Do uninvited “guests” keep showing up in your yard and spoiling all the fun? Keep mosquitos, fleas, ticks, flies and other bugs away—without using any chemical treatments!—with these quick and cheap DIY solutions to debug your yard.
Mosquitos breed in standing water, so identify and clear up any standing water in your yard. Female mosquitos lay 100-300 eggs at a time and need only a small amount of water to continue infesting your yard with new mosquitos. By eliminating standing water from these common sources, you can break the cycle and force mosquitos to move on from your property:
Attract Bird and Bats
Birds and bats are natural predators of most insects, so do whatever it takes to attract them to your yard. Set out a bird feeder and plant colorful native plants that attract birds, such as coneflowers and sunflowers, to attract birds to your yard. When it comes to bug control, bats are man’s best friend. Bat Conservation International reports that one small bat can consume up to 1,000 mosquitoes per hour, so consider installing a wooden bathouse at the edge of your property to help enlist them in your fight against insects.
When entertaining, keep food and beverages in sealed coolers and covered containers, and clean trash, spills, and crumbs up quickly. Bees and yellowjackets can crawl into aluminum cans and plastic bottles — to avoid getting stung while taking a swig of your beverage, serve drinks in clear plastic cups.
Light the Night
You’ve probably heard the phrase “like moths to a flame.” It’s true — bugs are attracted to light. Fortunately, just replacing white bulbs with yellow bulbs or sodium vapor lights (which can be found at most hardware and home improvement stores) can cut down on the number of insects that flock to your yard at night. You can also light citronella candles and torches to add a welcoming glow while repelling bugs.
Garbage Cans Can be Bad News
Flies love garbage, so cover trash and recycling bins and store them as far as possible from the areas where you like to hang out. Get in the habit of rinsing the cans out every few weeks to get rid of debris and gunk that attract flies and provide a welcoming spot for them to lay eggs.
Clear the Air
Mosquitos and many other bugs are not fans of breezes—so create an artificial breeze by setting up fans around your seating area.
Keep Your Yard Under Control
Overgrown weeds, grasses, and bushes can harbor lots of different insects, including fleas and ticks. Mow grass regularly and be sure to trim tall grasses and weeds that grow along fences and foundations. Dispose of leaves, grass clippings, and other yard debris where ticks can hide. Stack firewood neatly in a dry spot, and avoid positioning lawn chairs and playsets near trees and shaded areas where fleas and ticks like to congregate. If your property borders on woods, you can discourage ticks from entering your yard by placing a three-foot wide barrier of gravel between your lawn and the wooded areas.
Mother Nature has evolved a host of strongly scented plants that keep bugs at bay—and they’ll make your yard prettier, too. Try planting the following popular and easy-to-find flowers and herbs to discourage insect invaders naturally:
Shut Bugs Out
Of course, even if you follow all our advice you’ll never eliminate all the bugs in your yard. You can, however, take steps to keep them out of your home. Check all window screens and screen doors for holes, and replace any torn or ripped screens with Frost King Screen Spline. If some of your windows lack screens, our W.B. Marvin Adjustable Window Screens come in a variety of sizes to fit almost any window opening.