Everyone knows spring weather means it’s time to get outside. When the cold weather finally fades, and spring flowers start popping up, kids and adults alike find themselves outdoors more often.
However, the more time you spend outside in the warm weather, the more you will encounter outside pests. Outdoor pest control becomes critical when the mosquitoes and other bugs start biting.
At Environmental Pest Management, we focus on keeping bugs away from your family using safe and effective ways. We want to keep pests under control all summer so you can enjoy your time with your family outdoors.
Tips for a Pest-Free Yard
The most important thing you can do to keep pests from bothering you is to ensure bugs take up residence in your backyard. There are strategies you can use to make sure pests don’t make their home in a place where you like to hang out.
Bugs like clutter, or at least they feel safe and hidden in your clutter. If you have things piled on your patio or in your yard, don’t be surprised to find crawly things have moved in. Piles of toys, boxes, stacked wood, or unused flower pots make perfect homes. If you must have things like this around, make sure they are away from where you prefer to be, such as the far side of a shed or behind a fence.
Ensure there is no standing water around your house. Bugs are attracted to water, and many of them will lay eggs in it. Keep any bird baths or planters filled with fresh water. Keep the grass trimmed and cut as well.
It is also essential to keep all trash picked up. Keep lids on any trash bins and make sure drains and gutters are clear so water can flow freely. Bugs will also make their home in the built-up debris in clogged gutters.
Also Read: How to Help Bees
Natural Bug Repellents
If you are looking for natural ways to keep bugs away, there are many options. There are endless products that claim to keep bugs away from you. Choosing one is not such an easy task.
Without listing all the brands you could potentially buy, there are some ingredients you should look for in a natural pest-repellent.
There are several different types of plants that repel biting insects. In particular, garlic and rosemary are surprisingly good at keeping bugs away. Chive and lemongrass are also excellent at repelling insects you don’t want near you. Marigolds are also bug repellants on top of being beautiful.
Lavender is another excellent for keeping pests away. Not only does lavender keep bugs away, it is antifungal, analgesic, and antiseptic, meaning it will soothe your skin in the process.
If you are looking to repel adult mosquitoes and kill any eggs present, cinnamon oil is incredibly useful. Thyme is also excellent for repelling mosquitoes. You can also burn thyme leaves to keep mosquitoes away; be sure you have some anytime you’re camping and add them to your fire.
Citronella torches also go a long way to repel bugs. Using citronella torches and candles will provide double the protection, and create some mood lighting perfect for entertaining. If you know you will be spending time on your patio or porch, spray a mixture of hydrogen peroxide and water on your porch and surrounding areas. Be sure to avoid spraying on your food and drinks.
Also Read: Pesticide Safety in the Home
Why Not Deet?
There is one ingredient that you might have noticed missing from this list: DEET. While there isn’t much argument that DEET is effective at repelling mosquitoes, there is some debate as to how safe it is to use.
Studies have shown that DEET is toxic to the central nervous system. Another study demonstrated that while DEET is prevalent in commercial bug repellents, it is still controversial. DEET can kill neurons in the brain that are responsible for muscle movement, learning, memory, and concentration. Because kids absorb things through their skin faster than adults, children are at a higher risk using DEET.
DIY Natural Repellent Recipe
There are many recipes available for a natural bug repellent; most include essential oils. Because there is some concern as to the safety of applying essential oils directly to the skin, especially on children, consider spraying these repellents to clothes or gear when outdoors.
There is a basic formula for natural bug repellents. Generally, you will use a combination of essential oils, water, witch hazel, and sometimes glycerin. The glycerin helps keep ingredients combined. The best essential oils to repel bugs are lemongrass, eucalyptus, rosemary, tea tree, lavender, mint, clove, geranium, and citronella.
For the DIY natural bug repellent, you will need:
- 20-30 drops geranium essential oil
- 20-30 drops citronella essential oil
- 15-20 drops lemon eucalyptus essential oil
- 15-20 drops lavender essential oil
- 5-10 drops rosemary essential oil
- 1 tbsp vodka (or rubbing alcohol)
- ½ cup witch hazel
- ½ cup water (or white distilled vinegar)
- 1 tsp vegetable glycerin (optional)
Combine all ingredients in a glass or BPA-free spray bottle. Keep the mixture with you whenever you plan to be outdoors. Apply to your body, clothing, or outdoor furniture to keep bugs away.
Call Environmental Pest Management
If you are concerned about bugs around and in your home, contact a trusted pest control company. At Environmental Pest Management, we have years of experience protecting people’s homes from pests that bite and bother your family.
We take extreme caution with the products we use. We treat your home as if it was a medical facility, meaning our products have little to no odor, and we apply them safely and only in specific areas.
We first complete a thorough inspection. Then, we deal with your pest problems both inside and outside. We will evict any pests inside your home, and make sure they can’t take up residence outside of it. We customize our services for each of our clients based on their needs and budget.
Call Environmental Pest Management today so you won’t have to worry about insects crashing your barbecues and bugging you all season.