Here in the Midwest, the Fourth of July is a big holiday. Just about every town around here has a parade during the day and a spectacular fireworks show in the evening. We have a family tradition that includes going to the town parade (that Jay and Josh have been in the last couple of years) and then throwing a backyard cookout for friends and family before the fireworks show starts at dusk. I’m thrilled to be partnering with today’s sponsor, RISE (Responsible Industry for a Sound Environment), to share some things we are going to be doing to ensure our guests are not bothered by bugs while they are attending our cookout.
Some of the things we are doing to try and keep our yard as bug-free as possible are things we do all summer long, like emptying out any standing water around the outside of the house. While I love birdbaths, I don’t love mosquitoes and I know that standing water is prime breeding ground for them, so we did skip that particular decoration on the patio. We do have rain barrels but chose to get a style that is completely covered and doesn’t leave a place for mosquitoes to get in and reproduce. We regularly check our rain gutters to make sure they are flowing freely, not only to keep any leakage issues at bay but also to cut down on possible breeding grounds for bugs. Mosquitoes can lay eggs in standing water in items as small as a bottle cap, so you know we will be clearing ALL of the post-party trash up as soon as our guests leave as well.
Mosquitoes are not only a pest because they cause those frustratingly itchy bites, but can also transmit viruses that cause actual diseases like Zika, West Nile, Dengue fever, and Chikungunya. Some mosquitoes are attracted to urban locations, can survive inside and bite all day. Others are more rural and typically bite around dawn or dusk. Either way, people need to be protected any time they are outside.
We have also taken steps to help make our yard as tick free as possible. Deer ticks can carry Lyme disease and, having seen several friends and family members battle its devastating effects, that is not something I take lightly. We keep the lawn mowed regularly (and check ourselves very closely after mowing) since they are attracted to tall grass. We also make it a point to bring any piles of brush or leaves to the town recycle center as soon as we can since those are also attractive to ticks.
As a favor to our guests, we also provide a variety of EPA-approved bug repellent options for them to use while they are at our house. We like to dress them up a bit and make them part of the party decor! We do place the repellent far away from the food, so there isn’t any extra “seasoning” on the burgers if you know what I mean. We have repellents with DEET since it is proven to protect from bites and is also safe to use on most clothing. (Did you know that? Bug repellents with DEET are safe to use on nylon, cotton and wool, according to label directions.)
We also provide inside seating for around dusk when mosquitoes are at their absolute worst here. The screened door lets the cooler night air in without letting the bugs follow us in! Find out more about protecting yourself, your family and your guests from harmful insects at www.debugthemyths.com.