Your yard should be your private oasis, a place you can escape to when you want to relax and enjoy the outdoors without venturing far from home. Unfortunately, too many people are unaware of the dangers lurking just outside their doors. If you’ve never assessed your yard’s safety, it’s time to look around. Many yards play host to these 5 hazards – don’t let them endanger you or your loved ones.
Modern plumbing systems rely on a lot of underground pipes that we don’t think much about, until they start causing problems due to damage, and some are particularly prone to problems. For example, old terracotta-lined pipes are regularly damaged by tree roots, which can eventually cause blocked drains, burst pipes, and even lead sewage to backup in your yard or home. Specialized plumbers can examine your pipes for potential problems and reline them if necessary, keeping your yard from turning into a messy, smelly swamp.
Treecover can help keep your yard and home cool during the summer months, present soil erosion, and generally appear quite beautiful, but if not properly tended, they can represent a serious risk. In particular, overgrown trees may fall during storms, taking out power lines or damaging your house or car, and old, dead trees can be even more dangerous, falling easily in their entirety. That’s why it’s important to have a trained specialist trim large trees in your yard and check for any health issues such as internal rotting that could cause a tree to fall with the least provocation.
Recent literature has dubbed mosquitoes our “deadliest predator,” and the argument is well-founded; responsible for spreading diseases like West Nile virus, chikungunya, and malaria, among many others, mosquitoes are small but dangerous, and they’re found all around the world. When it comes to your own yard, though, you’re most likely to experience mosquito swarms if you leave standing water outside. This includes everything from bird baths to overturned frisbees and empty planters. If you get a heavy rain, be sure to empty out any pools of water. Burning citronella candles can also help keep them away.
We get it – mowing the lawn is a pain, especially if your yard is large or it’s been especially hot out. Unfortunately, it’s a chore you shouldn’t skip because tall grass can harbor various types of ticks, and tick-borne disease rates doubled in the US between 2004 and 2016. Additionally, deer ticks, which carry Lyme disease, are now found in a larger number of states due to climate change. Meanwhile, in the Southwest, which has few if any deer ticks, is home to the Lone Star tick, which can cause a dangerous condition known as alpha-gal syndrome, which causes allergic reactions to red meat.
Having a backyard is critical if you’re a dog owner, since it gives your pet a space to run around and relieve themselves, but if you’re not sufficiently careful, you could be exposing your dog to serious dangers. In particular, keep an eye out for cocoa mulch, a variety of yard mulch that is meant to encourage plant growth, but which can be poisonous to dogs, many types of toxic plants and flowers, including ivy plants, and even your vegetable garden. Tomatoes, onions, grapes, and garlic are all toxic to dogs, even if we think they’re delicious.
Enjoy your yard – spend time outside, play games, and socialize – but be sure to carefully maintain the space. While that beautiful old tree or decorative bird bath may not seem like problems, if you’re not careful, they could put you and your family at risk of injury or illness.