Backyard BBQ: Preventing Pests This Grilling Season
Spring has broken the winter spell at last and introduced warmer temperatures to our area. With the trees and flowers blooming, it’s time to go outside, enjoy the fresh air and await the coming summer. The sunny days and warm weather also signal barbecue season, a time for residents throughout Northern Virginia, D.C. and Maryland to eat good food and relax in the shade. Unfortunately, pest insects also love the spring and summer months and can make it difficult to enjoy your time outdoors.
Types of Bothersome Outdoor Insect Pests
Every spring and summer, the pest population explodes and causes frustration for those who want to spend time in their yards. During this time of year, mosquitoes and ticks cause problems for homeowners across our service area.
Mosquitoes have always been a nuisance pest and cause more problems than itchy bites alone; they also spread infectious diseases to people and pets. West Nile virus is one such disease and produces no symptoms in about 80 percent of infected people. However, some people do experience fever, body aches and other flu-like symptoms. Severe symptoms rarely occur but may include neurological illness, tremors and paralysis. Mosquitoes now threaten people with the Zika virus, an infectious disease that causes severe birth defects.
Ticks also feed on blood and transmit tick-borne bacterial infections such as Lyme disease. These pests dwell in tall grass and on hanging limbs and latch onto your skin or clothing as you brush against them. Only 42 percent of people who contract Lyme disease develop a rash while the majority experience flu-like symptoms. Ticks can also infect your pets with Lyme disease; however, there is no evidence that dogs or cats can spread it to their owners.
Pest-Proofing for Your Barbecue
Cutting your grass regularly at a low height can help curb tick infestations. You should also prune your hedges and remove any brush where ticks or mosquitoes rest. Turn over empty buckets to prevent standing water after it rains. Mosquitoes breed in water and can produce hundreds of offspring in a small jar. Wearing bug spray and keeping the citrus candles lit may also push away mosquitoes from your grilling area.
If mosquitoes and ticks ruin your barbecue plans, contact Capitol Pest for a thorough inspection. Our certified and experienced technicians can diagnose your property and create a custom service program to cure existing infestations and prevent future ones this grilling season.