Ways to Avoid Attracting Pests to Your Yard

Your front yard is a great place to sit and watch the world go by. You like grilling burgers in the backyard for your friends and family. But as the weather gets warmer, your lovely garden and tree-filled property can become attractive to insects, birds, and small nesting animals like squirrels and rodents. If you leave dishes of food out on the patio for your four-legged family members, have bird feeder, or use trash cans with warped lids, you might be inadvertently inviting little critters to take up residence. Here are some practical ways to avoid attracting pests to your yard.

Eliminate Standing Water

Most homeowners who clean the gutters are aware that a clogged gutter system can lead to standing water. Runoff that doesn’t drain away sits in the gutter trough waiting for breeding mosquitoes and other flying insects. Another popular spot for standing water associated with the gutter system is underneath the downspouts.

The gutter system isn’t the only guilty party Unsuspecting places you can find standing water in your yard include:

  • Outdoor garden furniture
  • Birdbaths and fountains
  • Plant saucers
  • Kiddie pools
  • Old tires
  • Trash bins not tightly closed
  • Toys
  • Lawn care equipment like watering cans and wheelbarrows

When rain is in the forecast, turn garden furniture upside-down; Change the water in birdbaths every three days. Drain fountains and kiddie pools when they not operational or in use. Remove old tires or store them in the garage or shed. Being aware of the places water can collect, and then become stagnant, will help you eliminate standing water on your property.

Keep the Gutters Well-Maintained

As mentioned above, clogged gutters don’t allow water to exit the gutter system properly. Keeping the gutters well-maintained helps prevent standing water, and pooling issues. Cleaning the gutters regularly removes leaves, twigs, pine cones, and miscellaneous organic bits that are good for building birds’, squirrels’, and wasps’ nests – pests you don’t want to have hanging around your home.

Clean the Grill

Especially if the grill doesn’t have a cover, don’t wait until the next day to clean the grill. Many species of insects are naturally attracted to food smells. Thoroughly scrape and wash the barbecue after every time you use it. Invest in a heavy-duty cover that won’t come off accidentally.

Secure Trash Cans

Ensure the lids of outdoor trash cans fit tightly. Choose bins that won’t be easily tipped over by the wind or curious critters. As an extra precaution, wash the inside the trash cans at least once a month to remove any residue that might encourage pests to investigate.

Install Pest Proof Outdoor Lighting

Outdoor lighting provides a welcoming atmosphere in which to entertain friends and family, but it can also attract flying insects to your backyard. Turn off lights that are not in use. Since flying insects prefer fluorescent bulbs to LED bulbs, select warmer types of outdoor lighting such as yellow LED bulbs or sodium vapour lights

Tidy up the Landscaping

While lawn care is great for your curb appeal, it also helps pest proof your property. Yard debris provides convenient hiding places and food sources for pesky critters. Clear away twigs, sticks, and branches, Rake fallen leaves – when they became wet and start to decompose, the area becomes attractive to crawling and flying insects.

Fill in dips, holes, and uneven places in landscaping where water might collect.

Prune the branches of trees growing close to the house to discourages pests like crawling insects and squirrels from gaining access to your roof or the gutters system where they can build nests or set up home.

Mow the grass often – pests like to make their homes in tall grass.

Plant your garden with pest proofing in mind. Many of the species you don’t want in your yard, such as deer, mice, and rabbits don’t like strong smells – onions, garlic, marigolds, lavender, and catnip can deter pesky critters.

To enjoy your backyard after the sun sets, plant insect-repellent vegetation throughout the yard.