South Florida is known for its sunshine and warm, balmy weather. While the tropical weather attracts tourists from all over the world, however, it’s also inviting to mosquitoes. To avoid getting bitten or nipped at, many people enlist an army of tools designed to repel mosquitoes. Some of the weapons include citronella candles, repellent sprays, and other high-tech methods aimed at keeping mosquitoes at bay. But before you cover yourself in a repellent spray or light a candle to protect against stings and bites, you should know how potentially dangerous they are. 

DEET Dangers

DEET Dangers

DEET is the most popular insect repellent in the United States. DEET protects against mosquitos by preventing them from landing on the skin. But just because a lot of people use it though, doesn’t mean that it is safe. DEET has a bad reputation. A recent Consumer Reports survey of more than 2,000 adults found that only one-third believe insect repellents are safe for adults.

Even fewer, just under a quarter, think they are safe for children.

The skepticism surrounding DEET is fact-based. There are possible side effects with using it. The most common is skin irritation—you want to avoid spraying it on skin that is scraped or irritated. DEET should not be used on the hands or near the eyes or mouth of young children. According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), DEET may cause skin reactions.

Dangers of Citronella Candles

 

CitronellaDangers of Citronella Candles is an essential oil derived from the leaves and stems of lemongrass. Citronella is in cosmetics, incense, and candles. While citronella products are made from natural oils, there are still some dangers to using them.

For most adults, citronella oil is safe when it’s used on the skin, but it can cause skin allergies in some people, especially young children. If your pets ingest citronella, it can cause severe illness or death.  The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals lists citronella candles as poisonous to dogs because citronella candles can lead to stomach cramping when ingested by animals who are attracted to their smell. When pets inhale the smoke from citronella candles, it can cause breathing issues. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the EPA has not evaluated citronella oil for its effectiveness.

The dangers of citronella candles don’t end there. Citronella candles also pose a fire hazard and are not intended for indoor use. You should place candles on non-flammable surfaces like a brick patio or concrete. Citronella torches should not go near mulch, fencing, or wooden decks.

High-Tech Fails

When it comes to keeping mosquitoes away, there’s an app for that! You can use your cell phone to turn on your car, answer your front door, or track a package, so why shouldn’t it help protect you from bug bites? If you type the words “mosquito” and “repel” into Android’s Go0gle Play or Apple’s app store, dozens of apps are listed.

Each app promises to help keep you safe from mosquito bites. The apps work by emitting a high-frequency noise. The problem is, they don’t work. Check out this attempt to use a mosquito repellent app on live TV!  #epicfail!  But, there are methods you can employ to help keep your home and yard free of mosquitoes.

Living in South Florida, it’s in your best interest to make sure that mosquitoes stay away. The annual number of people sickened by mosquito or tick bites more than tripled in the United States between 2004 and 2016. You can avoid being one of them.

SWAT Mosquito Systems provides state-of-the-art mosquito misting systems to keep biting bugs away all year long. Call them today at <a href=”tel:866-900-SWAT”>866-900-SWAT</a> to learn more about its proven system to keep mosquitoes and other pests out of your yard.

 

 

Let’s Talk Pests

The bane of many a gardener, landscaper, and homeowner – Florida is home to a plethora of garden pests. Their presence is virtually impossible to prevent (even more difficult to remove) and can range from mild nuisances to some downright destructive bugs. Harsh chemicals and pesticides are often viewed as the only way to deter these pests despite being potentially harmful to the very plants you’re trying to protect. Fortunately, eco-friendly gardening solutions for dealing with pests do exist. Here are four effective natural repellents that you can safely use for your Florida garden or lawn.

Effective Natural Repellents

Neem Oil

This natural ingredient can be found in many commercially-sold pesticides and is highly effective when used on its own. An ancient ingredient used for centuries in Southern Asia and India, neem oil is derived from the Azadirachta Indica tree.

With both pesticidal and anti-fungal properties, a neem oil-based homemade pesticide is effective at removing over 200 species of leaf-chewing garden pests such as mites, aphids, mealybugs, and whiteflies, while preventing common garden fungi such as root rot, black spot, mildew, and more. To use: mix one teaspoon of neem oil with a one-third teaspoon of a mild soap with one quart of water.

Herbs Natural Bug Repellent

Herbs

These pretty-smelling (and often delicious) plants are good for far more than lawn decoration. Many of the herbs that can be commonly found in the kitchen are noted to be effective natural repellents.

Why? Bugs can’t stand the smell.

Keeping lavender as a houseplant or in your lawn will naturally deter mosquitoes, moths, flies, and fleas. Some other strong smelling plants like basil, thyme, and garlic are great options as well. The delightfully pungent rosemary herb will keep those dreaded slugs, snails, and cabbage moths from munching on leaves of lower hanging plants.

Caffeine

Put your coffee habit to good use by saving used coffee grounds to use as a natural pesticide. As a central nervous system stimulant, when taken in small doses, caffeine is the energy-giving substance we’ve come to know and love; however, caffeine is fatal for insects.

Caffeine causes over stimulation of their nervous systems and resulting in paralysis and death, shortly after that. To use as a pesticide, simply add used coffee grounds into your soil or create a mixture with water that can be sprayed to deter snails, slugs, cats and even deer effectively!

Natural Bug Repellents

Chrysanthemums

These flowers provide beautiful bursts of colors in flower beds, so it can be hard to imagine that such pretty florals could be such effective bug killers. The key ingredient that acts as a natural pesticide is pyrethrum, which works wonders against many common garden pests: Japanese beetles, root-knot nematodes, spider mites, harlequin bugs, ants, roaches, ticks, lice, fleas, bedbugs, and silverfish. Incidentally, a biodegradable Chrysanthemum-based spray is what SWAT Mosquito Systems uses for our mosquito repellent systems.

We firmly believe in family-friendly and eco-friendly methods of insect repellents that are just as effective as artificial counterparts.

With our one-of-a-kind mosquito misting system, we have been effectively eliminating mosquitoes, no-see-ums, flies and other pesky insects that bother South Florida residents for years. Give us a call today to learn what SWAT Mosquito Systems can do for you and your home – when we move in, bugs move out!

Perhaps the only downside of living near the beautiful beaches, swamps, and lakes of Florida are the insects that also call these ecosystems home.  Trying to get rid of noseeums or mosquitos can sometimes feel like an uphill battle, but SWAT Mosquito Systems is now here to help!  While historically the pesky Florida mosquito population has kept us in business, more and more people are reaching out wondering if our natural misting system can help them get rid of noseeums as well.   The answer, of course, is yes!  Misting for no-see-ums is the same process as misting for mosquitos, and with your new SWAT System, you will soon be able to enjoy a bug-free yard.  For those mosquito prevention experts who know less about their more annoying cousins, keep reading to see why no-see-ums control is just as important.

Why Bother Misting for no-see-ums?

Nobody likes getting bit by insects, and while mosquitos are often cited as the most annoying, no-see-ums may be even worse.  Although many times smaller than mosquitos, no-see-ums (also known as sand flies) have a stinging bite that will often cause large red welts on the skin.  Similar to mosquitos, these welts will itch and irritate.  Obviously that is worth avoiding, and a natural misting system is a foolproof way to get rid of these insects once and for all.   It is also worth noting that many of the thousands of species of no-see-ums are small enough to fly through the screens in your windows or doors – ultimately allowing them to work their way inside.  By installing a misting system outdoors, you can nip this problem in the bud and create a comfortable and relaxing atmosphere both inside and outside your Florida home.

Where Should you be Misting for no-see-ums?

Despite being a very different insect, no-see-ums do share a lot of similarities with mosquitos.  Both insects lay their eggs in standing water, so properties close to either fresh or salt water could be breeding grounds for unwanted visitors.  No-see-ums in particular will rarely venture further than 400 feet from where they hatched.  In other words, homes near water are the perfect place to invest in a natural misting system.   No-see-ums can be found in climates across the world (including in the snowy mountains of the Himalaya!), and nearly every corner in the state of Florida provides the ideal habitat for these pesky insects to thrive.  As someone who enjoys the beautiful nature of The Sunshine State, no-see-ums control should be a top priority for your big backyard.

Mosquitos often steal the negative publicity in Florida but, truth be told, no-see-ums may be even more obnoxious.  Small, swarming, and with a more vicious bite, these little insects can single handedly wreck an otherwise beautiful evening in your backyard.  But all is not lost.

Set up an appointment with SWAT to inquire about our misting systems and to get rid of noseeums and mosquitos today!

Mosquitoes bugging the bejesus outta you? Time to call in the SWAT team!

south-florida-mosquitoPalm trees, balmy weather, sunshine…we Floridians are not only lucky, we’re smart! We’re brainy enough to have chosen the best place to live in the entire country. But living in paradise, like living anywhere else, comes with its everyday challenges, and just like anything else, some of those are bigger than others. On the larger scale, yes, we have to deal with hurricanes. On a smaller scale, but no less taxing, is the nuisance of mosquitoes

An indigenous band of blood-sucking soldiers, these loathsome buggers wage warfare on us by sneak attack.  They’re not just irritating, causing itchy welts on our skin and obliterating a painstakingly-planned pool party in mere minutes, they’re downright dangerous, potentially carrying West Nile virus, Zika and encephalitis, among other illnesses.

Sadly, there’s no solution to the first problem… other than stocking up on water and batteries and hunkering down. But to the second, there’s a resolution that’s not only effective, it’s environmentally-safe. SWAT Mosquito Systems is a licensed, South Florida pest control company, whose secret weapon is a fully-automated misting system that uses Pyrethrum, a solution derived from chrysanthemums. They also offer a 100 percent USDA National Organic Compliant alternative, a rosemary-based solution made up of essential plant extracts and oils.

All of this might sound sweet, all flowers and herbs and such, but SWAT guarantees their method is downright deadly (to mosquitoes and no-seeums, of course.)  Why? Because their revolutionary system doesn’t just repel the insects, it veritably annihilates them. Therefore, enlisting the help of SWAT Mosquito Systems is both an efficient, and nontoxic, way to fight back. (See, I told you Floridians were smart. But we’re also tough!)

Leave it to a Texan to wrangle up a herd of experts to corral these problematic pests and eradicate them from your home on the range.  President and Founder Steve Jenkins first launched their mosquito misting business in 2002, quickly becoming the highest grossing company of its kind in Northern Texas. Now having brought their expertise to South Florida in 2006, SWAT is enjoying success for this reason alone: it works. “SWAT can wipe out your mosquito problem in as little as two weeks – ensuring peace of mind and restoring the ability to enjoy the outdoors,” says Jenkins. “When you choose SWAT Mosquito Systems, you can be confident of worry-free, insect-free enjoyment of your outdoor spaces for years to come.”

insect-misting-sprinklerHere’s the battle plan: the company installs a custom-built misting system of sprays, strategically located and concealed around the perimeter of the home. “The truly effective method for killing and controlling the mosquito population is to create a barrier around the home,” explains Jenkins. The pyrethrum is “misted” for about 30-60 seconds, three or four times a day. It directly affects the nervous system of biting insects, which kills rather than just repelling.

Think about it. Other repellent options can be a hassle, and don’t necessarily get the job done. Lighting citronella candles, or spraying can after can of stinky spray on your skin, only to have the mosquitoes come back and bite you in the you-know-what. SWAT’s system is favored by homeowners because it’s convenient and unobtrusive. “At SWAT Mosquito Systems, we are experts and industry pioneers who use the most technologically advanced, durable equipment available,” says Vice President and Project Manager Brent Ball. “We custom design each system to be highly effective yet virtually invisible, ensuring an aesthetically pleasing yard.”

Additionally, the system is an ideal fit for the increasingly automated world we live in. Command central is a digital display panel. It’s the only system of its kind to incorporate a level-sensing float switch, agitator, and 3-button remote control. “With an agitator, the solution stays well blended, for a consistent, even spray every time,” explains Ball. Setting or changing the frequency and duration of mist cycles on the easy-to-read display panel is a snap. A digital level sensor displays how much insecticide remains in the reservoir. There’s no waste, because when misting isn’t required, a weather sensor can automatically delay extraneous misting. And it even comes with a remote that allows you to mist in-between cycles, or turn the system off entirely. It’s an effortless way to show mosquitoes, and other similar insects, exactly who’s boss.

Best of all, the mosquitoes are the only ones at risk, not the homeowners, because SWAT offers a lifetime warranty for full service customers, as well as a money-back guarantee. “We offer the most comprehensive guarantee in the business,” says Ball. “If you are not fully satisfied with the system within 120 days of installation, we will remove the system and give you a complete refund.”

South Floridians spend thousands of dollars beautifying your home’s exterior, sprucing up the landscape, installing a fabulous swimming pool , and even building an outdoor kitchen to entertain your friends and family. Why let a mini-army of militant mosquitoes ruin the fun and wreak havoc, thereby wasting your investments, when there’s a safe and affordable solution available?

swat-mosquito-managerAnd consumers need not worry, because SWAT makes certain their misting system will endure for years to come, despite tough elements, due to the high quality, sturdy materials that encompass it. Stainless steel or nickel-plated nozzles are incorporated, with viton seals on the Italian fittings and pump. Even the control panel has a weatherproof enclosure. “Building custom mosquito systems is all we do. And we do it right,” says Jenkins, adding, “We use the latest technology available to make the best backyard mosquito control system possible.”

It’s time to take back your terrain. With the SWAT Mosquito System, those devious, and bothersome guerrillas will be outsmarted, and strategically defeated. Hiring SWAT is like bringing in the cavalry, and soon the war against mosquitoes will be over. They’ll be waving the white flag in surrender, and you will be victorious.

For more information, call 1-866-900-SWAT, or visit www.swatmosquitosystems.com

This article originally appeared in “Simply the Best” magazine’s may/june 2014 issue: Guerillas in the Mist

It’s no secret that enjoying the great outdoors in Florida requires some level of insect defense.  Historically, on-skin bug spray has been the most popular choice to fend off annoying insects, but if you are looking for mosquito repellent for large areathis style of spray simply won’t cut it.  SWAT’s environment-friendly mosquito spray provides the perfect answer to eliminate insects from large areas in an unobtrusive and easy to use way.  Here are three reasons why our mosquito spray for backyard is better than traditional, alternative, insect repellents.

Eliminate your Lotions and Sprays with SWAT’s Mosquito Spray for Backyard

Traditionally, enjoying the outdoors while avoiding insects meant you had to consistently apply lotions or sprays directly to your skin or clothes.  Regularly purchasing these applicants adds up, and many of the most effective options contain harmful chemicals that are not healthy to apply to your skin.  SWAT’s environment-friendly mosquito spray provides the perfect solution to all of this.  By spraying your yard instead of yourself, you can kiss the days of spreading unwanted chemicals on your skin goodbye.  That equates to healthier skin and cleaner clothes while still eliminating these pesky insects from your backyard.

Environment-friendly Mosquito Spray that is Odorless and Easy to Use

Many people have already tried to eliminate insect sprays from their lives because they know how harmful those chemicals can be to your skin.  Instead, these same people have opted to light citronella candles or tiki torches in hopes that these will eliminate mosquitos from their yard.  Unfortunately, such techniques are only efficient for the immediate vicinity and are often accompanied by an unwelcome smell.  SWAT’s mosquito spraying technology is not only odorless but, once installed, it is incredibly easy to use.  Simply set your desired interval on a tucked-away control panel and let the system do the rest.  Without having to mess with candles, lighters, or smelly torches you can trust that the SWAT sprayers are quietly doing their job as you continue to enjoy your time outside.

Our Mosquito Repellent for a Large Area will eliminate not Deter

Perhaps the best feature of SWAT’s mosquito spray systems is that this technology is designed to eliminate these insects from your yard completely.  When you put on bug spray, or light a citronella candle, the mosquitos don’t go anywhere.  They will continue to buzz around and annoy, waiting for the moment when your spray wears off or your candle goes out.  With SWAT’s mosquito repellent for a large area, the spraying technology will completely eliminate these insects from your yard.  You will immediately notice a decline in mosquitos and, after a few days of regularly scheduled sprays, your yard will be transformed into a bug free paradise!

Sick of sprays, candles, zappers, and their lack of results?  SWAT mosquito spraying systems has your answer.  Call SWAT today, or visit one of our many locations, to learn more and see how we can help you create a backyard worth enjoying!

Pesky mosquitos are about the only thing that hinders people from enjoying the beautiful outdoors in The Sunshine State. All it takes is a few of these tiny insects to ruin a party, but thankfully outdoor mosquito control isn’t too difficult once you set your mind to it. There are a few easy steps that will help you reclaim your backyard from mosquitos and other biting insects. Follow these three Florida mosquito prevention suggestions from the premiere provider of mosquito control product, and the days of running inside and shutting the windows at dusk will be long gone!

Eliminating Standing Water: The Best Strategy for Outdoor Mosquito Control

Before stocking up on bug spray and long sleeve t-shirts, the first thing any home-owner should do to eliminate mosquitos is to remove any standing water from their property.

Like many insects, mosquitos go through a life cycle and three of the four stages in this cycle require standing water. In short, if you rid your property of standing water you will also eliminate mosquito incubators, delivery rooms, and nurseries.  From landscaped ponds to small puddles on lawn chairs, mosquitos will use whatever water they can to reproduce. For that reason, the best outdoor mosquito control comes in the form of prevention.

Keep a Tidy Lawn and Kiss your Mosquito Visitors Goodbye

Next to eliminating standing water, keeping the vegetation on your lawn under control is the next best method for Florida mosquito prevention. Like many other insects, mosquitos are pollinators and require plant nectar to survive. Additionally, during those hot summer days, mosquitos prefer to nest and rest in cool damp underbrush. By keeping a well-manicured lawn and trimming any unnecessary bushes and shrubs you will make your yard less attractive to these tiny invaders.

Trust SWAT’s Premiere Mosquito Control Product as Your End All Solution

Eliminating standing water and unnecessary overgrowth sometimes isn’t enough and, even when it is, it can be a major hassle to keep up with. To truly eliminate your backyard insect problem, explore SWAT’s mosquito control product inventory to find the perfect solution for your specific needs.  We offer a variety of unobtrusive misting systems and products that are easy to use and manipulate for your situation. In addition to being highly effective, our systems only require a one-time set-up and are absent of large and loud machinery – making SWAT the premiere providers of mosquito prevention technology.

The benefits of living in the state of Florida far outweigh the setbacks, yet when you are trying to enjoy a lemonade on your back porch in a cloud of mosquitos it may not seem that way. Stop playing victim to these annoying insects and take matters into your own hands. By eliminating standing water from your property, maintaining the vegetation and overgrowth on your lawn, and investing in SWAT’s patented mosquito prevention technology you will no longer feel the urge to run inside once the sun begins to set!

Trust SWAT for all your Florida Mosquito Control Services

Despite being home to some of the country’s best weather, most spectacular beaches, and beautiful natural parks living in Florida does come with a price. If you have been in Florida for a little while, and particularly stayed through a summer here, you know that our mosquitos can be quite the nuisance. Constantly applying insect repellent is not great for your skin and perhaps even worse for your wallet. In the 21st Century, people have begun to look for alternative natural mosquito control and SWAT Mosquito Systems is driving this revolution. Our patented mosquito mist system is the best of its kind in the industry and our outdoor lighting products are some of the best technology of its kind. As the premiere providers of Florida mosquito control services our technology is guaranteed to keep the bugs away allowing you to enjoy countless beautiful evenings outdoors in The Sunshine State.

Kiss your Backyard Insects Goodbye with a SWAT Mosquito Mist System

The SWAT mosquito mist system is the most user-friendly, unobtrusive insect spray system on the market, and it won’t be long after installation when you first notice a drastic decline in your backyard biters. The system includes a control panel and power station that can easily be stored out of sight in a garage or shed as well as any number of nozzles and spouts discretely hidden around your property. It is remarkably easy to adjust and schedule the spray intervals, and we have found that, following installation, having your system spray 3 or 4 times per day for just 20 – 45 seconds at a time is enough to start combatting your mosquitos and other biting insects. As you notice your local population declining, feel free to decrease the interval.  If the mosquitos make a triumphant unwelcomed return, increasing the spray is as easy as hitting a button!

Enjoy your Mosquito Free Yard with SWAT Landscape Lighting Systems

Once you eliminate all biting insects from your yard using natural mosquito control systems by SWAT you can once again return to enjoying evenings outside.  When this day comes, you will be thrilled to discover that our landscape lighting systems, much like our Florida mosquito control services, are simply the best around.  It is our goal to provide a diverse selection of options at affordable prices so every customer can comfortably enjoy beautiful summer nights under the stars.  Explore our site or visit one of our nearly twenty locations to find the perfect landscape lighting system for your property.

SWAT Mosquito Systems is the number one service in Florida for natural mosquito control, and we all know how bad those pesky little insects need to be managed in our little slice of heaven.  If you have biting insect problems in your yard don’t waste another minute, and let the experts at SWAT Mosquito Systems reopen your yard to bonfires, barbeques, and gatherings for many years to come.

Is it Possible to Stop the West Nile Virus Transmitted by Mosquitos?

Those little insects buzzing around your porch or campsite are more than just annoying.  As science and technology have developed, there has been an increase in identification of mosquito diseases. Malaria, dengue, and yellow fever are unfortunately common mosquito transmitted diseases in parts of the developing world. While we don’t have to worry about these specific mosquito borne diseases in United States, we have recently become vulnerable to one of the most common mosquito bite diseases.  West Nile virus, one of many worldwide mosquito-borne illnesses, was first identified in the United States in 1999.  These West Nile mosquitos have made their presence known every summer since and has showed up in all 48 of the contiguous states.  What can you do to prevent West Nile and other mosquito bite diseases?  Keep reading for some information that will turn you into an expert on mosquito transmitted diseases.

Is West Nile Virus different from other mosquito borne diseases?

All mosquito diseases are different, but they do share some things in common.  Like all mosquito-borne illnesses, the virus is transmitted to humans through the bite of a mosquito.  West Nile mosquitos, however, first procure the disease after feeding on an infected bird.  Once a human is infected with West Nile virus, the disease can cause a very high fever, and inflammation of the brain and/or inflammation of the lining of the brain and spinal cord.  Thankfully between 70 – 80% of people that get West Nile virus do not develop any symptoms.

Who is most at risk for West Nile virus and other mosquito transmitted diseases?

As mentioned, the vast majority of people who are infected with the virus do not show any symptoms.  About twenty percent of those infected will develop less-severe symptoms such as a fever, body aches, vomiting, and diarrhea.  While lingering weakness will last for weeks, patients will almost always completely recover with this level of West Nile. The most severe symptoms brought on by West Nile mosquitoes affect less than one percent of those infected but lead to serious neurological issues.  It will take from many weeks to months to recover from severe West Nile virus and, even so, there may be permanent effects.  The most severe stages will lead to death in approximately ten percent of those infected.  While everyone can contract mosquito bite diseases, those over the age of sixty are more likely to experience the severe symptoms.  Preexisting medical conditions and ailments will also put someone at greater risk.

How can I prevent catching mosquito-borne illnesses?

While there is no current vaccination for West Nile virus, there are certain precautions you can take to prevent this infection and other mosquito borne diseases.  Naturally, the best way to do so is to prevent mosquitoes from biting you. Wearing insect repellent is one of the most popular defenses, but covering all of your skin during the dusk and dawn hours is equally as effective.  Making sure all of the screens on your house are secure will prevent insects from getting indoors, and getting rid of any standing water from around your home will reduce mosquito breeding and hatching grounds.  Our technology at SWAT Mosquito Systems has also proven time and again to be highly effective in eliminating these pesky insects from your house and surrounding property.

 

West Nile virus is not to be taken lightly, and the best way to keep you and your family safe is to reduce the contact you have with mosquitos. SWAT Mosquito Systems provides a safe, affordable, and guaranteed way to keep mosquitoes at bay. Contact us today to set up an appointment, and visit the following CDC and WHO websites for more information on this potentially deadly virus.

 Resources

http://www.cdc.gov/westnile/faq/genquestions.html

http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs354/en/

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – With summer just around the corner, every household in America will be running out to the store to stock up on charcoal, hot dogs, hamburgers, ice and beverages. This can only mean one thing; it’s the start of the grilling season.

With millions heading out to their local parks and neighbor’s backyards for a good-old family cookout, there are a few essential “ingredients” that you must remember for the perfect barbecue.

Tip: The grill is your friend, and the mosquitoes are your enemy! There is nothing worse than a swarm of mosquitoes driving away your guests at a backyard barbecue or gathering. Make sure that you are prepared well in advance, or you will simply send your guests “buzzing” right back to their homes. A great solution is a mosquito misting system that can easily be installed right in your backyard. Companies such as SWAT Mosquito Systems can come to your home and install a system that will create a mosquito barrier around your yard, permanently and safely removing the pests from your family fun.

Tip: Mixed tapes were only fun in middle school. If you are going to do it right, make sure you plan ahead. The right music selection will keep the party rolling, and with MP3 players, iTunes and satellite radios at your fingertips, you can blast hours of non-stop tunes without having to flip a tape or change a disc.

Tip: The burgers should sizzle. Not your guests. Make sure that there is plenty of shade available for those hot summer days. Nobody wants to sit at a barbecue for hours and leave drenched in sweat. If you run out of shade, take a large cooler, fill it with ice and have clean towels on hand. There’s nothing more refreshing than cooling off with a clean ice-towel when the mercury starts to rise.

Tip: Grills “do” matter. Nobody wants to show up at a barbeque to find a few lumps of smoldering coals encompassed by a 15-inch can. This is your time to show off, so make sure you have a grill that distinguishes who you are. Nothing says “I know what I’m doing” better than a shiny, high-tech grill with a vast selection of tools hanging just in sight for your guests to admire.

Tip: Have fun. That’s why you’re having this in the first place. Beach balls, Frisbees, horseshoes or a football; it’s your choice. Just make sure there are plenty of activities for adults and children of all ages.

Editor’s note: Steve Jenkins, president of SWAT Mosquito Systems, was instrumental in establishing the first broad-scale mosquito misting system in the Texas market, and now brings his expertise to residents and businesses in South Florida. To safely eliminate mosquitoes and other insects from your home call 1-866-900-SWAT or visit SWAT Mosquito Misting Systems .