how to keep bugs away from backyard

How to Keep Bugs Out of Your Backyard This Summer

June 7, 2021

Summertime in Iowa is perfect for outdoor events and activities! However, with the hot weather and longer days comes an abundance of insects outside. Luckily, our Des Moines pest control experts know exactly how to keep bugs away from your backyard.

Don’t Let Insects Ruin Your Outdoor Activities

We know the annoying buzzing and constant pestering of mosquitoes, gnats and other bugs can be a real downer for any event, but did you know these flying bugs can cause more damage than just a bite? Here are a few examples of the harmful possibilities:

Keep Flies Away

Flies can be a nuisance when they’re buzzing around, but they’re also a serious threat at picnics and outdoor activities involving food. Many people know that flies are not considered clean and carry pathogens such as salmonella, dysentery and up to 63 other diseases that can be transferred to food just seconds after they land. Common house flies carry diseases on their legs and bodies, and they regurgitate and excrete when they are resting, which can lead to disease transmission.

Get Rid of Mosquitoes

Painful mosquito bites could put a damper on a fun outdoor activity or even bring it to an end early. Something you probably didn’t know about mosquitoes is that they are attracted to people because our bodies release carbon dioxide and our skin releases an odor they can easily track. This means the more people you have together outside, the easier it is to attract mosquitoes.

Similar to other insects, female mosquitoes are the only ones that bite since they need a blood source to produce eggs. Mosquito bites usually leave a red, itchy welt once the insect bites, but it can cause a severe reaction if you have a weak immune system. A mosquito bite can also spread diseases transferred through blood, such as West Nile virus, Zika virus or other infections.

Avoid Gnats

If you feel an itchy bite but can’t see or hear an insect near you, it’s probably a biting gnat. These bugs are very small (between 1/25 to 1 inch long) and can be difficult to spot, but you’ll definitely feel their bite when they get aggressive. Similar to mosquitoes, biting gnats feast on exposed skin and need human blood to produce eggs.

Stay Away From Ants

Ant colonies can contain up to 5,000 workers, so if you find one ant, you’ll probably discover a lot more! Ant workers are constantly searching for a food source, and once they find something to eat, the ants leave a scent trail behind for more insects to follow. Shortly after the trail is made, hundreds of ants will be on their way to infest the food in no time.

The most dangerous ants are Fire Ants with their painful stings. They’re also aggressive swarmers that will fight to get something they need. Lucky for Iowans, Fire Ants are not found in northern areas of the United States, but can be pretty common in southern parts of the U.S. Even though we don’t have to worry about Fire Ants, there are a few other ants that bite in Iowa.

How to Get Rid of Flying Bugs

Our pest exterminators have plenty of tips to stop pests from invading your backyard. The tactics we perform in our quarterly pest service plan are preventive measures to keep insects at bay, but there are some temporary actions you can take to get rid of mosquitoes or gnats for a particular night.

  • Landscaping and lawn maintenance: Cleaning your gutters is no easy task, but making sure there’s no excess leaves, debris or standing water around your home is essential to keep bugs out of the backyard. Make your yard less hospitable to pests by trimming bushes and trees to reduce shaded resting areas where they are comfortable. Similarly, keeping the grass trimmed on a regular basis will make your property less attractive to insects.
  • Spring cleaning for the yard: Take a good look around your yard and decide what you can do to keep things tidy. In addition to the lawn maintenance tips above, homeowners should remove standing water from bird baths and around the property to get rid of flying bugs. Frequently picking up fallen fruit if you have apple trees or something similar is an easy way to take away a food source for not only insects but also larger pests like raccoons, opossums and squirrels. This tip also applies to picnics and outdoor gatherings, and if you see food on the ground, pick it up as soon as possible.
  • Bug device dos and don’ts: The biggest mistake we see homeowners make when it comes to devices that are used to keep insects away is placement. Oftentimes bug zappers are hung right by the back door or on the deck where you typically gather. Bug zappers can be very effective, but you want to keep them far away from your house because they’re actually attracting insects! The device is meant to draw pests in before it zaps them, so keep it towards the outer edge of your yard.
  • Mosquito fogging for backyard events: If you’re hosting a backyard barbeque or family picnic, try these methods to get rid of flying bugs for a short amount of time. Mosquito fogging is one of the fastest techniques to remove mosquitoes, gnats and other pests by using an insecticide. It’s best to spray about an hour before you’re expecting to be outside and concentrate your efforts mostly in shaded areas with bushes and other vegetation. The mosquito fogging treatment will last approximately six hours, and our Des Moines pest control expert’s product of choice is the Cutter Propane Fogger if you want to test it for yourself.
  • Tiki torches aren’t just for fun: You can also use tiki torches to get rid of flying bugs around the backyard thirty minutes before your gathering. It is most effective to space them out every 25 feet on the perimeter of the yard. Tiki torches use a Citronella-based liquid that’s highly effective at repelling pests, especially mosquitoes. These will burn throughout the night and give you and your guests hours of protection from pesky flying insects.

Des Moines Pest Control Experts Will Keep Insects Away

Preferred Pest has a team of exterminators who are ready to keep bugs away from the backyard and around your house. If you’re having issues getting rid of ants, mosquitoes, gnats, or any other type of pest, we have special treatment plans set up to get rid of bugs.

For peace of mind year-round, sign up for our quarterly pest service plan - our professional technicians will come to your house multiple times each year to perform preventive pest control services and tackle any issues you may be having. Give us a call at (515) 415-5550 to discuss your options or schedule an appointment online to start getting relief from outdoor pests!

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