Creating A Bug-free Outdoor Space
As we navigate our way through the summer and the challenges of recent months, many of us are likely spending more of this season at home. While relaxing outdoors is a great way to change up the routine, you might find that you are running into issues with pests. And the heat and nice weather only increases pesky bug activity. Here are 5 simple ways to help enjoy your outdoor space!
1. Get rid of any standing water.
Make sure you clean out gutters and downspouts regularly. While you may be aware that stagnant water attracts bugs, you may not realize gutters can trap water and become a mosquito breeding ground. Keep kiddie pools and watering cans empty when not in use.
2. Add plants that repel bugs.
Mint and citrus plants are great for battling bugs you may not want around. Here are some additional pest-repelling plants for keeping bugs at bay: basil, catnip, citronella, lemon thyme, lemongrass, lavender, marigold, rosemary. Some of the plants will require bruising the leaves to release the oils (cut a few stems and rub between fingers), so be sure to do your homework or consult with your local nursery to decide which options are best for you and your particular space.
3. Keep a tidy yard.
Bugs, especially ticks, love to hide in tall grass. Make sure you are mowing your lawn regularly and making sure plants aren’t crowding your home and giving bugs easy access inside.
4. Don’t mulch too much (or too close)!
Mulch generates heat as it decomposes, so it gives cockroaches and ants an ideal environment to nest and end up inside your home. Try to keep mulch areas a foot or so from your home’s foundation or consider inorganic mulch options.
5. Install patio fans.
An easy way to get rid of mosquitoes is to add a patio fan to your outdoor space. Not only are mosquitoes naturally weak fliers, the circulation can actually help make you less bite-worthy. Since they are attracted to sweat, lactic acid, and body heat, the fan helps keep you cool and deters the pests.