As your summer-blooming perennial flowers start decorating your yard with an array of colors, you might start to notice an uptick in pests hanging out in your garden beds. Summer is the time of great yield and deliciously vibrant, sun-soaked memories — we love warm summer nights, but so do our six-legged friends. We all dream of leaving the window open to let the skies saturate our rooms, but are afraid of what insects might invade our homes and gardens.
Certain insects are vital contributors to a healthy ecosystem, such as pollinators and pest-eating insects like ladybugs. However, our beloved warm, humid nights are perfect for unwanted pests and critters. Here are a few common summer pests you might find, and a couple of natural bug repellent tactics you might want to try.
Heat allows mosquitos to spawn and reproduce at a faster rate. They usually hatch in spring, which is why you might see so many more mosquitos in early summer or in periods of higher temperatures and humidity. Mosquitos are also drawn to stagnant bodies of water — even the smallest amount of water can be a drawing well for a mosquito! It’s important to be wary of mosquitos, not only because they can leave you with a nasty bite but because these pesky insects often carry diseases such as Zika or malaria.
To deter these pesky six-legged bugs from your garden, consider planting a few of these fragrant, mosquito-repelling plants: lavender, marigolds, rosemary, basil, and citronellas. While we may enjoy the floral aromas of these flowers, mosquitos avoid these scents as it inhibits their sense of smell!
If you’re looking for ways to protect yourself, essential oils are a great alternative to deet, which is a common chemical insect repellent that may irritate sensitive skin. Oil of lemon eucalyptus is one of the most effective natural oils to repel mosquitos, but cinnamon oil, citronella oil, and soybean oil are all found to have similar effects. Create a spray using water, witch hazel, rubbing alcohol or vinegar, and your choice of essential oil to spray on surfaces and skin!
A hindrance to humans and our furry pets alike, ticks are often found in shrubs, tall grass, and meadows. Smaller than a grain of rice, ticks are often hard to see and are brought into our homes by way of snagging onto our clothes or hitching a ride on our pets. Like mosquitos, ticks can also carry dangerous diseases. It’s important that your garden is tick-free this summer so you can have worry-free fun.
The CDC recommends the best way to steer clear of ticks is to maintain your yard! Removing leaf litter, mowing the lawn frequently, and clearing tall grass and brush are just a couple ways to mitigate a tick invasion.
Still finding ticks in your garden and home even after clearing your yard? Take further preventative measures by constructing fences to keep out animals that might be carrying ticks. Ticks also can hide in places such as your trash, old furniture, or any other items or junk you might be keeping in your yard. Need a hand with de-tick-ifying your yard? Doers have got your back! Click above to book a job today,
3. Red Spider Mites
Red spider mites are plant-feeding mites that often invade plants by living under the skin of leaves, draining your plant of its sap. Like its name suggests, these pests are little red garden pests that don’t necessarily cause harm to humans or dogs, but do put your garden at risk.
To mitigate any garden damage, introduce their predators to your backyard and garden. These predators include ladybugs and lacewings. You can usually find these helpful critters on sale at your local nursery. If you have an indoor garden area or greenhouse, it can also be helpful to increase the humidity to usher these mites out the door.
Mosquitos, ticks, and red spider mites are just a few pesky insects you might encounter this summer. To take preventative measures, gear up your garden and introduce peak-eating predators to your lawns. At ToDooly, we want this summer to be spent running through grass fields and making beautiful dinner dishes from homegrown veggies — don’t let summer pests get in the way. Hire a Doer to help prep your garden and home by calling (313) 777 - 8052 or hit the button above.