Nothing is worse than enjoying a relaxing evening out on your porch, only to have it ruined by a swarm of mosquitoes nibbling at your legs and buzzing in front of your face. While the warm summer weather draws people outdoors to the beach or backyards, it also attracts bugs, making summer the season with the highest level of insect activity.
During the muggy summer months, keeping bugs off your porch can seem like an uphill battle, but there are a couple of pest control tips and tricks you can use to keep your porch a relaxing safe haven, free of bugs.
Clean Your Porch Thoroughly
It is no surprise that bugs are attracted to unkempt and dirty surfaces. It’s easy for us as humans to forget about a spilled glass of wine or a couple of dropped crumbs, but rest assured they won’t go unnoticed by pests. Porches can get dirty pretty quickly, so sweeping frequently, making sure that you clean up any spilled food or drinks, and wiping down surfaces are some of the most effective methods of backyard pest control.
There are plenty of other tricks you can use to do an even better job of keeping your porch clean. Spraying hydrogen peroxide, wiping down surfaces with dryer sheets, or even using mint-flavored mouthwash can all go a long way when it comes to keeping things truly clean, not just looking clean.
Burn Torches or Use Essential Oils
If you’re wiping down surfaces and using hydrogen peroxide but still find yourself surrounded by insects, then it might be time to use a more fragrant method of pest control. Bugs aren’t just attracted to food, but also to certain scents, like human body odor. A lot of home and garden stores will sell torches designed to repel insects, most commonly citronella torches. Not only are these torches a good product to test out before you contact your local exterminators, but they can also give your backyard a fun, tropical feel!
Another solution is to use essential oils. You can put some on a rag and wipe down surfaces, spray them in the air with a bottle, or fill up a diffuser. Eucalyptus, lavender, and citronella are all commonly used to deter bugs. Keep an eye on which kinds of insects keep invading your porch to determine which scents you should use to combat them.
Grow Pest-Deterrent Plants
While it’s definitely more of a long-term solution, growing certain species of plants is a fantastic pest control method that doesn’t involve spraying chemicals in your environment. Similar to essential oils and torches, there are some plants that work better than others to keep pests away. If you want something that will look great and keep bugs away, flowers are the way to go. Planting marigolds is a classic backyard mosquito control technique, but if you have issues with other insects like ticks or ants, chrysanthemums might be a better option due to how effective they are at keeping a wide variety of insects away.
If flowers alone aren’t enough, however, then growing certain species of herbs might help give your backyard an extra defense against pests. Mint is a great, easy-to-care-for option to keep mosquitoes away; just be sure to keep an eye on it so it doesn’t take over your entire garden. Growing citronella grass instead of buying artificial torches is not only healthier but is also a much more natural pest control method. Lastly, garlic, not only does a great job of fending off flies and moths, but it’s also a commonly-used ingredient in a wide variety of dishes, so not only will you save your legs from pesky bites, but you’ll also save on groceries.
Change Up Your Lighting
Did you know that bugs actually prefer different types of lights over others? The standard, white light bulbs that are found in most people’s homes are actually preferred by bugs due to their white color and intensity. If bugs are swarming your porch, it might not be because of spilled food or odor, it might be as simple as them wanting to be closer to your light source. Try switching your traditional white lights for sodium vapor lights or even just light bulbs that put out softer colored light, like orange or yellow bulbs. Not only will these new lights give your backyard an updated look, but they’ll also attract far fewer insects.
Another, less effective but affordable option of light is a bug zapper. Bug zappers have been a staple of affordable pest control since the 60s. They utilize purple or blue light to intentionally attract insects to them before killing them with an electrical shock. Many bug zappers work both inside and out but are most commonly used for backyard pest control. While these may not be the best for mosquito control, they are great at catching other types of insects. As a result, try placing your bug zapper away from other lights so there are no competitors for the pests’ attention. Ideally, the zapper should also be positioned somewhere you don’t often spend time so that bugs are attracted away from you. You can even combine a bug zapper with the previous strategy of installing softer lights so that insects are even more attracted to your zapper and not your lightbulbs. Who knew that simply changing your light bulbs could deter so many pests?
Stay Bug-Free This Summer
Enjoying the outdoors is one of the best parts of summer. However, Without proper pest control to combat pesky insects, the great outdoors can become a lot less fun. By spraying insect-repellent scents, growing specific kinds of plants, and carefully choosing how you light your porch, you can help fight back against the hordes of bugs trying to ruin your relaxing porch evenings.
As always, it’s important to know your options. If you need a stronger method of backyard pest control than just spraying oils and wiping down chairs, it might be time to get in contact with one of our local exterminators. We, at Palmetto Exterminators, have over 80 years of experience handling pests in South Carolina and are more than happy to help you reclaim your porch.