Long summer nights and backyard cookouts are hallmarks of a glorious season — minus those pesky bugs and mosquitoes, of course. Follow these simple steps to keep pests at bay without resorting to chemical treatments.
Eliminate standing water. Flowerpots, recycling bins, an inflatable pool and a poorly drained yard are all potential breeding spots for mosquitoes. Even a tablespoon of water is enough for a mosquito to thrive. Be vigilant, especially after summer storms.
Garden helpers. Certain plants like lavender, marigolds and lemongrass contain natural chemicals to keep the pests away.
Keep grass mowed. Fleas and ticks, which love long grasses, shade and dampness, can be controlled with a regularly clipped lawn and pruned trees and bushes. Planting cedar mulch is also an excellent way to eliminate fleas and ticks.
Hostess helpers. When entertaining guests, keep covers on foods — or better yet, serve the food inside and entertain outside. Be vigilant about cleaning up any spills. Burn citronella candles around the borders of your yard. Wear light-colored, long-sleeve clothing in a lightweight fabric.