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 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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How to Make Giant Soap Bubbles for Safe Backyard Fun

 
When it comes to wholesome, fun activities, blowing bubbles in the park or the backyard can’t be beat. There is something timeless and magical about this activity, and kids and dogs alike are always up for it. Just like a backyard water parktire swing, or pool, this is something that will keep the kids outside and off the couch when the weather gets nice.  

Giant soap bubbles are even more exciting and are sure to keep kids occupied. However, you might be worried about whether these giant bubbles are safe. With so many different ingredients in soap, and kids’ preoccupation with putting things in their mouths, it can be difficult to know whether making giant soap bubbles is a safe activity.  

In this article, we have laid out some of the safety considerations for making giant soap bubbles. We have also provided a way you can make DIY soap bubbles so you can be sure everyone is safe while enjoying this classic outdoor activity.  

Start with Safety

The first thing to think about when considering giant soap bubbles is whether the solution is safe. Kids love to put things in their mouths, even things that they shouldn’t, and dogs will often eat whatever they can find. For this reason, it is important to know what is in your soap bubble solution. This way, you can be certain that everyone will have a good time without making themselves sick in the process.  

Most soap bubbles are made from standard dish soap and water. While dish soap usually isn’t toxic, it can contain chemicals like parabens, chlorine, and sulfates. These compounds should not be eaten and should always be kept out of the eyes, which can be a challenge. 

Related Topic: How to Create Your Own Backyard Waterpark That’s Used Frequently 

Make a Kid and Pet Safe Solution

Instead of using standard dish soap, try making your own, kid-friendly bubble solution. To ensure that your bubbles are safe for kids and pets, lower the amount of dish soap used in your solution. This recipe is a great alternative to the heavily-concentrated solution that is more common:  

  • 6 cups of water 
  • ½ cup of corn starch 
  • ½ cup natural dish detergent  
  • 1 tbsp baking powder 
  • 1 tbsp glycerine  

To make the soap bubble solution, simply dissolve the cornstarch into the water and stir it. Then, mix in the rest of the ingredients and stir vigorously without making a froth. After everything has been mixed together, let it sit for at least an hour. Diluting the solution in this way ensures it is kid and pet safe. You won’t have to worry about them getting sick or the bubbles irritating their eyes.  

Make the Wand

One of the most important pieces of equipment for making giant soap bubbles is the wand. Luckily, you do not need anything special to make it and it doesn’t have to be perfect. The cornstarch will hold your bubble solution together well enough that you can make bubbles with practically anything.  

For example, you can create a wand by running some yarn through two straws and looping it together to create handles and a large, rectangular ring. This will allow for an ample amount of bubble solution on the wand, which should create some large bubbles.  

 Related Topic: Outdoor Fire Pit Ideas for Family Fun Nights That Keep Your Kids Engaged 

Prep Your Backyard for Fun

Before you set the kids free with their bubble solution and wand, you should be sure to get your backyard prepared. Make sure that there is sufficient shade and hydration for the kids and pets to keep cool. If you want to get the kids involved in helping to reduce the number of mosquitoes in your backyard, try a game of Puddle Hunt. To keep the fun in all your outdoor activities, call Mosquito Joe.
 

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