Pet Safety: Outdoor Pests Edition

For homeowners, summer is the perfect time to enjoy some outdoor fun in the backyard with their furry pals. Unfortunately, summer is also the season when the pests come out in full force. Applying pesticide may seem like the go-to solution to eradicating pests in the backyard but you might want to reconsider. Many research studies have linked chemical pesticide to a variety of short and long-term health problems. If you would like to build a pest-free backyard that’s safe for your dog to dwell in then consider applying these natural tricks instead.

Suggested: A Pet’s Guide to Water Safety

Team Up with the Good Bugs

Let’s first list out a few pests that dogs absolutely despise. The most common dog parasites include fleas, botflies, mosquitoes, and mites. These bugs will irritate your dog all summer long as soon as they latch themselves onto the dog’s body. In the worst case scenario, they may also cause harmful health conditions. For example, certain species of ticks, such as the deer tick, are known to cause Lyme disease.

Fortunately, not all insects are bad and there are certain species of bugs that may come to the rescue. Many pests have natural insect predators. Common examples include spiders, ladybugs, praying mantis, and even ground beetles. These predators are referred to as beneficial insects because their diet primarily consists of other insects and not the precious plants that you may be growing in the backyard.

Compared to using pesticide, attracting beneficial insects is a pest control solution that’s much more sustainable, especially if you can keep them around in the backyard. Typically, there are three conditions to maintain for the beneficial insects to stay. They are shelter, water, and food. The food takes care of itself as long as there are pests for the beneficial insects to feed on. As for the other two conditions, it’s important to build some sheltered areas, such as large pebbles or mulch, for the insects to hide in and if you live in an area that’s very dry, it doesn’t hurt to place a shallow try of water so the insects can keep themselves hydrated.

Aside from beneficial insects, you may want to also try attracting other predator species like birds and amphibians. These species may also help with controlling the backyard pest population. Just make sure that they will be able to co-exist in the same environment as your dog. The last thing you would want is for your dog to chase them away!

Defensive Wall of Plants

Unlock your inner green thumb by growing pest-repelling plants. Evolution is a cool thing. Over the centuries, many species of plants have developed ways to build up resistance against pests and rodents. Some of the more popular pest-repelling plants include lavender, parsley, peppermint, rosemary, and spearmint. Growing these plants around common pest entry points, such as the edge of the backyard, could be a good way to ward off the pests.

Before you grow these plants, make sure they are not toxic to your dogs. Some plants, like chrysanthemum, produce chemicals that may cause unwanted health symptoms for your dog, especially if they are exposed to a large concentration of it.

Create Your Own Traps

Love DIY projects? There are plenty of natural traps you can build to get rid of the pests. For example, fleas are attracted to light. You could build a simple flea trap with dish soap, water, and a lamp. Fill a tray with the dish soap solution and point the light source towards it. The idea behind this trap is to drown the fleas by having them move towards the light and enter the tray of soapy water. The soap prevents the fleas from escaping. These traps should be placed well out of your dog’s reach.

Written by guest author Sam Choan.

Read More:  Pet Safety: Summer Edition AKA the Dog Days of Summer

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