With Zika virus all over the headlines and Lyme Disease an ongoing concern, more and more Connecticut residents are thinking about how to protect their families this summer. Mosquitoes and ticks have always been local pests, but over the past few years, their attacks have gone from annoying to downright dangerous. Protection has become a top priority for many families — and for us at Connecticut Green, as well.
How do you keep the bugs away?
While we can spray for both mosquitoes and ticks, it’s important to realize that the treatment for these insects is not the same, even if the substance we use to treat them is. Why? Well, very simply, mosquitoes are airborne, while ticks live and thrive in tall grasses, brush and shrubs, and in or near woods. (Because ticks need blood to survive, they actually seek out spots that are frequented by mammals. Nasty, but true!) Ticks require a perimeter spray to keep them at bay. Flying mosquitoes require more frequent sprays on grasses and shrubs, as well as a repellent – not just for you, for your yard, as well.
What do you use?
The spray we use for both of these dangerous bugs is a safe product derived from chrysanthemums. This low-toxicity formula is used for both outdoor and indoor spraying, so it’s as safe as a pesticide can be for kids and pets. And it’s very effective.
In addition to a pesticide spray, we also advocate using a garlic oil-based repellent spray to keep mosquitoes from entering your yard in the first place. (It’s a fun fact that, like vampires, blood-sucking mosquitoes are repelled by garlic.)
How often should we be spraying?
For most homes, we recommend spraying three times annually for ticks: in spring, summer and fall. For mosquitoes, it’s suggested you spray monthly from June through September for the best protection. We can spray more frequently, and we can even come in advance of your next barbecue or garden party to ensure your guests stay comfortable. (Have an event coming up? Contact us now for an advance treatment!)
What else can we do?
There are a lot of really simple things you can do to keep your family and pets safe in mosquito and tick season. Here are just a few:
- Steer clear of standing water. Mosquitoes lay eggs in standing water, so make sure your property is clear of puddles and pools. Commonly overlooked places might include the bases of swing sets, sandbox covers and tents. Look carefully around your property, and if you find a pool of stagnant water, dump it ASAP..
- Get an electric fan. Believe it or not, a simple electric fan can do wonders to keep mosquitoes away. Why does this simple solution work? Mosquitoes are weak flyers, and fans make that job even harder for them. Turn on a fan and send them in search of an easier meal!
- Break out the DEET or Picaridin spray. Not everyone likes to douse themselves in chemicals, but the fact is that nothing has been proven more effective than bug spray to protect yourself from mosquitoes and other biting bugs. Note that Picaridin may be just as effective as DEET, but without the strong odor and other concerns.
- Hiking or walking through woods or fields? Wear long socks or long pants. It’s an old, obvious tip, but it’s still your best protection against Lyme Disease. And even if you hike in knee-high boots, do a thorough check of all your skin when you get home.
- Talk to your veterinarian about the right protection for your pet. Don’t like chemical treatments? Consider brewer’s yeast or other natural options for Fido or Fifi.
Ready to protect your yard from mosquitoes and ticks? Contact us today to schedule your first treatment.