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"When Auckland people think Pest Control they immediately think spray and chemicals. ACES pest control makes NON chemcial on every job! Mostly you need to see the big picture. This combined with an understanding of the pest can often make for recommendations that more effective than  any spray or chemical will ever be."

Beautiful weather means more time spent outdoors, but it also means those little buggers -- ants, mosquitoes and spiders -- might just sneak up on you.

"Nobody likes to get bitten by ants or wasps or anything like that and mosquitoes are potentially transmitting diseases," says Chelle Hartzer, an etymologist with Orkin in Atlanta. "There are things we can do to discourage them from being closer to our yard."

If you think that the solution is slathering your lawn with pest control chemicals, think again. Pest companies take a different approach to eliminating pesky bugs from your lawn. It's called integrated pest management, or IPM. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency describes IPM as an effective and environmentally sensitive approach to pest management that relies on a combination of common sense practices that are the most economical and least hazardous.

"We first look at why the bugs are there in the first place, because the ant is a symptom of a bigger problem," says Robbie Rineler with Arrow Exterminators in Atlanta.

While bugs live outside, they will stay on your property if there is, for example, food for them. "There had to be a food source there that was prevalent enough for the ants to build up enough pressure to stay there, whether its aphids or roots on bushes or garbage," says Rineler, who inspects the property, identifies the pest problem and provides steps for controlling the situation.

"Sometimes the customer must clean garbage cans, use bags, properly store trash or it could be something as easily as firewood that's stored against the side of the house," he says.

When it comes to mosquitoes, they love water. "Eliminate some of those water sources -- the water at the bottom of your potted plants, that little dish that holds the extra water, bird baths -- and you can significantly reduce the amount of habitat that's there for them and reduce the amount of treatments that we need to do," says Hartzer.

Believe it or not, a pest control company's last resort is the application of a product. "That product is approved for a specific site and insect, and those products vary from state to state," says Rineler. "There are a wide range of products to use."

For example, bait is often used to get rid of ants. "Ants are a social insect, so we actually want them to pick up that little piece of food, take it back to their colony, share it with all their nest mates so that it'll encompass the entire nest," says Hartzer.

Rineler prefers applying products that are applied to the root system of hedges and plantings. "If I can treat a bush that's has aphids and that's creating honeydew that the ants are feeding on, and I can knock out the aphids, the food source becomes less and the colony collapses," says Rineler.

Tree trunk injections, which are considered environmentally friendly and cost effective, can be injected directly into a tree's vascular system, which eliminates the need for spraying.

Once the applications are applied, everyone should stay off the lawn for a few days. "The products are meant to eliminate pests, so they will be toxic to some degree," says Rineler. "However, the EPA conducts multiple scientific tests on all products and the benefits must always outweigh the risks associated with any product or they would never be registered. That being said, the pest control industry is highly regulated and all products should be used in accordance with the label directions to reduce the chances of contact."

Pest control companies can also be Green Pro Certified. "To receive this accreditation the company must meet program standards and utilize integrated pest management strategies, such as minimizing the amount of product used by targeting areas that are conducive to pests and only treating as needed," says Rineler.

If you would prefer natural products, Rineler says there are products available that contain natural ingredients such as Rosemary Oil and Peppermint Oil.

"Also, gardeners sometimes use ladybugs as a natural predator since ladybugs will eat the aphids that destroy plants," he says.

Look for nonchemical treatments of bugs, such as boric acid for ants. According to the EPA, boric acid acts as a stomach poisons in ants. Since it occurs naturally in water, fruits, vegetables and forage crops, and is an essential nutrient for plants as well as an essential element for many organisms, it is not considered toxic.

Getting stung isn't on anyone's summer list of things to do, so get rid of the bugs by getting rid of the garbage and water. Then, if you still need some help, contact a pest control professional who can help you to get rid of what's really biting you.

By Lisa Iannucci edited from original article