Your home is somewhere you need to feel safe and secure. However, when you’re considering the pests that might be around and you want to do something about them, you shouldn’t forget about the backyard. After all, most of the pests that eventually make their way into your property start off outside, so being aware of what they might be, the damage they can cause, and how to deal with them is important for any homeowner.
Dealing with pests is important for a number of reasons. They can destroy property for one thing, and that will be expensive and time-consuming to fix. However, they can also cause a multitude of different health problems. These problems will affect vulnerable people, such as the elderly, the very young, and those with immune system issues, but that doesn’t mean they won’t make otherwise healthy people sick too. With that in mind, here are some of the main problems you need to look out for in your backyard.
Mice And Rats
What do you look for when you’re buying a new home? For some, it will be a large kitchen, perhaps you want a lot of natural light, and home offices are a must for home buyers these days. Whatever it is you want, it’s highly likely that you’ll also be buying land with mice and rats living on it. That’s because these particular pests are highly prevalent, and wherever you happen to be, there will be some nearby. This thought is not one that many people find too pleasant, but that doesn’t stop it being true, and it’s better to understand that this could be an issue for you rather than ignoring the problem and damage (including potentially to your health) that can occur.
Interestingly, mice and rats are a problem no matter where you live. You might assume you’ll find more of them in the cities and towns because there are more people and therefore more food sources,or perhaps you imagine they would live in the countryside. The fact is that both of these ideas are true; some rodents will live in cities and some will live in fields, which is why your home is at risk wherever you might be.
Mice and rats are problematic for a variety of reasons. Firstly, they will chew your home’s exterior structure, wiring, and your furniture, soft and otherwise. Therefore, they can cause damage to every single part of your home. They also eat human food when they can, and this means they can leave bacteria, urine, and other things over food left out. For example, you might take a can out of the larder or cupboard and open it up, not knowing that a mouse has urinated on it. On top of that, rodents carry ticks, fleas, and lice. These can make you very unwell, and they can also make your pets sick (which is upsetting and could be expensive if you need to take them to the vet).
To discourage mice and rats from coming into your home, you need to start with the backyard. If you have bird feeders, rodents will be present as this is an easy food source for them. They can also be used as shelter, depending on how they are made. Remove these feeders if you are worried about rodents. If you want to keep feeding the birds, it’s wise to invest in traps and pest control to limit the chances of rodents getting into your home.
Mosquitoes are an irritating little insect that can make your summer days – and evenings – hard to enjoy. If you want to spend time in your backyard when the weather is nice, that’s understandable, but it may not be possible if you have a lot of mosquitoes around, since they will bite you,which causes irritation. You’ll be uncomfortable and itchy, and when it’s hot outside, that itching feels even worse.
This might seem to be the worst of what mosquitoes can do, and that’s not ideal, but perhaps you think you could live with it – maybe you wear mosquito repellent or have special candles burning if you want to grill food and eat it outside, or let the children play there. That is a start, but it’s not always enough; mosquito repellent is not one hundred percent effective, and although it will certainly reduce how many bites you get, it won’t stop them all.
The issue with mosquitoes isn’t just about discomfort and itchy bites. The issue is that these insects can carry horrible diseases with them, which are transmitted to humans when they bite you. These diseases include zika, West Nile, and equine encephalitis. These conditions can be fatal, and at the very least will make you very sick. This is why it’s best to get proper pest control if you have mosquitoes in your yard. Not only will that prevent you from getting one of these terrible diseases, but it will enable you to enjoy your yard a lot more in the good weather.
Some people love raccoons because they look cute and are fun to watch. Some hate them because they cause a lot of mess – they are notorious for getting into trash cans and bags and ripping them apart to get to the goodies inside. The mess they leave behind has to be dealt with by the homeowner. No matter what you might think of raccoons, you probably don’t think they’re too dangerous, even if they are annoying and messy.
Unfortunately, raccoons present a lot more problems than simply making a mess of your trash. Firstly, just like with mice and rats, raccoons carry a lot of fleas, ticks, and other problematic creatures than can infest a home, your animals, and even cause health problems for you too. On top of that, if they find a way inside your attic, basement, or crawlspace, they can build nests which can cause structural issues (plus they will rear their young there, meaning you’ll have more than one raccoon in your home, and therefore more potential for damage and disease).
The biggest issue with racoons, however, is that they are known to carry rabies. This is a deadly disease for which there is no cure, and if you don’t receive a shot immediately if you are scratched or bitten, there is nothing that can be done. Thankfully there is a vaccine, but it does depend on you getting medical help in plenty of time, and it’s far better to have pest control in place to reduce or eliminate the chances of raccoons being in or near your property in the first place.