How to keep bugs away from your home and yard

Summer is the perfect time to enjoy being outside. Unfortunately, nothing can ruin a beautiful day outside faster than bugs and insects. Mosquitos, flies, ants, and other insects can make outdoor living spacing unbearable; follow these tips to help keep bugs away from your home and yard this summer!

1.       Prevent standing water

Standing water not only attracts insects – it is the perfect breeding ground for mosquitoes. Prevent standing water by unclogging gutters and filling in low spots in the yard or garden bed. Likewise, regularly empty and change the water in bird baths, kidding pools, or other small, standing water features.

2.       Build a bat house

If you live in an area where bats are present, harness their natural bug-fighting power for your yard! A single bat can eat 6000-8000 insects in a single night; building a bat house can invite a bat to move in and control the insect population around your home.

3.       Plant inspect-repelling plants

Bugs hate strong scents; planting bug-repelling plants can add beauty to your landscaping while keeping pests away. Here are some inspect-repelling plants and the bugs that they prevent: 

• Basil: flies, mosquitos

• Catnip: cockroaches, flies, mosquitos, ticks

• Chrysanthemums: ants, bedbugs, fleas, roaches, ticks

• Lavender: flies, fleas, mosquitos, moths

• Citronella: mosquitoes

• Lemon-scented geranium: mosquitoes

• Lemon thyme: mosquitoes

• Marigold: mosquitoes

• Rosemary: mosquitoes

4.       Install outdoor fans

Many insects can’t stand a strong breeze. Keep flying insects away from porches and patios by installing outdoor fans. In addition to providing a cooling breeze, fans can keep mosquitos, flies, and other flying insects away.

5.       Avoid over-mulching

While mulch prevents soil erosion – and adds curb appeal to a home – over-mulching can invite pests into your home. Mulch is the ideal breeding environment for ants, cockroaches, and even mice; as it decomposes it produces heat and provides cover for breeding pests. Prevent pests by spreading mulch in a thin layer, keeping wood mulch at least 12 inches away from the foundation, and using inorganic mulch such as gravel whenever possible.

6.       Keep the lawn trim, mowed, and tidy

In addition to improving curb appeal, keeping the lawn trim, mowed, and tidy can help prevent many garden pests. Trimming back grass, weeds, and bushes can reduce the habitats and hiding spots for bugs and insects.  

“Ticks like to hide in tall grass and wait for a passing human or animal, while bushes or tree limbs touching the home can provide easy access for pests to get indoors,” says Brittany Campbell, an entomologist with the National Pest Management Association.

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