With all the good that comes with summer, there is also one scary truth. According to the Centers for Disease Control, mosquito and tick-borne illnesses are on the rise in the United States. In fact, these diseases have more than tripled from 27,388 cases in 2004 to 96,075 reported cases in 2016. These diseases include Lyme disease, Zika, West Nile virus, as well as even rarer diseases such as chikungunya.

These types of facts make it almost difficult to enjoy the outdoors during the warmer months. How can we have any fun in the sun or even enjoy our own backyards when there are dangerous, blood sucking insects in our midst?

Though there aren’t any medications or vaccines to prevent or treat these diseases, we’ve put together a few ways to discourage these insects from heavily populating around your property so that you can rest a bit easier.

Remove standing water

Standing water is a breeding ground for mosquitos. By taking care of any areas that have standing water in your yard at least once a week, you are removing nesting grounds for mosquitos that could otherwise lay hundreds of eggs near you.

Stack wood piles neatly and keep your yard clean

Ticks especially love to find wet, cool and shady spots to settle down. By picking up any piles of debris, stacking wood piles neatly in a sunny area and mowing your lawn once or twice a week, you are taking steps towards creating a warm/dry environment, unfavorable to ticks or mosquitos.

Grow pest repelling plants

Add some color to your yard and keep pests away at the same time. Plants such as thyme, citronella, geraniums, and eucalyptus are all said to repel insects and spiders.

Create a bat house

Bats such as the big brown bat and the little brown bat are valuable members of our Michigan ecosystem and help keep mosquito, tick and other insect populations at bay. Building a desirable home for bats can help give them a place to hunt and thus lower mosquito and tick populations near you as a result.

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