When people think of dangerous animals, typically, their minds go to the great predators of the world. Lions, tigers, and bears (oh my!). Though these animals are dangerous in their own right, they’re not even close to being the most dangerous animals in the world. The scary thing is: some of the most dangerous animals in the world are tiny, unassuming, and live in your backyard. Mosquitoes, fleas, and ticks are some of the most dangerous pests in the world. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), there were over 600,000 cases of diseases spread by these tiny pests in the United States from 2004 – 2006. The good news is that, with a few outdoor pest control techniques, you can keep these pests out of your backyard, keeping you and your family safe.
Mosquitoes are the most deadly animals in the world. At least 425,000 people die every year from diseases spread by these annoying pests, especially malaria. While malaria, yellow fever, Dengue fever, Chikungunya, and Zika virus are very serious and often deadly mosquito-borne diseases, the fact of the matter is that these rarely occur here in Maryland. That’s not to say that mosquitoes are harmless here, Mosquitoes in Maryland are still able to transmit diseases that can pose a threat to you and your family.
Mosquito-Borne Diseases in Maryland
- West Nile Virus
- Eastern Equine Encephalitis
Not only are mosquitoes dangerous, but they’re also pretty annoying too. Their swarms are the bane of any backyard barbeque. As the springs and summers get warmer and wetter, the mosquito population has more than tripled over the years. So, what outdoor pest control methods can you use to keep mosquitoes out of your yard?
Outdoor Pest Control Methods: Mosquito Control
- Remove lawn debris
- Keep your lawn mowed
- Remove all standing water
- Clean your gutters
- Citronella candles
- Encourage mosquito predators
Keep Your Lawn Clean
The first step to keeping mosquitoes out of your yard will be to remove any lawn debris and keep your grass cut. Mosquitoes love to hide out in piles of leaves and long grass. If you rake your leaves and keep your grass cut, it’ll remove some of the breeding areas for these pests.
Check for Standing Water
Most insect control methods target the adult mosquitoes, but this reactionary approach won’t keep them away in the long run. The best way to get rid of mosquitoes is to take a proactive approach. Check your property for any containers, flower pots, toys, and anything else that has collected water. These places will quickly become mosquito hotspots. It’s also a good idea to make sure your gutters aren’t clogged as this can cause standing water as well.
There are many different ways to keep mosquitoes from invading your yard. From DEET mosquito repellants to citronella candles, the options are endless. One creative way to keep these buzzing bloodsuckers away is to encourage their predators. Bats love to chow down on mosquitoes, if you put up a bat box somewhere on your property you’ll have your own resident mosquito killers patrolling the skies every night. Be friendly to the birds and spiders in your yard as well!
Mosquitoes aren’t the only bloodsucking pests that have a history of harming people. Fleas were the cause of the most devastating pandemic that this world has ever seen. The bubonic plague, or “Black Death”, killed as many as 200 million people in the 1300-1400s. Halving the population of Europe and decimating the Middle East and China as well. It took over 200 years for the human population to regain the numbers it had before the plague. After centuries of research, the culprit was found: fleas.
These tiny pests fed on infected rats and spread the disease to humans through flea bites. While the threat of bubonic plague is mostly under control, there are still outbreaks of the disease every year in different parts of the world. There are even cases in the United States every year. While fleas may not pose as great a threat to us as they once did, they are still a threat. Especially to our pets.
Common Flea-Borne Diseases and Conditions in Pets
- Flea Allergy Dermatitis (FAD)
Whether you have dogs or cats, a flea infestation is very difficult to get rid of. There are plenty of flea control products out there that will help you prevent fleas from getting on your pets but these pests are persistent. Keeping them from establishing themselves in your yard is key to flea prevention.
Outdoor Pest Control Methods: Flea Control
- Mow your lawn regularly
- Remove lawn debris
- Keep shrubs and trees away from the side of your home
- Flea sprays
If you can keep the flea population in your yard down throughout the spring and summer, then you’ll avoid the possibility of fleas overwintering in your home throughout the colder months. If you need a little extra help with your outdoor pest control, then call us at On The Green. We have the flea and tick control services that will help you get rid of fleas!
Of all the pests on this list, ticks are the most dangerous here in Maryland. According to the CDC, over the last decade infections from ticks have more than tripled and diseases transmitted by ticks made up 77% of all vector-borne infections. Not all species of ticks transmit diseases to us, but there are quite a few that do and five of them live here in Maryland.
Ticks in Maryland and the Diseases they Transmit
- Lone star tick: Tularemia, ehrlichiosis and Heartland virus
- Brown dog tick: Rocky Mountain spotted fever
- Gulf Coast tick: Rickettsiosis
- American dog tick: Tularemia and Rocky Mountain spotted fever
- Blacklegged tick/Deer tick: Lyme disease, anaplasmosis, babesiosis, ehrlichiosis, and Powassan virus
None of these ticks or tick-borne diseases should be taken lightly. Lyme disease alone causes over 300,000 people to become sick every year, and the number continues to grow every year. The majority of these infections happen in the northeast, with Maryland having among the highest numbers of Lyme disease infections every year. Tick control has never been more important.
Outdoor Pest Control Methods: Tick Control
- Always check yourself and your pets after being outside
- Mow your lawn regularly
- Remove overgrown brush
- Clear lawn debris
- Keep playground equipment and toys away from the treeline
On The Green has the Outdoor Pest Control Solutions for You
Here at On The Green, we take outdoor pest control seriously. Give us a call at (410) 695-0444 and let us help you protect you and your family from the dangerous outdoor pests here in Maryland. Check out our pest control services to see what is the best fit for your lawn.