One of the joys of summer is getting outdoors and relaxing in Mother Nature. Unfortunately, bugs have the same idea. Summer is the high season for insect activity as larvae and young insects mature. Sometimes it seems like the second you step out on the porch or sit down on the deck bugs start to swarm as if to let you know they’ve claimed the area for themselves.
Well, it’s time to reclaim your outdoor spaces with these eight tips.
Keep Things Clean
One simple way to keep your outdoor living spaces free of bugs is to not attract them in the first place. Empty glasses, food crumbs and even clutter can bring ants, flies and more marching up onto your deck or patio. It won’t eliminate all bugs, but keeping outdoor areas spotless and well maintained is one way to keep insects in check.
Eliminate Standing Water
If you keep up with our blog, then you already know eliminating standing water is an important part of mosquito control. Mosquitoes only need an inch of water to lay eggs so it doesn’t take much for an infestation to start. Our top tips include:
- Schedule the sprinklers so that the lawn doesn’t get oversaturated.
- Make sure gutters are clean and direct water away from the home.
- Clear out any clutter in the yard that can collect water.
- Keep fountains and ponds fully operable so that water keeps flowing.
- Level out potholes and uneven elevation.
- Fix leaky outdoor faucets and hoses.
- Get rid of bird baths.
Get Rid of Insect Nests
Many summer insects like to make their home on your home. Tucked away in eaves and corners are buzzing centers of activity for wasps and yellow jackets. While you’re cleaning up outside keep an eye out for nests. If you spot one it’s best to remove it immediately so it doesn’t grow any larger.
Removing insect nests can be a harrowing job – trust us, we’ve gotten use to stings in our line of work. It can be done on your own, but if it’s a sizable nest or hive of insects with stingers, it’s best to call a professional exterminator for safety reasons.
Add Bird Houses and Bird Feeders Near Outdoor Living Spaces
Birds are a predator of many bugs. Having them around is a form of natural bug control, and they’re also nice to watch while you’re relaxing outside. Hang a few feeders near your outdoor living spaces but not directly on the porch or deck. Birds can be rather messy eaters and droppings could also end up being a problem.
Use Citronella Candles – Carefully
Citronella candles are actually very effective at temporarily clearing an area of some bugs like mosquitoes. They work by masking odors that typically attract insects. However, they have to be used with caution. Citronella candles have low to no toxicity, but they can be a fire hazard. Never leave them unattended even for a second, and place them on a stable surface.
Screen in a Seating Area
One of the best ways to keep bugs out when your outdoors is to screen in your patio or porch. New products like Screen Tight allow you to screen in an existing area without having to use staples. They’re installed within the framing and can easily be replaced if a screen gets damaged.
Be Careful Which Plants You Keep Nearby
Some plants are bug magnets. If they attract butterflies that’s one thing, but if they are also attracting insects with stingers you might want to relocate them. Even palms can attract termites and ants that will quickly start setting sights on your home.