Don’t Let Mosquitoes Ruin Your Summer Fun

Family having dinner in backyard

Is there any insect more annoying than a mosquito? And central North Carolina definitely has our share of these annoying pests! While there are other insects that rank pretty high on the annoying scale, mosquitoes are infamous for spreading harmful diseases. Meaning they can leave behind more than just itchy, red bites. Your best defense is to make your Piedmont Triad yard as inhospitable to them as possible. Don’t let these pesky pests ruin your summer fun!

Tips to Reduce the Amount of Mosquitoes in Your Yard

  • The number one way to achieve mosquito control is to reduce the amount of standing water on your property. Without water, mosquitoes don’t have anywhere to lay their eggs. Buckets, toys, tarps, watering cans, and other containers that can collect water should be stored indoors or emptied at least twice a week.
  • Clean leaves and debris out of roof gutters so that water flows freely and does not attract mosquitoes.
  • Fight off these pests with strategically placed fans. Flies and mosquitoes are not strong fliers and do not like moving air. As an added bonus, the breeze tends to dissipate all the body odors and the carbon dioxide that people give off which attracts mosquitoes.
  • Place specific plants in your yard to naturally deter mosquitoes. Here are a few to try: lavender, garlic, sage, eucalyptus, mint, basil, citronella, marigolds, and lemon balm.
  • Frequently change the water in wading pools, bird baths, and other outdoor water features. Keep swimming pool water treated and circulating.
  • If you have a mosquito infestation that persists despite your best efforts, it is always best to call in the professionals. A reputable pest control service can evaluate and treat your yard accordingly.

Use these tips to enjoy a magical Piedmont Triad summer without the risk of bites and potential infections. We live in a fast-growing area and your local Zippy Shell of the Piedmont is here to meet all your moving and storage needs!

Tips to Keep Your House in Tip-Top Shape during the Summer

home cleaning

Summer is a great time to tackle your seasonal household upkeeping items. There are a lot of small projects you can tackle during these warm months to protect your house from the elements. Be sure you are protecting it from the extreme weather conditions it is enduring. Check out some of our pro tips below to maintain your home this summer to keep it in tip-top shape!

Wash your windows

Throughout the year, your windows can build up a good amount of grime, but there’s an easy way to fix this! To see if your windows need a good cleaning, do one swipe of cloth along one of the low windows on your house to see if there’s any dirt or grime present. Even if your windows look fine, you may see some dirt after giving them this test. Getting your windows clean is a quick and easy project – just get some warm water and soap or glass cleaner to scrub off the debris.

Clean your grill for barbecuing

Keeping your grill clean all summer long will truly make your bar-b-ques enjoyable. If you have a charcoal grill, empty all of the old ashes and safely dispose of them. Wipe away the remaining dust, then finish off the grill by washing it down with soap and water. For a gas grill, close the lid and heat it on high for about thirty minutes to burn away any old food particles. Scrub the grates with a grill brush to clean out the remaining pieces in between the cracks. Finish it off by wiping it down with a sponge and changing out the drip tray. Just a few minutes of cleaning and you’ll be ready to cook up some delicious food for your friends and family!

Repair cracks

Summer is a great time to check your driveway or patio at your home to see if there are any cracks in it. A lot of concrete cracks can be easily fixed yourself with a store-bought sealant. Asphalt can be tricky to seal but can also be done yourself if you are feeling up to the challenge! If not, both your patio and driveway can easily be sealed by a professional. Sealing these will ensure a longer life for your patio and driveway and will give your house a much more pleasing aesthetic.

Plant a new layer of mulch

If you have a garden in your yard, adding fresh mulch every year will really help to keep it growing strong. You’ll want to remove some of the older mulch and properly dispose of it. The fresh mulch will not only look more beautiful, but it also helps to hold water in for the plants and resist more weeds.

Give your deck a makeover

If you have a wooden deck in your backyard, summer is a great time to see how it’s doing. If any boards are rotting, be sure to remove them and replace them. For a painted wooden deck, as the paint starts to chip over the years, decide if it is time for another coat. Check to make sure no loose nails are lying around and hammer them in or remove them if you find any. This all also applies if you have a wooden fence.

5 Important Summer Safety Tips

Man in Summer staying cool

Sweet summertime is just about upon us and it’s prime moving and storage season! It’s also that time of year when the kids are out of school, relatives visit and folks enjoy the longer days. Summer has its own set of safety concerns, though, and we’ve collected a number of great tips to help you and your family stay safe during the summer season!

Beat the heat: It’s already very hot in many parts of the country, so if you are moving or just enjoying events outside, be sure to be heat-safe. The National Safety Council suggests several ways to avoid heat-related stress, including:

  • Staying hydrated: Whether your friends are helping you pack or laying on the beach, ensure you have enough water on hand.
  • Work shorter shifts: If you are working outside, don’t push it! Take frequent breaks.

Be food safe: Picnics and BBQs abound during the summer season, but you don’t want them to result in an ER visit. Keep any foods made with mayo out of the sun and ensure they remain refrigerated right up until it’s time to eat.

Protect your skin: Sunburns not only can ruin a great time outdoors, but also increase your risk of skin cancer. Be sure to apply sunscreen before any outdoor activity, even if it is cloudy outside! Reapply after fun in the water.

Stay bug savvy: Insects love summer, too, and it’s important to protect yourself from painful stings and tick bites. The CDC suggests that you apply an effective insect repellent and use these tips to create a tick-free backyard.

Make safety a priority: Ensuring a safe summer may take a little planning. When you plan your events and outings, take into consideration who will be there (kids? pets?) and what could happen (sunburn? stings?). Make a kit to have on hand to ensure all goes well.

Whether you are experiencing your first summer in a new location after a move or just gearing up to enjoy a staycation, we want you to stay safe. If you are looking to make a move soon as well, then check out what Zippy Shell has to offer and see how we differ from traditional moving services!

It’s Time for a Summer Clean Out!

Family cleaning their home

One of the best things about Summer is the longer days giving us what feels like more time to tackle projects. If you have been wanting to take on a big clean out or full force home organization project, now is the perfect time. We have the best tips for getting your home organized at the beginning of the North Carolina Summer, giving yourself time to relax in a tidy home the remainder of the year!

But first, here some positive reasons to get cleaned out and organized:

  • It makes for an easier to clean your home.
  • Everyday life will become less stressful when you know where to find your stuff.
  • You may save money by not shopping for items you already own.
  • You will be able to use the space in your home to its full potential.
  • An organized home just feels peaceful.

Make a plan.

Sometimes with less glamorous projects such as this, the tendency is to let it fall to the wayside after the initial excitement wears off. A plan will help you stay the course and see this project to completion. Think about the work that needs to be done in each room of your home and make a master list. Remember this list whenever your enthusiasm wanes and check items off to fuel the feeling of accomplishment!

Commit to a timeline.

Look over your plan and realistically set a start and end date. You can even break your to-do list down into smaller sections with a deadline set for each. Refer back to the positives listed above when procrastination rears its ugly head.

Find motivation in a playlist.

Create a playlist of fun, upbeat, energy inducing music to play for the sole purpose of cleaning out and getting organized. Figure out the amount of time you have each day to devote to this project and choose the amount of songs needed to cover that time. Crush your organizing plan by playing this list loud and proud during each clean out session. Did you know: Zippy Shell’s portable storage units are perfect for storing items from the home, giving you more space to clean and organize. Check us out today for answers to any questions you may have and a free quote!

How to Maintain your Yard Under the Heat of Summer

As we enter the hottest month of summer, use these tips to help your yard flourish. 

Trim  

Trimming bushes or shrubs provides for many benefits. Animals may burrow in the underside of untrimmed bushes, so this prevents them from finding a new home in your yard. Trimming your hedges will cut out the overgrown sections of your shrubs and leave the tips fresh and alive, allowing for proper regrowth. Trimmed bushes also cause less debris to fall around the bush resulting in less cleanup for you, all while looking more pleasing. 

Check for dead branches 

Thunderstorms can be frequent and unpredictable in the summer season. To prepare for a storm out of the blue, make sure you have cleared all the dead branches hanging in trees or bushes around your house. This will give your tree and yard a better appearance, all while protecting your home from falling branches. 

Cut your grass 

This may seem like a simple task, but often, it can get forgotten. Make sure to cut your grass about once a week to keep it fresh and healthy. Cutting more often than this or ignoring to cut it this often can both lead to damage. 

Water  

Even though the high heat may make you think that your plants are dying, this is not always the case. Often plants die in the summer from overwatering when they don’t need it. To be safe, water your yard 2-3 times per week, depending on how much rain you receive. 

Fertilize 

Provide your yard with some extra nutrients before it takes on the heat of the summer. This will give the growth process a kickstart and give your yard a better chance at thriving. 

Rid your yard of weeds 

Weeds can take over a yard and suck out many of the nutrients in the soil that your plants need to survive. Although it may be an annoying task, it is crucial to weed for the success of your yard.  

Summer Gardening Tips for Your Home

table lamp in blue tone beach house living room interior

Before the weather starts to heat up too much, take advantage of this time to care and prep your garden for this summer!

Clear the area

Before you begin planting anything, make sure the area is free of debris and leaves to ensure clean planting soil. You can rake up the soil before planting to freshen it up as well as examine if the area is clear.

Fertilize

Most soil will not contain the nutrients that your garden needs to thrive, so give it an extra boost to grow.

Plant vegetables

Plant veggies such as tomatoes or cucumbers right in your backyard! You save money on vegetables, all while getting fresher ingredients right in your yard. You also are assured that what you are eating is organic and not chemically treated.

Add some color

Planting colorful flowers is a great way to spice up your backyard to give it a beautiful aesthetic. Not only can you use bright bulbs, but also use colorful pots to put your plants. Fun pots are an easy way to add color to your natural green plants.

Don’t forget to water

Even if summer storms are frequent in your area, don’t forget that the heat can take a toll on your plants. Check if your plants need water by sticking your thumb down into the soil at the stem of your plant. If it is dry, add some water to the mulch.

Expect weeds

In almost any garden, weeds will be inevitable. Prepare for weeds by having weed killer at hand so when they do sprout, you can kill them before they destroy your garden.

Bird baths

For some natural pest control, incorporate bird baths or birdhouses into your yard. Birds will help control the pests that frequently attack gardens, all while leaving friendly insects such as spiders or ladybugs alone.