As we enjoy dining on our deck or patio on a summer evening, we are often greeted by insects. Here’s how to get rid of bugs in your backyard.
Bug-Proofing: Those Pesky Bees
Let’s start with the bees. These annoying pests can get quite aggressive in late summer and are often after our food. Here are some things to keep in mind if you are going to picnic outside.
To keep bees and wasps away, don’t set up your food near trash cans, tall grass, or vacant sheds where stinging insects tend to gather. Avoid tablecloths that have a floral pattern. Bees may think the flowers are real. Use tablecloths with a muted color or non-floral pattern instead.
Bees are natural pollinators and are attracted to large, bright flowers, whether they are real or artificial. Move the flowers away from the eating area before you gather the family. Bees love wildflowers, honeysuckle, goldenrod, and lavender. They are also fond of herbs including oregano, thyme, and chives.
Hide the Food
Bees can sniff out open containers of food so be sure to seal those containers. Have guests fill up their plates inside. Bees love sweet or pungent-smelling food, including soda. Throw out the garbage immediately after the meal is done.
The Best Ways to Deter the Bees
Slice up 2 or 3 cucumbers and put the peels around the edges of your deck or outdoor table. They have an acid that wards off bees and wasps.
Marigolds can scare away hornets and yellow jackets. They are naturally repelled by the flower. However, honeybees who want the nectar will still come around.
Common herbs also repel bees. They will steer clear of peppermint, cinnamon, vanilla, and garlic.
Don’t dress in bold, bright colors or floral patterns. Avoid wearing red, yellow, purple, and green. Wear muted tones instead.
Stay away from perfume, cologne, or scented cosmetics. Use unscented hair products.
Ways to Bug-Proof an Outdoor Space
Other insects besides bees love to pay us a visit as well in late summer. Install panels of mesh screen on the underside of your deck to prevent bugs from crawling through the cracks. To further bug-proof your space, put mesh screens up around the perimeter of the deck to keep the insects out.
Illuminate the deck with yellow bug lights designed to deter insects and spiders. For extra effectiveness, light insect repellent candles and put them in the corners.
Add an outdoor fan. Ceiling fans are becoming more popular as a way to cool people off and keep the bugs at bay. Fans are especially useful at warding off flies and mosquitoes.
Get rid of standing water in your yard. It acts as a breeding ground for mosquitoes.
Repel bugs with patio plants. Chrysanthemums are said to keep roaches, ants, ticks, fleas, and bedbugs away. Marigolds and rosemary can be effective against mosquitoes.
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