You like hanging out in your backyard. But if you are haven’t checked underneath the deck in a while, or taken the containers away for recycling, your property could be a great place for pests of all kinds to gather.
Even a small pool underneath a downspout can be a breeding spot for mosquitoes and other insects. The same can be said for standing water in the gutters. Fix any outdoor faucets, hoses or sprinkler systems that drip or leak after being shut off or when not in use. If your backyard includes a garden pond, be vigilant about cleaning it out and skimming the surface for leaves and other bits of debris. Insects that use water as a breeding ground like still water, not moving. Add a fountain or waterfall feature to deter pests that find stagnant ponds attractive.
It’s not just standing water in gutters that is an issue. A collection of dry materials such as leaves, twigs and needles is perfect for nest building – birds, squirrels, wasps, just to name a few.
Pruning long branches discourages pests like crawling insects and squirrels from gaining access to the roof or gutter system where they can build nests or enter through some tiny crack or gap. Keeping limbs trimmed back several feet from the roofline will also help reduce the amount of leaves that ends up in the gutters. You can minimize the damage pesky pests can do by rethinking your garden. For example, plants like verbena are distasteful to rabbits. Many different kinds of pesky critters including deer and mice don’t like strong smells, so planting plants and herbs that emit distinctive scents will help keep them away.
Maintain your deck – repair damaged areas or replace compromised boards as soon as possible. This will help prevent insects from infiltrating untreated surfaces and eating away at the wood.
Inviting Nooks and Crannies
Check for any openings and gaps you find on your home exterior and seal them. Small gaps in a raised deck, fascia boards, soffit panels or trim around windows and doors, can be inviting to bugs and insects. Clear away any piles of crates, materials, etc. that would be provide a dark protected place for insects and critters to burrow, hide or live.