We all love the summer, but along with its long days and warm nights come some not-so-pleasant things like gnats, mosquitoes, and other pesky bugs. It can really put a damper on your mood if you can’t enjoy your backyard without constantly swatting bugs out of your face. Fortunately, there are some steps that you can take to keep the bugs away so you can spend as much time as you like outside. We all know the old tips like wearing long sleeves and limiting time outside, but here are some tricks that you might not have heard about. Pair them with what you already know, and hopefully you’ll be able to avoid the bugs this summer.
Eliminate Standing Water
Bird baths, empty pots, and old trash cans all collect water every time it rains. Unlike your swimming pool, which filters the water and keeps it moving, these still sources allow it to be stagnate and become a breeding ground for mosquitoes. One of the simplest ways to keep biting insects away is to get rid of any still water around your home. After it rains, do a quick check to make sure that yard decorations haven’t become a mosquito’s new home.
Cover Your Garbage
During a hot summer day, trash cans, burn piles, and compost bins can all attract flies and gnats as the items in them break down. You can cut down on the number of bugs in the area by keeping your garbage covered. This will also prevent the growth of mold, which tends to draw even more bugs. And that’s not to mention that things will also smell a lot better!
Use the Right Repellents
You can purchase strong chemical products to treat your entire lawn for bugs, but be mindful of potential side effects, particularly if you have pets or children. Some homeowners prefer to use natural products that don’t carry the risk of harmful chemicals. If this is you, products with citronella and geraniol are effective at repelling biting insects, as are some essential oils. No matter which products you prefer, you should use them before you plan on heading outside so that they have time to work.
Don’t Overwater Plants
Did you know that gnats are attracted to wet soil? Whether it’s your lawn or the flowers in your pots, if you keep the soil perpetually moist, it will draw gnats. While you should obviously water enough to keep your plants from wilting, consider letting your grass go natural this summer. Not only will you save on your water bill, but you’ll also drastically reduce the habitat for gnats.
The annoyance of these pests shouldn’t cancel out the fun you’ll have this summer. Take the right precautions now and be sure to keep those bugs from turning your yard into their playground.