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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How to Reduce Bugs in Your Yard After Heavy Rain

 
After a heavy rain, you might notice more bugs in your yard than usual. These uninvited pests make it less likely that you will enjoy your backyard during rainy months. Dealing with bugs can also make it more difficult to keep the vegetation in your yard trimmed and pruned the way you like it to be.  

Although periods of extremely wet weather can create an ideal habitat for a variety of insects. There are some steps you can take to make sure that bugs and other pests don’t flock to your yard and make it their permanent home after a heavy amount of rain. In this article, we have laid out some things you can do to help reduce the number of insects that take up residence in your backyard after heavy rain. 

Reduce Standing Water 

Mosquitoes, gnats, and other insects are drawn to standing water. Stagnant water that has had a chance to grow bacteria and fungus is ideal habitat and breeding ground for these pests. What is more, insect eggs are commonly found in standing water, which makes getting rid of them a great way to reduce the number of bugs in your yard.  

There are many ways that you can reduce standing water. For example, drill holes in the bottom of buckets and planters so that water has a place to drain out. You can also make a game out of eliminating standing water when your grandkids visit by encouraging them to play a round of Puddle Hunt. This is a good way to ensure that all the places water can get trapped in your yard will be taken care of.  

Clean Your Gutters  

Your gutters are another place where standing water can collect and turn into an insect nest. Your gutters can also fill with debris like twigs, leaves, and dirt, which turn into bacteria and food for certain types of pests. To prevent bugs after heavy rain, make sure that your gutters are cleaned out at least once a year. Doing so regularly – and before the rainy season start – can help prevent insects from thriving and breeding in your yard.  

Keep Your Trash Cans Dry 

When trash cans get wet, they can not only hold standing water, they can also turn into perfect food sources for insects. Moisture promotes the growth of the bacteria and molds that many pests need to survive. Unfortunately, your trash cans are a perfect environment. To make sure your trash cans don’t become a breeding ground for insects, keep your cans covered or in a protected area when it rains. 

Do You Have a Tire Swing?  

The bottom of a tire swing is a perfect place for water to collect and become stagnant. Mosquitoes in particular 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. 

Keep Your Lawn and Shrubs Short  

Vegetation that has been allowed to grow too much is a great hiding place for rodents and other wildlife. It will also drop more debris than usual in your gutters and on your lawn, which can attract all kinds of pests. But you can do a lot to prevent this from happening. 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.  

What About Mosquito Repellant Plants? 

While they might seem like a good idea, most mosquito repellant plants don’t work. Many plants that are thought to deter mosquitoes with their scent don’t release enough of it into the surrounding air to be truly effective. However, that doesn’t mean they won’t be pleasant to have in your yard or garden.  

Get a Barrier Spray 

One of the best things you can do to prevent bugs in your yard after heavy rain is to have a professional like, Mosquito Joe do a barrier spray. A barrier spray is an aerosol treatment that is applied to the shrubs and vegetation around your yard to help keep bugs away. Mosquito Joe can treat your yard with a safe and effective barrier spray that will eliminate bugs and reduce the number of pests in your yard for weeks at a time. With a little help from the pros, you can keep your outdoor space healthy and comfortable all year long. Contact us today! 

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Make Your Back Porch Inviting to Your Grandkids

 
When the grandkids come over, it can be difficult to get them off the couch and onto the back porch, no matter how nice you’ve made it. The truth is, most kids are content to sit inside and play on their devices if that’s what they’re used to doing at home. If you’re going to get them to come out and enjoy the sunshine in the backyard, you’re going to have to make some adjustments to your back porch setup.  

In this article, we have laid out some suggestions for getting the grandkids excited about the back patio. Odds are, by making just a few changes you can make your backyard as comfortable for them as the living room. Plus, you can get the most out of your patio furniture whenever they come by.  

Get Kid-Approved Furniture 

Most patio furniture is designed to be used by adults in a much more grown-up setting. Because of this, kids just aren’t going to be as comfortable using it as they would be in a living room or family room. One of the things you can do to get the grandkids excited about sitting outside is bring in some more comfortable, kid-friendly furniture.  

Have your grandkids help you pick out some new pieces for your back patio. Kids like furniture that has movement, like porch swings and hammocks, so bringing some of those into the mix can make all the difference. They will also feel more inclined to use furniture that they have picked out themselves.  

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

Extend Your WiFi Coverage  

Even though the outdoors is beautiful, and your backyard may be perfectly landscaped, the truth is that it’s hard to compete with all the entertainment options available to kids these days. Your grandchildren may simply be more inclined to sit in the living room because that’s where the internet is.  

If that’s the case, extending your WiFi coverage to the backyard could work wonders for getting them outside. There are all kinds of WiFi extenders available on the market that can help you get better coverage in your backyard. That way, the grandkids can still enjoy their devices without being stuck indoors.  

Outdoor Snacks Only 

No matter what age they are, kids like making a mess. Try offering them some messier snacks that can only be eaten outdoors to entice them to bring the fun out on the back porch. Many snacks that are associated with warm weather are also meant to be eaten outside, so this could be a great way to get the kids excited about getting off the couch. Corn on the cob, watermelon, and s’mores are perfect warm-weather snacks that would be a huge mess if they were eaten inside. Kids love these foods, and they are a great way to offer some incentive to come outside. 

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

Venus Fly Trap and Other Plants 

While your backyard may be beautiful, it might not be very exciting to a kid. Try getting some interesting plants like Venus flytraps or tomato plants. These plants can help get your grandkids interested in what is going on in nature and experience the beauty of it right in your backyard. Many plants can also keep away pests like mosquitoes and gnats, which will help make the back porch more comfortable.  

Keep the Bugs Out 

One of the best ways to keep your back porch comfortable is to keep pests away. Mosquitoes and gnats can be irritating for people of any age. That is why getting rid of them should be one of your first steps towards getting your backyard ready for the grandkids. Mosquito Joe offers natural pest treatments that are safe for kids and pets and can help make your backyard a place your grandchildren will want to be when they come over to visit. 

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Do Mosquito Repellant Plants Really Work?

As the weather starts to get warmer, we begin to spend more time outdoors. And for those who enjoy gardening, there’s nothing more delightful than time spent caring for and cultivating plants. But nothing can disrupt this passion for plants more effectively than mosquitoes! That’s why many gardeners are turning to their green thumb to fight back. They’re taking matters into their own hands and trying to find natural solutions that can help them take back their garden, so they continue doing what they enjoy, minus the mosquitoes.

A Natural Solution?

Mosquitoes have an incredible sense of smell—which is how they locate their next meal. They can sniff out and pinpoint our carbon dioxide fumes from over 150 feet away. So, it seems logical that a fragrant plant would impede their ability to find us, right? That’s why the concept of aromatic plants as a natural mosquito repellant has gained traction and became more popular with gardeners over recent years. But does this logic really hold true? Do aromatic plants like citronella, mints (peppermint, horsemint, mint), lemon balm, lavender, marigolds, petunias, basil, and lemongrass work as a natural mosquito repellent?

Related Topic: What Can You Eat to Deter Mosquitoes?

The Science Behind Aromatic Plants

Using plants as a natural mosquito repellent seems like a great idea, but only if it actually works. There’s no shortage of research into the theory that some plants have the ability to repel mosquitoes. Unfortunately, all the research concludes that the aroma from certain plants doesn’t make a significant difference in the number of mosquitoes that land on a human subject. Even though these plants give off a strong and pleasant aroma, they do little to deter mosquitoes—which applies to all the plants mentioned above, including citronella.

What might seem surprising can really be explained by how plants release their fragrance. While a lavender plant smells delightful up close, it does not fill the air around us with its strong fragrance. In fact, most plants release a significant amount of their fragrant oils only when crushed. And it’s this extract from the plant that has the most repellant properties—but only when those active ingredients are applied directly to the skin.

Homemade Mosquito Repellent

So, if mosquito repellant plants don’t really exist, at least in their plant form, what about using them in a homemade mosquito repellant? There are certainly plenty of homemade recipes out there but, before diving into this option, here are a few things to consider.

  • The effectiveness of homemade mosquito repellant wears off relatively quickly, so be prepared to re-apply every few hours.
  • Applying essential oils to your skin can trigger a reaction. Apply a small amount first to check sensitivity, especially with children who can be more sensitive.
  • Essential oils have a limited shelf life. It’s best to store a homemade repellant in a dark-colored bottle, in a cool, dark place.

Related Topic: What to Put on Mosquito Bites for Babies?

Essential oils from lavender, catnip, eucalyptus, lemongrass, and other aromatic plants—known as plant oils—can be combined with a carrier oil (olive oil, almond oil, and grapeseed oil) and witch hazel, along with ½ teaspoon of Vodka (apply responsibly), which will act as a preservative.

Repelling mosquitoes is no easy task, so be prepared to add about 100 drops of essential oil to 2 tablespoons of oil. Herbal mosquito repellents work the same way, using essential oils from basil or rosemary to get the job done.

Although some of these natural homemade repellents can be effective, they also come with some inconvenience. Mixing, storing, and applying these homemade solutions to your skin can get messy. People with sensitive skin might have a reaction, plus many homemade mixtures leave behind an oily residue. Consider all these factors before you invest time and effort into a homemade repellant.

For more guidance on skin, repellents visit the EPA website. You’ll also find an excellent search tool that will help you identify which repellant is right for you.

A Final Word on Mosquito Repelling Plants

There’s truly no such thing as a mosquito repellant plant. Although the extract from these plants can act as a short-term mosquito repellant, if mixed with carrier oils, the plants themselves don’t consistently repel mosquitoes.

Many of the plants mentioned will make a great addition to your garden, just don’t count on them to repel mosquitoes. If you’re looking for a natural solution to repel mosquitoes, call the professional at Mosquito Joe.

Their concentrated natural barrier spray uses essential oils, such as lemongrass, peppermint or rosemary, and garlic to repel mosquitoes, ticks, and fleas from your property by targeting shrubs, plants, flowers, vegetable gardens, and around ponds where mosquitoes, ticks, and fleas like to rest and feed. It’s an effective natural mosquito repellant that allows you and your family to enjoy a bite-free backyard.

Quick tip: It is important to remember that the number one habitat for mosquitoes is water. Just one teaspoon is enough water for mosquitoes to breed and thrive. Therefore, it’s important to treat and address any standing water in your yard so you can continue to garden…alone.

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Keep Mosquitoes Out of Your Tire Swing

A tire swing is a quintessential summer accessory. Its budget-friendly materials and easy construction have made it a cornerstone of summer for generations. Making memories is easy and fun with this classic backyard addition.  

While your kids may enjoy the tire swing, unfortunately so do mosquitoes. The interior of the tire, between the sidewalls, is a perfect spot for water to accumulate. It’s also an ideal habitat for mosquitoes to hatch their larvae. A mosquito breeding ground growing in your childrens’ favorite backyard plaything is not ideal. But there are a few things you and your kids can do to keep mosquitoes out of your tire swing before the hatching season starts.   

 Dehydrate Your Tire Swing  

Mosquitoes love areas where water can collect and sit stagnant for long periods of time. To keep mosquito larvae out of your tire swing and away from your backyard activities, address areas where water can accumulate before it becomes a problem. The best way to do this is to drill a few small holes in the bottom of the tire so water can drain out.  

Drill 4-5 holes in the bottom of your tire swing, about 1-2 inches apart. This will ensure there is enough drainage to get rid of any water that might otherwise collect in the bottom of the tire. If you want to get the kids involved, let them help you with the measurements for the holes. 

 Don’t Be Left in the Dark 

Believe it or not, one of the reasons mosquitoes are so attracted to a tire swing is the dark color. Mosquitoes love dark colors, since they are the most likely to trap heat and are the most visible to them. The black color of your tire swing is like rolling out a welcome mat for mosquitoes that says, “this is a great place to lay your eggs and ruin backyard activities.” 

So in this case you don’t have to be a good neighbor. Pull in the ‘welcome’ sign and paint your tire swing a lighter color. White is a great choice. You can even turn it into a fun crafting activity by letting the kids choose from a selection of light colors. Tell them why it’s important to change the color of the tire swing and let them have it with some non-toxic paint.  

Related Topic: What Colors Attract Mosquitoes?

 A Natural Alternative 

While warmer weather usually means more mosquitoes, it also means backyard gardens begin to grow and flourish. Plants and flowers typically attract a variety of animals and insects, some of which can help control the mosquito population.   

Herbs such as lemongrass, mint, and rosemary give off an aroma that can also help reduce the number of mosquitoes in your garden. Garlic, usually reserved for keeping vampires away, can be effective at chasing off the other dreaded bloodsuckers: mosquitoes. Growing these plants can not only help with pest control, it can also be a fun summer hobby that provides a healthy alternative to store-bought produce. 

Related Topic: Do Mosquito Repellant Plants Really Work?

If you want to treat your entire backyard with a natural mosquito barrier, call the professionals at Mosquito Joe. Their concentrated natural barrier spray uses essential oils, such as lemongrass, peppermint or rosemary, and garlic to repel mosquitoes, ticks, and fleas from your property by targeting shrubs, plants, flowers, vegetable gardens, and around ponds where mosquitoes, ticks, and fleas like to rest and feed. It’s an effective natural mosquito repellant that allows you and your family to enjoy a bug-free backyard. 

Getting Back to Fun 

Keeping mosquitoes out of your tire swing is relatively easy compared to keeping mosquitoes from spoiling your backyard fun. For that, consider getting regular mosquito barrier treatments. Call the professionals at Mosquito Joe and have them apply a barrier spray to your entire yard and within 30 minutes you can start enjoying your outdoor activities again. Treatments last for up to 3 weeks and can target potential problem areas. Request a free quote today and let Mosquito Joe make outside fun again! 

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