Protecting Your Wooden Backyard Playground From Pests

Nothing says summertime like kids climbing on the swing set in the backyard, but it's amazing how fast the fun stops when there are bugs around.  Not only are insects and spiders a nuisance, they also can potentially damage wooden play structures by burrowing into them or consuming them.  Follow these recommendations to make sure your backyard is home to a playground for kids, not pests. 

Build with Cedar

If you're still in the process of constructing your play structure, choose cedar wood.  While it can be a little more expensive than other lumber options, it naturally deters many kinds of insects, making your job easier.  In fact, for this reason many do-it-yourself playground kits come with cedar wood.

Use Caulk Around Hardware

Insects love to take advantage of available nooks and crannies to set up camp, and anywhere that hardware has been inserted into the wood during construction there is often a little area of disturbed wood just begging for a bug to take up resident.  If you are still making your play structure, add a small amount of caulk into the drilled holes before inserting hardware.  This will not only keep insects and spiders out, but will also make the area around the hardware waterproof, preventing unnecessary rot.  If your playground is already complete, inspect hardware attachment areas for gaps in the wood and apply caulk to those locations.

Stain or Paint the Wood

Healthy wood is one of your best deterrents in the fight against pests.  Regularly staining or painting the wood will protect from the elements by keeping water out and helping to shield it from UV exposure, preserving its integrity.  Some stains also include chemicals intended for repelling insects which can increase your protection.

Spray for Bugs at the Start of the Season

Whether you rely on a pest control company—like Rainbow Pest Control or others—to spray your foundation each spring or prefer to do it yourself, when it's time to treat your home for the warm months take time to spray the play structure as well.  Most company representatives are happy to perform this service as part of their regular visit and it is one of the most effective ways to prevent pests from taking over your playground.  It is important, however, to let the treatment thoroughly dry before allowing children or pets to play on the structure again.

Be Observant

Finally, take time to inspect your structure on a regular basis for signs of insects such as nests, hives, trails, etc.  It is much easier to deal with a brand new infestation than to try and reclaim and repair your playground once the infestation has become significant.

A home play structure can be a wonderful addition to your backyard, providing hours of fun for children.  Prevent bugs from ruining that fun by following these simple steps.