The Great Outdoors

Life happens in the Great Outdoors. But when we think of the Great Outdoors, we rarely think of our own backyard or neighborhood. Until now.

Picture this. The sun on your face as you chase the ball across a perfectly manicured field. The smell of flowers in bloom after a crisp rain. The sound of bees buzzing around your newly landscaped yard. The benefits of being outdoors are endless and within reach.

Look around your yard, neighborhood, and community…

Is there a local walking trail you’ve been meaning to try? Before setting out, make sure you have a game plan to protect yourself, family and pets from harmful bug bites with EPA-approved bug repellent and treatments applied according to label directions.

Any DIY projects you’ve been putting off? Now is the perfect time to jump in and increase your curb appeal with professional help and an integrated approach to a well-maintained outdoor space.

No matter the activity or project, get outside and enjoy the Great Outdoors. 

#TheGreatOutdoorsChallenge

With more time indoors and in front of screens, it’s easy to forget the value of time in the sun. But, as screen time continues to increase, so do reports of stress and depression among teens and adults. Research says time outdoors, at least two hours per week, could combat these feelings and help improve overall health, well-being and happiness.

The #GreatOutdoorsChallenge urges everyone to step from behind the screen and into the benefits of time outdoors, whether it’s planting a new garden or breathing in the fresh air during a hike. Join the challenge and share your new garden project, hike or backyard adventures by tagging @DebugtheMyths on Twitter and using #TheGreatOutdoorsChallenge.

Don’t know where to start? Check out our Summer Bucket List filled with activities you can do close to home in your great outdoors. Here are a few ideas to get started.

Before heading outdoors for a family hike or daily walks with your furry friend, it’s important to be mindful of tiny pests that can cause big problems like ticks and mosquitoes.

  1. Dress the part: Dress to protect yourself and loved ones by wearing light colors, long sleeves and long pants. Also, tuck your pants into your shoes to avoid exposure and block potentially harmful bites.
  2. Pack the essentials: Don’t forget to pack water, sunscreen and an EPA-approved bug repellent. Make sure to apply repellent and sunscreen, separately, to exposed skin according to label instructions.
  3. Do tick checks: To prevent Lyme disease and other related diseases, perform regular tick-checks after coming back inside from April through September when tick populations are at their peak. Remember to check pets, family members and yourself after exploring the outdoors.

For people: Check areas where ticks can most easily hide such as in and around ears, the belly button, behind your knees and in your hair/scalp.

For pets: Check ears, toes, armpits and paws for ticks as well as in hair and around collars where ticks can hide.

Taking on that long-awaited garden project or sprucing up your backyard can seem like a huge task. To alleviate the anxiety of getting started, we’ve broken down a three-step, balanced approach known by professionals as Integrated Pest Management (IPM) to help you improve and protect your outdoor space.

  1. Find the source of your home or lawn problem.
  2. Solve in a way that aligns with your time, expertise and situation.
  3. Prevent it from happening again by taking care of areas in your yard that could invite the problem to return.<

As you take steps to protect your yard from pests like mosquitoes and ticks, consider calling in the pros to identify the source of the problem and treat the perimeter of your yard and entry points of your home. Local professionals are experienced in treating issues specific to your area, which can also increase the likelihood of preventing issues from returning.

When choosing a local professional, be sure to ask questions to help you understand their experience, training and licensing and area of expertise to inform your decision. Determining their area of expertise be it pest and weed control, or lawn and landscape with integrated solutions.

Refer to this list of questions when talking to professionals and determining which to hire.

  • Are you a licensed applicator?
  • How long have you been in business?
  • How long have you been treating mosquitoes and ticks?
  • What training has your team completed specific to mosquito and tick control?
  • What treatment do you use, and what do I need to know about it? Do you take an integrated approach?
  • How often do you recommend treating throughout the year?
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