Spring is finally here, and it's about time. Your kids will get to run and play outside in the warmer weather, and you'll be able to plan some fun family outings. However, the better weather isn't without its downsides. Spring is also prime time for pests of all sorts to come crawling back into our lives, and they can cause some serious problems for you and your family. With the weather getting warmer, tick season is now lasting longer. Pest can be such a problem that it's estimated by the National Pest Management Association that without the pest control industry, rodents and bugs would destroy 50% of our food supply.
If you want to avoid a case of the creepy-crawlies -- not to mention Lyme Disease -- then use these tips to keep spring's bothersome bugs from pestering you and your family.
Dress to protect
When your kids are getting ready to go out and play, make sure they're dressed to keep bugs off of them. Every environment is different and will require different clothes to keep them safe, but generally speaking, wearing long pants and sleeves can help keep bugs from climbing from grass or leaves onto you or your kids. If it's too warm for long sleeves, using the right bug repellent can help, but bug spray will need to be reapplied throughout the day.
Of course, many parents are now reluctant to apply harsh chemicals, pesticides, essentially, to their children's skin. Fortunately, there are alternatives to harsh bug repellants. You can find essential oils and natural bug sprays with ingredients like citronella and peppermint instead of DEET.
Out of the house
There are about 10,000 species of ants, and lots of them can cause problems for your pantry if they get into your house. If you discover an ant has found a way into your home, it's likely there will be more to follow. Ants work together to find food, meaning that it's rarely just one ant in your home. Make sure you pest-proof your home before summer rolls around to keep ants, termites, and other harmful home pests out of your house.
Similarly, make sure you're teaching your kids all the right habits to avoid them bringing pests into your home on accident. Keep doors and windows shut if you don't have a good insect screen for them, and make sure they aren't bringing them into your home on purpose. Kids can be curious, and that's great; however, some experiments and discoveries are best left outside the house.
Don't forget the pets
According to The American Pet Products Association, almost 85 million households have a pet. Pets can be shockingly good at bringing pests into your home, since pests of all kinds love hitching a ride on your furry friend, especially ticks. These pests can carry many kinds of diseases, posing a risk to both you, your family, and your pets. Check your pets when they come inside for any bugs that might be on them to keep them from getting into your house and causing trouble.
Wait! Not all bugs are bad
Believe it or not, not all insects are pests; some are great for the environment. Bees are pollinators, and are responsible for cross-pollination, which helps at least 30% of crops and 90% of wild plants thrive. Make sure any pest-prevention methods you're using aren't going to harm these helpful insects. When possible, stick to natural pest remedies that won't accidentally do more harm than good.
Bugs and other pests can be a nuisance, but they don't have to be. How do you plan to protect your family and pets from insects this spring?