Insects Living Outdoors Without Them Annoying

Outdoor living can be lots more fun if you do not have to cope with mosquitoes, red fire ants, flies and other insects. Because they are such persistent and prolific pests, practically every outdoor area is plagued with some kind of insect during the warm season of the year. Certain insects are more trouble some in the early evening or at night, while others are primarily daytime pests.

Before describing methods of combating the more common kinds, let’s see how some insect pests behave in these outdoor living areas.

Everyone knows that many night flying insects are attracted to lights. In this category codling moths, hornworm moths, European corn-borer moths. Asiatic garden beetles, cigarette beetles and May beetles or June bugs are among the most common. Sometimes large. ferocious-looking dragonflies. which are actually harmless. are also attracted to lights.

not the way to battle mosquitos

The attractiveness of lights to insects is governed by two factors: the wave length and the brightness or intensity of the light. Blue, green and white lights attract insects more than yellow and red ones do; therefore, where night-flying insects are bothersome, yellow or red lights should be used. The stronger the light, the more attractive it is to insects. Mosquitoes are especially trouble some, and they do not need light to find their prey. Scent usually guides them. They are more troublesome during the early evening hours when the outdoor living area is most likely to be used by the family.

Because mosquitoes need water to complete their life cycle, they will be more prevalent during rainy seasons or when stagnant water is allowed to accumulate. The larval or wriggler stage of mosquitoes is best controlled by getting rid of any stagnant water which may collect in old pots cans, tree cavities, clogged roof gutters, birdbaths and ornamental garden ponds. To achieve a measurable reduction in mosquito population however, such action must be on a community-wide basis. Areas near polluted streams or swamps, and those too large to be treated individually must be handled by some public agency such as the Mosquito Control or local boards of health. Treating stagnant water is a start but beware chemical use should not be used in ponds populated with fish, however.

Shrubs and other vegetation encourage mosquito infestations because they provide excellent resting places for these pests. Anyone who doubts this should try pruning a hedge on a summer evening!

Spraying or fogging an area with the proper material will make it mosquito proof for a period of several hours or more. In fact. pest-control operators and commercial arborists are equipped to treat outdoor areas which are to be used at night for concerts, carnivals, sport events and church or lawn parties. Well before the event starts, the entire area, including grass, shrubs, bleachers, chairs and any other object on which mosquitoes may rest is sprayed with the proper insecticide. Towards evening. when mosquitoes from beyond the sprayed areas begin to fly in the air is again sprayed or fogged with the insecticide to control the outsiders. The combination pyrethrum mixtures used in such situations provide a quick knock- down of the invading mosquitoes.

During some seasons in a few parts of the country a limited number of mosquitoes may still be around even after following the practices suggested . Individuals who want to be protected from even a single mosquito bite can resort to the use of mosquito repellents. These are either liquids, creams or sprays which are applied directly to the skin.

The ant is another pest which takes joy from outdoor living particularly during parties or picnics. Actually there are as many different control measures for ants as there are kinds of ants.

Ants that infest lawns and other outdoor areas can be controlled by applying some of the new Ant baits and control products as directed on the package.

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