Tips for Keeping Your Outdoor Area Bug-Free
With warm weather just around the corner, it’s time to start thinking about taking advantage of your outdoor entertainment areas. Getting ready for barbecues, fire pit parties, and other backyard gatherings should be an exciting venture, and tackling issues such as bothersome insects can help you make the best of this experience. It is a well-known fact that insects dislike smoke, but unlike those that use wood, gas fire pits do not emit smoke making them less effective when it comes to warding off those annoying flying creatures. You and your guests should be as comfortable as possible during outdoor activities, and with a little planning your yard, patio, or deck can be pleasant and free of pests.
Some Natural Ways To keep those Pesky Insects Away
Plant Natural Repellents
Adding natural insect repellents in the form of plants can add color and beauty to your outdoor entertainment area while warding off mosquitoes and other annoying insects. While these plants smell lovely to us, they are offensive to bugs and have the ability to mask the smell of insect attractants.
Some popular choices include marigold, tea tree, lemon balm, rosemary, lavender, chamomile, garlic, and basil. Simply plant the repellent of your choice in pots and scatter them around any area where you plan on relaxing or add them to an existing garden.
As an extra bonus, many of these plants can be used in other beneficial ways, such as cooking.
Attract Natural Predators
Birds are a natural enemy of many insects as insects make up much of their diet. If bugs are a constant nuisance at your gatherings, consider making an effort to attract birds to your yard.
Not only can an increase in your property’s bird population mean fewer insects, birds also add a certain liveliness and color. Birdhouses, feeders, and baths can easily be integrated into the decorative layout of your yard or garden, and they will attract a wide variety of lovely birds to help you keep your yard free of irritating bugs.
Eliminate Stagnant Water
Because mosquitoes prefer to lay their eggs in standing water, it is important to identify any sources of stagnant water and drain them accordingly. Even if your yard doesn’t contain a decorative water feature such as a pond, there are a variety of other areas that can become ideal locations for mosquitoes to breed and lay eggs.
Pots under flower pots, tarps, bird baths, and kiddy pools are among the many common sources of standing water.
In order to prevent potential breeding grounds and infestation, make a habit of inspecting your yard for standing water, especially after rain. Additionally, be sure to empty your birdbath or kiddy pools once a week.
Some Artificial Solutions to keeping the Bugs Out!
Use Citronella Candles or Tiki Torches
Candles and tiki torches can provide an element of cozy ambiance and offer additional light, especially during the evening. Because of its potent, citrusy scent, citronella oil is highly offensive to mosquitoes making it an ideal solution for keeping your yard or patio pest free.
Both citronella candles and tiki torches are widely available for purchase during summer months, and citronella candles can even be easily made at home. For a fun crafting experience for you and your family, check out this easy tutorial on the DIY Network.
Use Outdoor Fans to Keep the Air Circulating
Because mosquitoes are known to be particularly weak fliers, a strong fan or two pointed in the direction of your outdoor entertainment space can offer an effective solution for warding off these unwanted pests.
There are several types of fans that are appropriate for outdoor use, and choosing the right one for your home is as simple as a quick trip to the hardware store. A large box fan can be plugged into an outdoor outlet or an extension cord, and there are even options for ceiling fans in outdoor enclosures such as gazebos or covered decks. Aside from their ability to drive insects away, they can also help you stay cool while enjoying the outdoors.
For extra relief, box fans can easily be converted into DIY mosquito traps with just a few supplies. Just follow this easy tutorial to get started.
Dress Smart for Success and Comfort
How you dress during outdoor activities can make all the difference when it comes to repelling mosquitoes.
It has been proven that they are attracted to dark clothing, so try to dress in light colors when you plan on being outside for extended periods of time.
Dark colors tend to absorb sunlight, so dressing in light-colored clothing can also help you stay cool all summer. Because mosquitoes are particularly attracted to smelly feet, keeping your feet and ankles covered by wearing socks is also a great idea. If you’re still worried about being swarmed, there are even garments specifically designed to repel mosquitoes.
Set Up the Appropriate Bug Traps
Bug traps can be a great method of warding off flying pests, ho, ever it is important to choose traps that are specifically designed for each insect. Bug zappers and light traps are both effective in the case of certain insects like moths, but they are somewhat useless when it comes to mosquitoes. Bottle traps filled with sugary liquid are easy to make, and they are great at attracting and trapping a variety of insects.
Check out these DIY instructions to learn how to make bottle traps for any insect that may be a bother.
DIY Insect Repellent Spray, Try This!
Many commercial insect repellent sprays contain the ingredient DEET, which has been linked to a number of harmful effects on both humans and the environment. Fortunately, there are other options when it comes to protecting yourself and your family from bug bites. Natural bug spray can be made at home with a few simple ingredients. Essential oils are an excellent tool for insect protection, and they smell awesome too!
Lemongrass, mint, rosemary, lavender, and clove oil are among the many oils you can use. Just choose your favorite combination, and add 1 Tbsp of vodka or rubbing alcohol, 1/2 cup witch hazel, 1/2 cup water or vinegar, and 1 tsp vegetable glycerin. Just pour the ingredients into a spray bottle, and spray the mixture on to clothing.
If you have added any natural insect repelling plants to your patio or garden, you can also dry them and use them in your DIY spray.
Add a Mosquito Net Tent
Available at nearly any hardware or outdoor store, mosquito netting can offer protection from pesky insects while you and your guests relax outdoors. Aside from the relief they offer, mosquito nets can add a touch of elegance to your patio or outdoor seating area.
Mosquito net panels can also be attached to the sides of a canopy to provide shelter from rain or to create a shady area under which patio furniture can be arranged.
Call A Professional
If it seems like you’ve tried almost every bug repelling option and those little pests just won’t leave you alone, it may be time to call a professional exterminator. An exterminator can easily identify breeding ground areas that you may have overlooked, and help you find a solution that is effective while being safe for you, your family, and even your pets.