During the summer months, it’s only natural to get outside and enjoy the longer days. That said, bothersome insects can ruin your fun – especially during the coolest parts of the day, around sunrise and sunset. With more tick and mosquito carried diseases on the rise, most folks want to rid their yards of these insects. However, often the chemicals used to decrease insect populations are also worrisome due to concerns that their toxicity extends beyond insects to humans with regular exposure. The good news is, there are practices and natural alternatives available for you try this season for a more enjoyable time spent outdoors.
Insects, and mosquitoes in particular, love water. To control their populations (they lay their eggs in water), the first thing you must do is remove standing water from your yard – this includes water features, kiddie pools, and even the saucers under your potted plants. Check your gutters as well, to be sure they are free of debris that allows water to collect. If you have a garden pond, add a fountain to keep the water circulating or stock it with mosquito larvae eating fish for population control. Covering your pool can go a long way in stopping mosquitoes as well.
Certain plants can help in the fight to reduce unwanted insects around your home and yard. Orange peel and orange oil naturally repel bugs, which is why they are a main ingredient in many insect sprays on the market. Avoid wearing perfumes which can attract insects while outdoors, and simple kitchen supplies like vinegar, cayenne pepper, and lemon dish soap can also help deter a variety of bugs. Spraying plants with vinegar, sprinkling cayenne pepper near ant hills, and leaving small containers of water mixed with lemon dishwashing liquid will aid in keeping your yard a less attractive hang out for pests.
Plant an Herb Garden
There are many herbs that naturally repel insects. Citronella, which is commonly used for this purpose, is a great choice to plant, but you can also try lemongrass, basil, garlic, rosemary, onions, thyme, and even marigolds. All can be equally as effective. Growing herbs alone can help keep the bugs away, but burning herbs in a firepit or on a grill can help do significant work in reducing the number of mosquitoes and other insects in your yard.
Install an Air Curtain or Fan
Air curtains are ideal when you’re trying to cut down on biting insects and those that might land on food while entertaining. These devices are readily found online, and they’re easy to install. If you already own a portable fan, considering using it in a similar fashion. A fan or two on your deck or patio can literally blow insects away!
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If you’re ready to invest in a home that is built with your needs in mind, trust in us. Give Columbia Builders a call today at 410-730-0215 or use our contact form here. You can also keep up with us on Facebook, Twitter, Houzz, and Youtube, and don’t forget to check back on our blog for more tips and information!