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Bugged? Easy, Eco-Friendly Ways to Control Insect Pests

(ARA) – You and your family aren’t the only ones getting ready to enjoy your outdoor environment as the weather warms. Termites and carpenter ants will relish your wooden deck as much as you do. Mosquitoes would love to set up house in that new koi pond you just installed. And wasps and hornets will be unwelcome guests at your first barbecue of the season.

Some insect pests just bug you. Yet being an environmentally conscious American, you don’t care for many of the pesticide sprays or baits that are commonly used to deal with insects either. How can you protect the environment and your enjoyment of the great outdoors this summer? Here are some unique ways to curb common insect pests:

Termites and Ants

Why they’re a problem: Termites damage wood – including your deck and house. Ants can also damage wood, encroach on landscaping and even cause allergic reactions in some people. Plus, no one wants ants attending their cookout, or worse, entering their home.

Where they hang out: Both termites and ants initiate nests in the ground, often in landscaping beds near a wooden structure – such as your house.

One solution: To discourage termites and ants from nesting in your landscaping, replace the decaying weed control fabric under the mulch in your landscape beds with Weed-X AT with Ant and Termite Guard – it actually deters the formation of ant and termite colonies by preventing them from burrowing through the material into the soil below where colonies form. Use it around the perimeter of your home in any type of landscaping or flower bed. As an added bonus, it will control weeds, retain moisture, and promote healthier plants. Weed-X AT is available at select Wal-Mart and Do-it-Best Hardware stores across the country. Visit www.weedxworks.com or call (800) 747-3256 to learn more.

Mosquitoes

Why they’re a problem: Mosquitoes are well-known carriers of viruses harmful to humans, including the West Nile in North America and Malaria abroad. At best, they are a nuisance, making it difficult to enjoy the outdoors when predatory mosquitoes are looking for blood.

Where they hang out: Mosquitoes lay their eggs in standing water such as ponds or rain barrels.

Solutions: Avoid having standing water on your property. Be aware that any item on the ground that might catch water will be a venue for egg-laying mosquitoes. To keep them out of your rain barrel, add a drop of olive oil to the water. The oil creates a thin film that mosquitoes can’t pierce to lay their eggs. Don’t, however, add oil of any kind to a fish pond. Instead, introduce fish that will eat the mosquito larvae. To keep mosquitoes off skin naturally, try garlic spray as a repellent (mix 1 part garlic juice to 5 parts water and shake well). Marigolds planted in your flowerbeds will also repel mosquitoes and other flying insects.

Wasps, Hornets and Yellow Jackets

Why they’re a problem: Far more volatile than their bee cousins, wasps, hornets and yellow jackets are more likely to sting humans. Their stings deliver pain and swelling, and can cause severe allergic reactions in some people.

Where they hang out: Certain species of wasps will nest under the eaves of your home, or in the overhang above your front door. Others prefer trees, shrubs or even ground spots. They are also drawn to human food and can be very aggressive scavengers.

Solutions: Always tackle hives and nests at night, when insects are less active. Wear protective clothing, covering your face and hands. Slip a large plastic bag over the nest and knock it into the bag. Quickly seal the bag and leave it in the sun for at least a day; the bright sun will kill the insects. For ground nests, pour boiling water into the nest opening.

By using eco-friendly control measures, you can ward off insect pests, enhance the enjoyment of your outdoor spaces and protect the environment at the same time.

Courtesy of ARA Content