home and family from unwanted lawn visitors at TruGreen.com.