It is summer in Florida, which means there are plenty of outdoor activities to partake in. But it also means that there are plenty of bugs partaking as well. You may be asking yourself if there is anything more you could be doing or something you could be doing better to keep those pests away. The answer is “yes.” The main thing that we recommend our clients do on a regular basis is some basic lawn and yard care. You may be surprised to learn that a lawn that is well manicured and healthy is actually less attractive to bugs than lawns that are not regularly cared for. There are some simple things you can do around the yard in order to ensure that bugs will not be a bother this summer.
Professional Yard Care
One of the first things you should do, if you do not already have regular pest control treatments in your yard, is to schedule a professional to come to evaluate and treat your yard. This is the groundwork, no pun intended, to a healthy and pest-free yard. Seasonal pest control treatments will eliminate and prevent the return of any pests that are common in your area.
In addition to having your yard professionally treated for pests, your homework, pun slightly intended, is to care for your lawn so that it does not attract new pests. Here are some basic steps you can take.
- If laying sod or seed, use grass that is native to the area.
- Fill any bare spots with sod or seed in the spring and fall.
- Aerate the soil to ensure proper nutrient distribution and to prevent thatch.
- Water your lawn if it starts to droop, wilt, or not bounce back.
- Stop watering if you see pooling or runoff.
In addition to these basic one-off tasks, there are some weekly or as-needed yard care tasks to help maintain your pest-free yard. These include keeping hedges and grass neatly trimmed. But you must make sure that you are trimming and mowing correctly. Did you know that you can actually mow your grass too short? Obviously, if you mow so low that you can see the soil, this is too short. But what is the right height? This will vary based on your soil type and grass species. You can speak with your local hardware store for tips on your specific grass and soil type. If you do not know, they or your pest control specialist can help you to identify what type of grass you have. We do not recommend blindly following what your neighbor does, as your neighbor may not be mowing to the correct height either.
You should also ensure that your hedges are not just trimmed, but they need to be trimmed in such a way that they are at least six inches away from the side of the house. This will prevent pests living in the shrubbery from using that errant branch to get into your home. And after all the mowing and trimming is done, be sure to rake and clean up any clippings. Yard waste should be cleaned up and kept in an appropriate yard waste bag until it can be picked up. This prevents bugs and rodents from using the stray clippings as a nest or food.