A little over a year ago, we finally shifted our focus from renovating the inside of our 1930 bungalow to starting on the outside. The first project on the list was to add a beautiful, massive deck and pergola so we could finally utilize (and benefit from) having our own yard.
I remember dreaming of the morning coffee I’d enjoy under the pergola, the al fresco dinner parties I would host, the creative projects I would whip up here after Mila was asleep for the night.
While those dreams have become a reality to some extent, they are almost always cut short by the same nuisance: mosquitos. In fact, 85 percent of Americans say that mosquitoes limit their outdoor activities during the summer.
Especially here in the South, if the humidity isn’t enough of a reason to stay indoors, the mosquitos definitely are. For us the issue is even more extreme, as we have a small pond on our property. In case you were blissfully unaware, standing bodies of water are breeding grounds for mosquitos.
TruGreen is the number 1 lawn care company in the U.S., and not only does it specialize in all things lawn-related (weed control, fertilization, aeration – just to name a few services), the company also offers pest control. TruGreen’s Mosquito Defense service targets mosquitoes (and ticks!), eliminating them from your yard in 24 hours so that you can finally start enjoying those outdoor living spaces.
The process couldn’t have been easier. First, I scheduled an in-person consultation with the Service Manager of the TruGreen Chattanooga branch, and as we walked our property to analyze where the mosquitos were congregating, he walked me through the process of what to expect on the day of treatment.
The next day the local specialist arrived to treat our lawn. Using an innovative formula and a targeted applications technique, he treated all areas of our yard where mosquitos could possibly live. That includes trees, shrubs, mulched areas and all types of ground cover. The application works within 24 hours and lasts for 30 days. Plus, TruGreen offers a Mosquito-Free Guarantee and will gladly perform a free re-service any time you find yourself battling mosquitos between monthly treatments.
Talk about perfect timing, as we’re days away from Mila’s first birthday party. What a relief knowing that guests will be able to enjoy our outdoor living area mosquito-free!
A couple additional things you can do to help maintain a mosquito-free outdoor space:
- Regularly remove standing water that accumulates in buckets, birdbaths, inflatable pools, etc., as that is where mosquitos lay eggs.
- Make sure your yard is free from piles of twigs, branches and leaves, as these things give mosquitos the perfect place to hide, seek shelter and reproduce.
- Keep your lawn well mowed and other vegetation trimmed to eliminate cool spots where mosquitos prefer to hang out.
The most effective way to combat mosquitos, however, is to hire a professional lawn care company like TruGreen to kill the mosquitos during the months they are most active. Visit TruGreen.com to schedule your consultation today!
So, to celebrate our newly mosquito-free lawn and encourage you to live life outside, I’ve compiled a list of backyard activities you can enjoy with little ones.
No need to go far to introduce your kiddos to the magic of sleeping under the stars. Sure, heading up to the mountains or the lake is a slightly bigger adventure, but setting up a tent in the backyard is just as fun – especially if your littles are younger and haven’t actually been camping.
2. Blowing bubbles
There’s just something so magical about blowing bubbles, whether you’re a toddler or a grown adult. Automatic bubble machine are nice and convenient, but you can always make your own bubble solution with half a cup of dish soap, 1.5 cup of water and 2 teaspoons of sugar.
3. Inflatable pool
I know I mentioned avoiding standing water in your yard, but as long as you pour out the water after every use, an inflatable pool can be loads of fun for little kids. The one we have has a slightly padded bottom, and I pour just a little bit of water in there, add in Mila’s bath toys and it’s a guaranteed 40 minutes of nonstop fun.
4. Al fresco dinner party
Although not necessarily done for the children’s enjoyment, having people over for dinner is always a treat. Plus, you’re setting such a good example for the littles to share your home with others.
5. Water balloons and/or sprinklers
Summer is not complete without a water balloon fight or running around in the yard with the sprinklers on. It’s nearly as fun as taking the kids to the lake – except without all of the hassle.
6. Mini nature hike
Kids are natural explorers, and what better way to encourage that part of their personality than in your own backyard! Collect leaves or flowers together, look for insects, dig in the dirt.
7. Portable projector
Having family movie night outside may require a bit of planning up front, but oh what a treat! You don’t have to shell out for a fancy projector; Amazon has ones for around $50. The only other thing you need is a white bed sheet or a light-colored exterior wall.
8. Outdoor scavenger hunt
A scavenger hunt is definitely more geared for older kiddos and will require some planning up front, but just think of the hour of free time you’ll have as your little ones are out there hunting for treasures and having the time of their lives.
Having a picnic in your own backyard is sort of the precursor to camping out there. It can make a mundane weeknight dinner oh-so-fun. All you’ll really need is a blanket and some finger foods.
Even if you don’t technically have a garden – or your kids are too young for such an undertaking – you can still give them a simple watering can and watch their imagination go wild. It’s a great sensory experience – not to mention they’re learning so much!
I was selected for this opportunity as a member of CLEVER and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own. Thanks for supporting the brands that make FOXYOXIE.com possible!