Summer is the perfect time to enjoy your outdoor living. However, the hot summer temperatures bring out all the fall and summer bugs, including spiders, ants, mosquitoes, hornets, wasps, bees, crickets, and fleas. Below are a few helpful tips to keep your outdoor living space free of bugs this summer.
1. Get Rid of Stagnant Water
Stagnant water is breeding grounds for mosquitoes. As part of your mosquito control this summer, get rid of any stagnant water around your home and change your birdbaths and kiddie pools regularly. You can also prevent standing water by filling any hollows that may collect water, unclogging and cleaning your gutters, and emptying any forgotten containers in your backyard. If you have a pond, installing a pump will keep the water moving.
2. Keep your Outdoor Space Tidy
Dirt, spills, and crumbs in your patio can attract ants, flies, and other insects. After your meals or drinks, sweep away crumbs and wipe any spills. Also, clean wine glasses and soda cans as fermented foods can attract hornets and wasps. Besides cleaning, ensure you empty out trash cans and always keep the lids on. Although keeping your patio clean may not get rid of all the bugs, it is one of the best ways to keep them in check.
3. Incorporate Bug-Repellant Plants
Make smart planting choices by incorporating bug-repellant plants in your garden or patio. Add plants like lavender to keep away moths, basil for flies, and chrysanthemum to prevent ants. Other plants to consider are marigold, lemongrass, rosemary, geranium, and citronella. Note that although the lemon scent can deter bugs like mosquitoes, it may attract bees. You should, therefore, plan your planting well to get the most out of it. Avoid or relocate plants like palms that attract ants and termites.
4. Change Your Lighting
An insect’s eyesight can see short wavelengths, including purple, blue, and ultraviolet light. On the other hand, they do not prefer lighting with longer wavelengths such as red, orange, and yellow. With this in mind, switching your outdoor lighting to warmer glows such as sodium vapor light or yellow bulbs will help keep away bugs.
Avoid using extremely bright lighting than you need to avoid attracting insects due to the light’s intensity. Note that white daylight bulbs have higher blue light concentrations and act as bug magnets.
5. Avoid Mulching
Although mulching can help preserve soil moisture and boost the soil’s nutrients, organic mulches can harbor bugs looking for shelter, food, and warmth. If you must mulch, opt for rocks and gravel as they are less attractive to insects and are aesthetically pleasing. Also, keep the mulch at least 12 inches from your home’s foundation to prevent moisture problems.
6. Use Patio Fans
Outdoor fans keep you cool amid the hot summer temperatures. They are also a great way to keep away bugs in your outdoor living space. Use patio fans to blow away flying bugs like flies and mosquitoes as they don’t hold up well to strong winds and breeze. You can decide to install a ceiling fan or set up a pedestal fan to keep your patio cool and prevent bugs from getting to you.
7. Build a Bat House and Attract Birds
One way of controlling bugs in your outdoor living is by introducing their natural predators. Since bats and birds feed on insects, their presence around your home can keep your outdoor space bug-free. Bats feed on at least 6000 bugs at night, and you can encourage them by building a bat house in your backyard.
You can also attract birds by having twiggy plants, keeping a birdbath, and setting up bird feeders in your yard. Besides helping you eliminate insects, birds are great to watch when you are relaxing outdoors.
8. Trim and Mow Your Yard
An unkempt yard with overgrown bushes and grass can act as a home to various bugs, including mosquitoes and ticks. Cut down long grass and trim your lawn and shrubs to discourage insects. Trimming your lawn also improves the appearance of your landscaping. Always get rid of the resulting trash immediately to prevent it from harboring bugs.
9. Light Citronella Candles
Citronella naturally deters flies and mosquitoes. Lighting citronella candles in your patio or deck keeps bugs away while adding a soft ambiance to your living space. What’s more, there are numerous styles to choose from, ranging from candle jars to colored candles. You can also combine the candles with torches for the best results. Since candles and torches can cause a fire hazard, you should be careful and never leave them unattended.
10. Spray Your Space with Essential Oils
Spray essential oils around your patio or porch to keep away insects. Since the scents of the oils are similar to the plants they take after, they can effectively prevent bugs. Mix water, witch hazel, rubbing alcohol, and essential oils of your choice such as lavender, eucalyptus, rosemary, basil, and lemon thyme to create a bug-repelling solution. You can then spray the mixture around your outdoor living space perimeter to deter bugs. A simple combination of water and essential oils is also effective.
The above tips can help you protect your outdoor space from annoying and dangerous bugs while you relax or entertain your loved ones this summer. For severe infestations, consider using a professional pest service for effective and long-lasting solutions.