I love spending long days outside on the porch, in the yard, swinging in the hammock, but the bugs!! How to keep those bugs away both indoors and out? We share 5 all natural tips we’ve learned from friends, neighbors, and pest control specialists over the years on how to keep those bugs away all year long.
This year was the emergence of the 17 year cicadas around DC. Needless to say, I’ve had bugs on my mind. We probably saw hundred if not thousands of cicadas in our yard. The whole process was fascinating, but I’m glad it only happens every 17 years!
5 NATURAL WAYS TO KEEP BUGS AWAY
Right after the 17 year cicada emergence mosquitos started to make their summer comeback. With less rain this year the mosquitos don’t seem as bad, but there are a few things I’ve learned over the years about managing those pesky bugs and keeping other bugs away too.
1. EMPTY STANDING WATER
If you have a problem with mosquitos, which most of us do (unless of course you live 1 mile from the beach in Southern California!), then standing water is your new enemy. You’d be surprised how such a little amount water can can be a breeding ground for mosquitos in such a short amount of time.
Make it a habit to empty all standing water every day…and I mean every single day. Those little suckers multiply fast. If it hasn’t rained then you may not have to worry about it, but empty out water from kids toys daily.
Better yet, limit objects that collect standing water outside of your home like furniture, plant pots, bird baths, and really anything that holds a 1/4 inch of water after a rain. Slope things that may catch water so it will drain off.
2. USE A FAN OUTDOORS
I’m not a huge fan of dousing myself and my child in bug spray every time we eat outdoors. Most bug repellents like candles, torches, and coils have serious warnings about bug smoke exposure to food you consume.
Our solution was a floor fan on our porch which keeps us cool while keeping mosquitos and flies away. I’m not sure if the bugs can’t fly in the fan breeze or have scent confusion, but whatever it is it works! Our neighbors have installed outdoor porch ceiling fans which we’d love to upgrade to someday.
You can also plant natural bug repelling plants in the wind stream to blow around the smell of mint, basil, lavender, or rosemary to keep mosquitos at bay.
3. SWEEP UP DEAD LEAVES
This tip was from our pest control specialist when we had a cricket problem in our basement.
Piles of wood and leaves in the yard can attract bugs and can become attractive nesting areas for rodents. Piles of leaves by windows (like window wells) and doors can attract camel crickets. So, keep areas clear of leaves and sweep them away!
We have several neighbors who use dead leaves (the right way) for composting and bring our leaves over to them when we can.
4. INVEST IN A DEHUMIDIFIER
Another great tip from our pest control specialist was to use a dehumidifier. Bugs attract spiders and if you want to limit the spiders inside your home it is best to limit other bugs inside your home.
Removing the humidity from our unfinished basement really helped with that and we have a hose that drains directly to our sump pump, so it can run all on its own. Plus it makes it far more comfortable in our house without having to crank up the AC to manage the humidity.
5. SEAL UP ANY CRACKS
The last great tip from our pest control specialist to keep bugs away, is to seal up any holes leading into your house. We had an ant problem in our kitchen, so I re-caulked around our kitchen window sill and and backsplash and that solved it.
Eventually we will also need to seal up cracks around the foundation and around the perimeter of our old home, where bugs like to get in.
BONUS: BEST BUG GADGET EVER!
If any bugs happen to get into the house we can use our bug vacuum to take them right back outside again. I LOVE my bug vacuum!
Getting spiders, stink bugs, and bees out of the house is easy, clean, kind, and at a comfortable distance! I’ve even taken it on camping/cabining trips. And, wouldn’t it make the perfect house warming gift?