Autumn brings with it the perfect weather to go swimming in your own backyard pool. After all, when else can Houstonians expect such lovely weather in the middle of the day? You might as well take advantage of it!
Unfortunately, the nice weather attracts more than just people looking to spend time outside. Bugs will use this opportunity to move into your backyard and, in some cases, start breeding in your swimming pool. An infestation can make your pool unpleasant and unsafe to use. Fortunately, there are a few steps you can take to keep your pool bug-free this fall.
Even the most hardcore bug lovers will admit that wasps are difficult to admire. This is particularly true when they’re swarming in your backyard and infesting your swimming pool. Try one of these strategies to keep them away from your water:
Hang up a chunk of cheap raw meat far away from your pool to attract the wasps to the snack. Be sure to check on the bait periodically though so it doesn’t rot and leave you with maggots.
Hang up fake wasp nests to fool the wasps into thinking other wasps have already set up shop in your yard. The territorial insects can’t stand living near each other and will leave.
Bees, while they actually serve a positive purpose in the natural ecosystem, are still stinging insects and unpleasant to have around your pool. Here’s how to get rid of bees:
Put drier sheets around your pool, whether weighed down with a rock or in a decorative basket. Bees hate the smell and will avoid your yard.
Set up a small fountain away from your pool to give the bees a chance to get a drink somewhere other than your swimming pool. Put a rock in the water so the bees can climb out safely if they fall in.
It’s no secret to Houston homeowners that mosquitos love water. Wherever they can find it, even in a tiny bucket with rainwater, they’ll breed and cause havoc when the eggs hatch. Here’s how you can curb the tide of mosquitos in your own yard:
Cover your pool when it’s not in use. Aside from a safety measure, this also discourages mosquitos from exploring your pool.
Install a mosquito mister or bug-repellent candles or lamps to keep the bugs from coming into your backyard in the first place. Just check your local regulations first to make sure the misting chemicals are allowed.
Pro Tip: If all else fails, call an exterminator to get rid of your bug problem. The professionals can handle this.
Keep Bugs Out of Your Swimming Pool
Don’t let bugs take over your swimming pool and ruin your autumn! Stay on top of pest control and pool maintenance to keep infestations at bay. Not only will this ensure you have a clean pool, but you’ll also prevent your family from getting sick from mosquito bites or insect stings. Keep bugs out of your swimming pool and enjoy the fall!
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As many homeowners have discovered, adding a custom, private swimming pool to the backyard provides countless hours of fun and entertainment for people of all ages. However, never forget that an open body of water can pose a hazard if not handled correctly. This is especially critical to consider if you have kids.
While pool safety is important for everyone to understand and practice, kids can be especially vulnerable to potential dangers in an improperly maintained or protected swimming pool. The best way to keep your kids safe is a combination of safety training and special safety features to keep your pool safe. Let’s look at a few proven ways to protect your little ones.
Pro Tip: A swimming pool’s drain suction is too powerful for a small child to swim away from, whether it’s in your home pool or a public pool. If you visit a public pool and notice the drains are uncovered, it’s not worth the risk.
Prepare Your Kids
Do your kids know how to swim? If not, make sure they do! Swimming is more than just a fun summer activity–in an emergency scenario, knowing how to stay above water could easily save your child’s life. Sign your child up for swim lessons and encourage them to keep in practice.
Supervise Your Kids in the Pool
Even the most well-trained swimmer child is still a child. Their size and age make them vulnerable to unsafe pool conditions if they can’t properly swim or the pool isn’t properly maintained. Always keep an eye on your kids while they’re swimming, whether you’re at home or in public. It’s better to be a little too careful than to be careless.
Promote Pool Safety for Your Kids
A swimming pool adds monetary and entertainment value to your home and provides countless hours of fun. But make sure to keep safety in mind. With the proper safety features and precautions, your whole family can enjoy your pool safely for years to come.
What custom backyard is complete without a fire pit? An open flame adds an exotic feel to your backyard parties and chases away mosquitoes with a light cloud of smoke. However, it’s always important to remember that at the end of the day, an open flame is still an open flame and must be handled with care. As you design your backyard features, keep fire pit safety at the forefront of your mind.
As cool as a fire pit is, if not handled correctly, it has the potential to be a dangerous addition to your backyard. Make sure that you and anyone else who will be using the firepit knows how to safely light, manage, and extinguish a fire. Use this guide to keep yourself and your partygoers safe while the fire pit is in use.
Before lighting your fire pit, take a look at the area surrounding it. Is there anything that could potentially catch fire if sparks blew in that direction? Sweep twigs or other flammable debris out of the way to prevent the fire from spreading. A five-foot radius is a good rule of thumb. Additionally, double-check what you and others near the fire pit are wearing. Don’t wear clothing with long, loose parts (such as ties or scarves) that can hang into the fire pit if you lean too close.
Pro Tip: Many homeowners enjoy having furniture around the firepit to facilitate conversation. Make sure all the furniture you use for this is either flame-retardant or made of entirely fireproof materials.
Pay Attention to What’s Fueling the Fire
In general, there are a few flammable items that you should never use as fuel for your fire pit:
Gasoline or other flammable liquids: These can splash out of the fire pit and present a serious hazard.
Paper or trash: Burning paper has a tendency to pop and throw sparks out of the fire pit.
Soft woods (cedar, pine, etc.): Like paper, these woods can pop and spark in a fire.
Extinguish the Fire Carefully
When you’re ready to put out the fire, douse the fire pit in water and stir the ashes with a shovel to make sure every coal is extinguished. As you clean the ashes out, be mindful of their temperature and how to properly dispose of them. Ashes can still retain enough heat to start a fire if exposed to flammable materials even after a couple of days. When you dispose of the ashes, avoid packing them in a cardboard box or paper bag to prevent spontaneous combustion.
Handling an Open Flame Safely
Fire pits are constructed with basic safety precautions in mind, so the chances of something going drastically wrong are low. However, managing the fire safely also depends on you to exercise caution and keep everything under control. With a little care and regards for fire pit safety, your fire feature is a perfectly safe and enjoyable addition to your backyard.