The Great Outdoors
Life happens in the Great Outdoors. But the Great Outdoors we rarely think about is our own backyard, neighborhood and community. Until now.
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 still within reach.
Look around your yard, neighborhood, and community…
Whether it’s at home or close to home, you can still get outside and enjoy the Great Outdoors safely and according to your state’s guidelines.
Is there a local walking trail or campsite you’ve been meaning to visit? As you continue to look for ways to enjoy the outdoors during this time, hiking is the perfect way to discover local sites alone or with a pet. 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.
With more time spent indoors while social distancing, it’s easy to forget the value of time in the sun and fresh air. As screen time and time indoors 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, whether it’s planting a new garden or breathing in the fresh air during a hike, to take advantage of all the outdoors has to offer, while still adhering to your state’s safety and social distancing protocols. 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.
- Less travel? No issue. Create a staycation just outside your home
- Enjoy a campout from the comfort of your backyard
- Plant a pollinator-friendly garden
- Spot a problem, call a local professional
Before heading outdoors for a family hike or daily walks with your four-legged friend, it’s important to be mindful of tiny pests, like ticks and mosquitoes, can cause big problems like ticks and mosquitoes. Make sure your desired outdoor recreation activities have the green light from your state, and follow these tips fora bug-bite free adventure
- 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.
- 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 .
- Do tick checks: To prevent Lyme disease and other vector-transmitted disease, 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.
- Find the source of your home or lawn problem.
- Solve in a way that aligns with your time, expertise and situation.
- 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 and maintain lawn and garden health, consider scheduling a walk through or phone appointment with the pros. They can help identify the source of the problem and treat 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.