Backyard Movie Nights – A Great Way to Bond with Neighbors

Having a sense of community in your neighborhood is incredibly important. But with so many options for entertainment, it can be difficult to get people out of the house and gather them together for fun and camaraderie. Many people don’t even know their neighbors, which isn’t conducive to a safe, cohesive neighborhood.  

One of the best ways to get people together and get them to socialize is to put together a backyard movie night. Everyone loves a movie outdoors, and it’s a great chance to give everyone an excuse to mingle and create that sense of community. Here are a few things you should know before your first backyard movie night.  

Advantages of Knowing Your Neighbors 

There are a lot of advantages to knowing your neighbors and understanding who they are as people. Not only can it give you that sense of togetherness and community, it can also provide some practical advantages. Some of the benefits of having a good relationship with the people living in your neighborhood include: 

  • Extra security  
  • Know who you can depend on  
  • Know who is coming and going  
  • Community feeling  
  • Find shared interests  

One of the best ways to get to know your neighbors is to put on a backyard movie night with drinks and snacks. This way, you can get everyone together and give them a chance to get to know one another. It can really bring the whole neighborhood together.  

Preparing Your Yard 

Prepping your yard should be your first step before your backyard movie night. Be sure to trim back any vegetation like shrubs, bushes, and trees, and to cut the grass to somewhere between two and three inches tall. Not only will this keep everyone comfortable and reduce the risk of people getting caught on branches, it will also keep pests like mosquitoes and rodents from nesting and ruining the event.  

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

Setting Up Your Theater 

After trimming back your yard, you will need to get your theater setup put together. Decide whether you want to use your backyard or front yard based on how private you want the event to be. You can then figure out what to use for a screen. This could be something as simple as a white sheet, or you can opt for an inexpensive metal-frame outdoor movie screen.  

The equipment you use will also be very important. You can use a simple smartphone projector and speaker setup, or you can invest in a more expensive mini projector with a laptop. If you are interested in doing this kind of event more than once, it might be best to spend a little more money and get a more reliable projector.  

Choosing a Movie 

The movie you choose for your backyard movie night will depend on your audience. If you are going to have adults only, you can reasonably expect that everyone will be okay with something rated PG-13. For kids, family-friendly films are going to be your best bet. Either way, try to avoid any controversial themes or violence and try to settle on something that everyone can relax with and enjoy. Popular classic films like Casablanca or Singing in the Rain are always a good option.  

Related TopicBest Ways to Protect Kids and Pets from Ticks This Fall 

Preventing Uninvited Guests 

Bugs like mosquitoes and ticks can quickly ruin your backyard movie night. Mosquito Joe can help you make sure the event is comfortable for everyone involved and that the night is fun for your guests. Barrier treatments or even special event treatments can help prevent pests and keep your backyard safe and relaxing. Call or contact your local Mosquito Joe today. 

 

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How to Properly Check and Remove Ticks from Your Pets

When tick season rolls around, your pets are much more susceptible to bites and tick-borne diseases. Even if they are on preventative medication for fleas and ticks, it’s still important to check them regularly and after they have been outside. It never hurts to be sure that your pets are safe from these parasites.  

While you may be more vigilant about checking your dog for ticks, it’s also important to check your cat(s). This is especially true if they spend most of their time outside. The quicker a tick is removed, the better the chances are that it won’t pass on any diseases to your pet.  

What Do Ticks Look Like? 

Because there are different varieties, ticks come in many different colors and shapes. Some are grayish-brown, while others are brown, black, reddish, or even yellow in color. They are a flat oval shape and can be as small as a pinhead. This is why they are difficult to notice on your pets if you don’t check for them regularly.  

Ticks have eight legs and will start to get bigger in size the more they feed on your pet. The bigger a tick is, the longer it has been attached. They don’t have wings, which, is why they spend most of their time hiding and waiting for a human or animal to walk by so they can latch on.  

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

Where Do Ticks Hide? 

Ticks will hide in tall grass or heavy vegetation. Because of this, it’s very important that you keep your grass cut short during tick season to help keep them out of your yard. When your pet walks through the grass, ticks will latch on and start to feed.  

Ticks latch onto your pet in places that are easy to hide. Check their head and ears, making sure to pay special attention under the collar. They will also latch onto their armpits or the underside of the tail. These warm and dark areas are perfect for hiding, so it’s important that you check them thoroughly. 

Finding and Removing Ticks on Your Pet 

To find ticks, start by putting on a pair of gloves and combing through your pet’s fur with your fingers, checking for any bumps on their skin. If you feel anything, carefully separate the fur and look for any ticks. If you see one, you should then remove it as quickly as possible.  

Using a pair of tweezers or a tick removal tool, grab the tick’s head and pull it up with a smooth, upward motion. Make sure that you have completely removed it and then clean the area around the bite with antiseptic.  

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

Should I Save the Tick? 

It’s a good idea to save the tick in some rubbing alcohol for a few weeks after you have removed it. If your pet starts to get sick, bring it to the vet so they can test the tick for diseases. This is the best way to be sure that your pet gets the right treatment for whatever is ailing them.   

Prevention is Your Best Defense 

Preventing ticks is the best way to make sure your pet doesn’t get bitten in the first place. On top of keeping your grass mowed, you should also be sure to keep woodpiles far away from the house and other areas where your pet usually goes. Keeping your pets away from heavily wooded areas is another great way to prevent them from coming in contact with these pests.  

But for the best prevention, barrier sprays are a great way to keep pests like ticks out of your yard. The pest control experts at Mosquito Joe can help control ticks by spraying the perimeter of your property and targeting shrubbery and thicker vegetation. Our targeted approach can keep both you and your pets free from ticks all year round. 

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Meet the Entomology Expert Behind the Science and Research at Mosquito Joe

 
Many of us take enjoying a playful evening with the kids, BBQing with family and friends, or just spending a quiet evening relaxing in the backyard for granted. Until uninvited guests show up to spoil our good time. Nothing throws ice water on outdoor fun faster than mosquitoes, flies, and ticks. Even an annoying relative is more welcome than those buzzing, biting pests who show up and crash the party. However, if you’re among the many thousands who use Mosquito Joe to keep mosquitoes, flies, and ticks from ruining your outdoor activities, you’ve been enjoying the great outdoors without missing a beat.  

But have you ever really thought about why Mosquito Joe is so effective at keeping bugs away from your family fun? What’s the science and research that makes Mosquito Joe work so well? To learn more about how Mosquito Joe continues to make the outdoors fun for so many people we spoke with David Price, Entomologist, and the man behind the science and research at Mosquito Joe.  

In this first of a series of articles, we interviewed David to learn more about how climate change, the global economy, and other factors are impacting insect populations, migration patterns, habitat, and disease transmission. Also, how research is influencing various treatment options that are designed to control mosquitoes, flies, and ticks in order to reduce the transmission of potentially harmful diseases. 

Related Topic: Do Mosquito Repellant Plants Really Work? 

A Lifetime Studying Bugs 

For those who don’t know, an Entomologist is someone who studies insects and arthropods (an invertebrate animal having an exoskeleton, a segmented body, and paired jointed appendages). And although it’s not everybody’s cup of tea, David developed an interest in bugs at a very early age. This fascination only grew as David got older. After graduation from Purdue University as a Structural/Urban Entomologist —someone who studies insects found in structures and insects of medical importance found within urban environments that potentially carry/transmit various diseases (mosquitoes, ticks, flies, rodents that host insects)David spent the last 35 years working in the pest control industry.    

Today, David helps Mosquito Joe test new treatment products, tracks the number of applications applied throughout various regions, develops operational strategies, trains field personnel, and participates in the Pesticide Environmental Stewardship Program (a program focused on integrated pest management). The PESP considers insect biology, behavior in their environment and looks at available products and how best to apply them with the least risk to people, pests, and the environment.   

 Related Topic: How Can I Make My Backyard Fun for Kids? 

 The Impact of Climate Change 

You don’t have to look too hard to find information about how our changing climate is affecting the world around us. Changes in weather patterns, intensity, and rising sea levels have been well documented. A lesser-known effect of climate change is the impact on insect migration patterns and habitats. Since temperature and moisture (relative humidity) are two of the biggest factors related to insect breeding and expanding populations, even a slightly warmer climate means big changes for insect populations.  

Recent studies have discovered insects once confined to specific southern regions establishing seasonal habitats much further north. For example, ticks have now migrated as far north as Maine. And with them an increased potential for transmission of Lyme disease to people and pets. Insect samples have also identified new, invasive species of disease-carrying mosquitoes in states like Florida, Texas, and Louisiana. So, what are David and the team at Mosquito Joe doing to address some of these migratory and habitat changes? Find out in our next article: Battling Bugs: How Science and Research Are Influencing Pest Control.     

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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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