In this post-COVID era, our society has become hyper-aware of airborne germs and viruses, with a better understanding of how they spread and multiply in indoor spaces. Many of us have created little outdoor sanctuaries to spend more time with family and friends, only to reckon with bugs and pests buzzing around our heads.
Um, no, thank you! The last thing you want to think about is more intrusions. Mosquitos, ticks, wasps, cluster flies – not only are they annoying to deal with, but they can carry plenty of their diseases which can cause serious illness.
Pesticides can be tempting to use but are harmful to the environment and ecosystem. And if you have children or pets or live around people with children and pets, it would be wise to avoid exposing them to harmful chemicals and toxins.
There are plenty of other innocuous ways to repel backyard bugs and maintain rightful ownership of your outdoor sanctuary.
5 Helpful Tips for a Bug-Free Backyard
1. Get rid of standing water
Standing water is the perfect breeding ground for mosquitos. Make sure your lawn has adequate drainage to prevent these annoying insects from taking over. Common reasons for poor drainage include compacted soil, improper backyard grading, poorly maintained eavestroughs and downspouts, and improper fence or deck installation.
There are some DIY solutions available, but you may need to contact a professional if the problem is extensive. Wright Landscape Services offers free consultations and has helped countless homeowners remedy their soggy backyards.
Other sources of standing water could be birdbaths, kiddie pools, and clogged gutters. Anywhere that water can’t properly drain could be a culprit.
2. Remove food and attractants
Garbage and uncovered food can be a breeding ground for flies and ants. Take proper care in securely covering your garbage, recycling, and compost. And make sure to store everything away from your entertaining spots, ideally at the side of the house, in a low-traffic area.
3. Be a gracious host to birds and bats
Not only are birds pleasurable to watch, but they’re also helpful assistants when it comes to pest control. Make your backyard more inviting to these feathered friends by planting small trees for cover, installing a birdbath, and filling up your bird feeder.
You can also build a bat house to control your backyard insect population. That’s right, invite bats into your outdoor space! However, a single bat typically eats 6,000 – 8,000 insects per night, so consider them your erratic and tiny little nocturnal superheroes in your fight against backyard bugs. If you’re fearful of bats, perhaps avoid hanging outside a couple of hours after dusk when they feed.
4. Use a bug zapper
Having a bug zapper in your entertaining area will attract and kill biting bugs in a zap! There is, however, some controversy over whether bug zappers kill the right kind of bugs, and some experts state that they can throw the environment out of balance.
Alternatively, you can use a spray or a spatial repellant to keep mosquitos away. Or, you can just use a plain and simple fan. Mosquitos aren’t the strongest fliers, and they can’t compete with a forceful breeze.
5. Build a bug-free patio enclosure
If you want to ensure a bug-free outdoor space, consider building a patio enclosure with a mesh screen to let in the breeze and fresh air. There are plenty of portable options if you don’t want to commit to a permanent structure. An experienced landscape architect can help you creatively think about the overall design within your budget.
If you have any standing water issues we would be happy to come and look at the area.
When you start to think about designing the perfect yard, deck, patio or backyard oasis, it can be helpful to have some solid ideas of what you want to achieve. We can help with that.