How to Plan Successful Backyard Camping

 
Camping in your backyard can be a delightful activity – as long as everything goes right. However, if you end up with late-night surprises, sunburns, and bugs, there’s a good chance that the family won’t want to do it again. That is why it is so important to plan carefully to make your next backyard camping outing a great experience for everyone.  

In this article, we have laid out a few things that should go into planning backyard camping. By preparing yourself for every eventuality, you can make sure everyone has fun and that it will be an outing to remember. 

Check the Weather Forecast  

No matter what time of year it is, the weather can change quickly. Make sure you know what the weather forecast is so you can plan for the right time to set up your backyard camping outing. If you don’t check the weather in advance you could wind up soaked, which is not a great way to spend your first backyard camping trip. Checking the weather forecast in advance will also keep all your camping gear safe and in good condition for the next time you use it. 

Turn Off Automatic Sprinklers  

If you have automatic sprinklers, make sure you turn them off before setting up your tent on the lawn. Automatic sprinklers are one of those things that people tend to get used to and forget to turn off when they should. The last thing you want is to wake up soaking wet because you didn’t turn off the sprinkler cycle.  

Consider Your Pets 

If you have a dog, most likely the dog will want to sleep outside with you and the family. This can be fun for the kids and the dog alike, and can really bring out a sense of togetherness. A cat, on the other hand, will probably want to stay inside for the night. Make sure the cat has everything it needs for the evening before bedding down so you don’t wake up to midnight meows at the back door.  

Related Topic: How to Keep the Fun in Outdoor Activities for Your Grandkids 

Sunscreen  

If you’re going to be spending the afternoon out in the yard doing fun activities like frisbee or badminton, make sure that everyone wears sunscreen. A painful and itchy sunburn will put a damper on any camping outing and lessen the likelihood that the kids will want to do it again. Plus, sunscreen is essential for staying safe and healthy out in the sun.  

Bug-Free Campsite  

Before setting up your backyard campsite, take a look around and remove any standing water or leaf debris. Damp or wet areas can become a haven for mosquitoes and other pests, which can be a real downer when it comes to a fun camping experience. It’s a good idea to keep some insect repellent on hand just in case and avoid wearing dark colors. Mosquitoes are less attracted to whites and khakis since they have a harder time seeing them.  

Get a Mosquito Barrier Spray 

One of the best ways to keep your backyard camping trip free of mosquitoes and other pests is to get barrier spray treatments. The professional technicians at Mosquito Joe can treat the perimeter of your home with a safe, long-lasting aerosol that will help keep your backyard camping outing comfortable and fun.  

Related Topic: Meet the Entomology Expert Behind the Science and Research at Mosquito Joe 

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What’s in Natural Mosquito Yard Sprays and Do They Really Work?

As more and more people look for natural alternatives to solve everyday problems, the question is, “are natural-based products as effective as the chemical base versions?” Today you can find soaps, detergents, cleaners, and even cosmetics that use all-natural ingredients. And although most of us would probably prefer to use a natural-based product over a chemical-based alternative, that question remains: are they as effective? With this in mind, we decided to take a closer look at one natural product that’s being used to help people enjoy more time outdoors.  

If you have thought about using a natural barrier spray for mosquitoes but wondered, “do they really work”? Here’s the information you’ve been looking for. 

Research shows mosquito sprays that contain natural essential oils, such as rosemary, lemongrass, peppermint, and garlic can be highly effective at repelling many bugs and insects. This is great news to those of you who want to enjoy your backyard without getting greased up with bug spray or burn so many candles it looks like you’re performing an ancient tribal ritual in your backyard. Let’s take a closer look at these natural ingredients and why they are effective at keeping bugs at bay. 

Related Topic: Meet the Entomology Expert Behind the Science and Research at Mosquito Joe 

Essential Oils  

You may already know about the medicinal powers associated with essential oils. They have been used for years to help relieve stress, spice up recipes, and sooth sore muscles. But they can also be used to help repel pesky insects. Many of the scents that we adore, mosquitos can’t stand. This is good news for us and kind of bad news for them. Essential oils are plant-based, considered safe for humans, and also very effective when used as a repellent sprayListed below are some of the specific essential oils Mosquito Joe uses in their natural base mosquito repellant. 

Rosemary

Rosemary is a very common kitchen ingredient and makes a great addition to your herb garden. Rosemary has been used for centuries to help flavor meals. Known for its distinct, pungent aroma, it also does a great job of repelling flies, mosquitos, and cabbage moths. So, if you’re looking to add a little extra repelling power to your backyard, consider adding rosemary to your garden 

Lemongrass

Most of you have probably heard of lemongrass soup, but did you also know this strong-smelling grass also contains citronella, a very common natural ingredient in many mosquito repellents and sprays? Many outdoor candles and torches contain citronella, which gives off a strong order that mosquitoes and other biting insects don’t like.  

Peppermint

Peppermint, yes that pleasant-smelling essential oil used in things like gum and lotions, is also a great insect repellant. Although children and adults often both enjoy the refreshing fragrance of peppermint and the cooling sensation of peppermint oil, when diffused and used in a concentrated form, peppermint oil is very effective at keeping mosquitoes away. And when applied properly, it can also ease the itching of mosquito bites! 

Garlic

Most of us are aware that garlic has the power to repel blood-sucking vampires. But did you know it works for mosquitoes, too? That’s right, this vegetable (yes, it’s a vegetable, not an herb) is a classic blood-sucker deterrent! Whether it’s vampires or mosquitos, garlic has long been hailed as a fantastic natural repellant. And since it’s harmless to plants and most animals, it can be applied with little worry…unless you’re a bug. They can’t stand the odor! 

Related Topic: How to Plan Successful Backyard Camping 

Natural vs Chemical Application

Like chemical sprays, a natural-based mosquito spray can be applied using a sprayer that targets shrubs, plants, flowers, vegetable gardens, and around ponds where mosquitoes, ticks, and fleas like to feed. Prior to having your yard treated, it’s a good idea to inspect for any larvae or eggs that may be present. Also, check for and remove any standing water to eliminate potential insect breeding habitats. Even easier, you can call your local pest control pros at Mosquito Joe to help you identify potential mosquito breeding grounds and how to eliminate them.

Do Natural Sprays Work? 

It’s well documented that natural soaps, detergents, and cleaners are as effective as their chemical-based alternatives. But can a natural mosquito spray really protect you and your family from those backyard biters? When applied correctly by a trained professional, natural mosquito sprays do work. They are as effective as chemically based treatments and come with all the benefits associated with using a natural product. So, the next time you get the itch to go natural, call Mosquito Joe. We offer a variety of natural-based repellant products, ranging from all-natural garlic-based sprays to botanically derived sprays, that utilize natural plant oils designed to last from 14 to 30 days. For more on how to treat your yard with a natural spray, contact the professionals at Mosquito Joes. 

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Best Ways to Protect Kids and Pets from Ticks This Fall

Fall is a favorite season for many people. The crisp air and the cooler weather bring up many feelings of nostalgia and happiness. However, fall also brings an unwelcome addition: ticks. Ticks are a problem in many areas of the United States and can be a serious public health issue. Knowing how to protect you, your kids, and your pets from these parasites can help you enjoy your autumn months much more.  

In this article, we have laid out how you can protect your family from ticks. By taking some extra precautions, you can be sure that everyone enjoys the fall season and without worrying about dealing with these pests.  

Protect Your Kids 

One of the best ways to protect your kids and yourself from ticks in the fall is to dress appropriately. Ticks can only latch onto bare skin. If you have long sleeves and pants, you don’t have to worry about them getting onto your arms or legs. Tucking your kids’ pant legs into their socks can be a great way to ensure that no ticks get in between the gap on a long hike. Light clothing is also highly recommended if they are going to be walking in an area that could be a habitat for ticks. It is much easier to see insects if they get on light clothes, and the kids won’t accidentally bring them into the house.  

You can also use a natural insect repellent like citronella or peppermint. These essential oils are a great way to keep ticks and other pests away when on a hike. Before anyone comes back into the house, though, always make sure that you do a thorough tick check all over their body to ensure that they are clear.  

Protect Your Pets 

Pets provide a perfect environment for ticks. They have long fur that is easy to hide in and it’s a lot harder to control where they go. Dogs and cats will often walk through tall grass, which is where ticks like to live and hide. This makes them much more likely to pick up one of these parasites. One way to protect your pet from ticks is to keep them away from tall grass, weeds, and any overgrown shrubbery. If they do happen to wander into such areas, check them thoroughly for ticks using a pet comb. Also, perform a close visual inspection before bringing them into the house. 

Check your pets starting at their head. Then, move down their body combing through their fur with your fingers. If you see a tick and it has latched on, don’t try to pull it out right away with your fingers. Use a pair of tweezers and grab it by the body, making sure to completely remove it. Then, place the tick in rubbing alcohol to make sure it is dead.  

Related Topic: How to Reduce Bugs in Your Yard After Heavy Rain 

Protect Your Yard 

You can safeguard your yard from ticks by preparing it in a few different ways. Ticks like to hide in woodpiles, so keep any firewood stock away from areas where pets or kids play. Ticks also live on deer, so if you have deer in your area, it’s a good idea to plant deer-resistant flowers like snapdragons and marigolds.  

Other ways to protect your yard from ticks include keeping your grass mowed and trimmed and removing any fallen leaves from the yard. Being generally wary of any thick vegetation in the fall is a good rule of thumb, and if you keep your kids and pets away from it, they will have a much better chance of staying tick-free throughout the season.  

tick-prevention-map

Get Professional Tick Prevention 

Following all the steps above is a great start to protecting your family from ticks and the diseases they can potentially carry. The final step to tick prevention is professional help from Mosquito Joe. Our technicians can set up barriers that target shrubbery and other vegetation in your yard and keep these nasty pests away from your kids and pets.  

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Why Are Mosquitoes Attracted to Water

 

Summer is a time for outdoor activities and relaxation, but the fun can be quickly spoiled by mosquitoes. These insects are not only a nuisance but are also capable of transmitting some nasty diseases. To minimize their presence,  you need to be aware of what attracts them to your property. While there are several factors that contribute to the mosquito population on your property, we’re going to take a closer look at the primary one — water.

So, why are mosquitoes attracted to water? In this article, we’ll explain the reasons and discuss the type of water that is most attractive to mosquitoes.  We’ll also share some tips from our bug experts that will help prevent mosquitoes from ruining all of your outdoor fun.

What Type of Water Attracts Mosquitoes?

Small pond with leaves and lily padsWhy do mosquitoes like water? There are several reasons for this attraction between mosquitoes and water. First, female mosquitoes lay their eggs in water, which serves as their nursery. Standing water provides a suitable habitat for the larvae to develop into adult mosquitoes. Still or stagnant water is preferred for this development period. It is the ideal breeding ground, as it provides a sheltered space that includes ample nutrients for larvae to develop.

Mosquitoes are also attracted to moisture in the air, and water sources provide a humid environment that is essential for their survival. The puddles left behind after heavy rainfall are very attractive to mosquitoes.

Mosquitoes are not just attracted to puddles, however. Anywhere that water collects can be a potential attractant for mosquitoes. For example, this can include ornamental ponds, birdbaths, rain barrels, empty flower pots, and clogged gutters. Mosquitoes can reproduce in as little as a few ounces of water, so even a bottle cap can be attractive to mosquitoes.

Why Do Mosquitoes Like Water?

Mosquito on leaf with a drop of waterMosquitoes are attracted to water because it plays a vital role in their life cycle. Female mosquitoes need water to lay their eggs. Mosquito larvae require water for sustenance and to grow to become adult mosquitoes. This is the primary reason that mosquitoes are attracted to water. Mosquitoes find humid environments favorable for breeding, growth, and survival, making them a magnet for these persistent pests.

Other Conditions That Attract Mosquitoes

Standing rain water beneath flower pot outside Are mosquitoes only attracted to water? While water is a crucial factor in the survival of mosquitoes, they are also attracted to warmth and humidity. Mosquitoes are generally not an issue during the cooler months of the year. However, there are some species of mosquito that can survive harsh weather. You can learn more about What Temperature Kills Mosquitoes from our experts.

While there is a relationship between standing water and mosquitoes, they are also attracted to humans and animals due to the carbon dioxide we exhale into the atmosphere. They are also attracted to odors such as lactic acid, ammonia, and other compounds emitted by our bodies. You may be a more likely target if you are exercising or working outdoors and sweating. Wearing dark clothing or strong cologne or perfume will also make you a target.

Mosquitoes can also be attracted to overgrown vegetation and greenery, as this provides a resting place for adult male mosquitoes.

Tips to Prevent Mosquitoes Around Your Home

It’s important to put preventative measures in place to keep mosquitoes at bay and enjoy the summer outdoors. Let’s review some ways to keep mosquitoes away from you, your family, and your pets.

Reduce Standing Water

Stagnant water in pot outside with mosquitos Mosquitoes, gnats, and other insects are attracted to stagnant water. Standing water that has had a chance to grow bacteria and fungus is an ideal habitat and breeding ground for these pests. What’s more, insect eggs are commonly found in standing water, which makes getting rid of it a great way to reduce the number of bugs in your yard.

Regularly inspect your property for standing water and eliminate it. Remove water from flower pots, and ensure proper drainage of containers. Be sure to cover water storage containers with lids or mesh to keep mosquitoes from accessing them.

Clean Your Gutters

Breeding ground for mosquitos in full roof gutter There are places where mosquitoes are attracted to water that you may not immediately see or think about. For instance, standing water can collect in your gutters, turning them into insect nests. They can also fill with debris like twigs, leaves, and dirt, which breed bacteria and create food for some pests. To prevent a bug infestation after heavy rain, clean out your gutters at least once a year. Doing so regularly — and before the rainy season starts — can help prevent insects from thriving and breeding in your yard.

Keep Your Trash Cans Dry

man opening trash can lid outsideWhen trash cans get wet, they hold standing water and turn into sources of food for insects. Moisture encourages bacteria and mold growth, which supports the survival of many pests. To prevent your trash cans from turning into insect breeding grounds, keep your cans covered or in a protected area when it rains.

Keep Your Lawn and Shrubs Short

Man trimming shrubs with garden clippers. Overgrown vegetation creates debris that is attractive to pests. Keep your bushes, lawn, and the surrounding vegetation pruned and cut back year-round so you won’t end up with more pests after it rains. Keeping your yard tidy reduces the number of places for pests to hide.

Drill Holes in Tire Swings

Playset outside with slide and tire swingWater can easily collect at the bottom of a tire swing and become stagnant. Mosquitoes love these areas and will settle in there after heavy rain. To keep the mosquitoes away, drill some holes in the bottom of your tire swing to promote better drainage.

Maintain Pools and Water Features

Outdoor pond with frog fountain If you have a hot tub, swimming pool, fountain, or ornamental pond, it is important to keep it maintained and properly treated. This will prevent mosquito breeding. Be sure to check these water features every few weeks, especially during the spring and summer and after heavy rain. Heavy rains can dilute and limit the effectiveness of any treatment that has been added to help prevent insects from using the water as a breeding ground. Checking them regularly during the spring and summer months will help ensure they remain free of insects.

Use Screens and Nets

Outdoor table and chair beneath mosquito netting. Installing window and door screens can help you enjoy the weather while preventing pests from entering your home. Make use of mosquito nets around outdoor seating or lounging areas. Take your nets camping with you too.

Shield Your Body

Group of friends enjoying the outdoors under tent and outside of rv Wear appropriate clothing in places where mosquitoes may be. They are attracted to dark-colored clothing, so opt for light-colored, loose-fitting clothing that covers your arms and legs. This reduces the amount of skin that is exposed and makes it more difficult for mosquitoes to bite you. Don’t forget to use mosquito repellent that is EPA-approved and contains DEET, picaridin, or oil of lemon eucalyptus.

What About Mosquito Repellent Plants?

Mosquito repellant flower outside While they might seem appealing, most mosquito repellent plants don’t actually work well at defending against mosquitoes. Many plants that are said to deter mosquitoes with their scent don’t release enough of it to be truly effective. However, that doesn’t mean they won’t be pleasant to have in your yard or garden. In addition, if you have mosquito repellant plants and feel inspired, you can make your own mosquito repellent at home.

Don’t Let Mosquitoes Ruin Your Outdoor Fun

One of the easiest things you can do to prevent an insect infestation in your yard is to have an expert — like a Mosquito Joe® professional — apply a barrier spray to your shrubs and vegetation. Mosquito Joe will treat your yard with an effective treatment that eliminates mosquitoes and reduces the number of pests in your yard for up to 21 days. With a little help, you can keep your outdoor space protected all year long. Request a free quote today!

FAQs About What Attracts Mosquitoes

Do Birdbaths Attract Mosquitoes?

Yes, mosquitoes are attracted to water in birdbaths. Standing water is their favorite habitat, so that delightful birdbath has the potential to attract and host many of them. If you enjoy watching birds take a bath and don’t want to put your birdbath away during the summer, be sure to check it frequently for mosquito larvae and other insects.

Do Mosquitoes Like Pool Water?

Mosquitoes are attracted to water that they can lay eggs in. The chemicals in pools are not healthy for them. So, if your pool is properly and regularly maintained, it is less likely that mosquitoes will spend time in it. However, pool water that is not well-maintained or becomes stagnant, is the perfect breeding ground for mosquitoes and other insects.

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