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How to chase the most common summer bugs from your backyard

When the warm weather hits, we love to get outdoors and soak up the sun and fresh air. The warm breeze and vitamin D are a great way to boost your mood and give you some health benefits. We all know, though, that with summer comes a lot of bugs. Enjoying your outdoor space gets significantly less enjoyable when you’re being bombarded with pests. Cheer up, though, because there are several methods for keeping bugs at bay in your backyard this summer. We’re going to go over what conditions in your yard attract summer bugs and how to implement some effective pest control so you can soak up the sun in peace.

blue patio set
zhu difeng/Shutterstock

Hot spots for common summer bugs

It’s a good idea to familiarize yourself with some conditions in your outdoor space that are known to attract pests. When your yard is more appealing to bugs, you’ll obviously have more bugs come around, right?

Standing water

Mosquitoes and flies love to breed in undisturbed water. This doesn’t only apply to large areas of water like your backyard pond or birdbath. These pests will find the smallest amount of standing water and start to procreate by the thousands. There’s nothing worse than relaxing outdoors just to have those pesky mosquitos emerge and start to feed on you.


Piles of dry and decaying wood are a dream for bugs like termites and spiders. If stored improperly, you’ll have a pile of infested wood that will be extremely unpleasant to move or rummage through.

Unkept yards

Keeping up with your landscaping is a big chore, but things like long grass, large weed patches, and piles of yard waste are ideal breeding grounds for bugs. They love to build their nests in places that provide protection, like deep, hard-to-reach overgrowth.

Food particles

Your outdoor space isn’t just for lounging. It’s a great spot to grill out, picnic, or otherwise gather and eat a meal together. However, all that food sitting on your patio, for example, will inevitably attract bees, wasps, and ants.

Methods of summer pest control

As you’ve seen, hot spots for summer bugs exist all around your outdoor space and create an environment where you’ll be pestered by scads of bugs when you’re trying to enjoy the fresh air. Take control of the bug issue by implementing some tried and true summer pest control methods that reduce hot spots and repel those pesky bugs.

Look for and remove standing water

After a big rain, take a look around your backyard and locate areas with standing water. If you see water puddling in your grass or garden, address these drainage issues by reducing your watering schedule, adjusting your water run-off direction, or implementing other soil drainage solutions. If you have a birdbath, be sure you’re changing the water every few days. For rain barrels, make sure the barrel is properly screened to keep bugs away from the collecting water. Also, make sure outdoor toys and furniture are emptied of water after a rain and wiped clean.

Store firewood appropriately

The best way to store firewood to avoid attracting bugs is to store it in thin layers above the ground. Get some weather-resistant racks and try to store the woodpile as evenly and spaced out as possible. It’s also a good idea to keep your firewood a good distance from your house so that bugs don’t find their way inside your walls.

Keep your yard maintained

Prevent bugs from nesting by keeping to a mowing schedule, trimming bushes and tree branches, and weeding regularly. This will make your yard a less appealing breeding ground for pests.

Keep your outdoor space clean

After eating in your outdoor space, be sure all food scraps are removed and disposed of properly and wipe down tables and chairs. It’s also a good idea to regularly wipe down outdoor toys since those sticky little fingers can spread around food particles. Hose down and sanitize your outdoor trash cans and the area around them to get rid of food particles. Be sure to regularly check furniture and play areas for spider webs and egg sacks and remove them immediately.

Install an outdoor patio fan

Flying bugs like mosquitos, flies, and bees don’t fare well against wind. Installing a fan outdoors near your lounging area can keep these pests away while keeping you nice and cool on hot days.

Get some bug repelling products (citronella, essential oils, plants)

There are a wide variety of options when it comes to citronella and other bug repelling products. Set up some candles and tiki torches around your lounging space to keep mosquitoes at bay. There are also some natural bug repellents like essential oils. Cinnamon, lemongrass, and peppermint are commonly used as insect repellents outdoors. Dilute the oil with water and spray it around your sitting area for some extra protection. You can also invest in certain patio plants that repel bugs. Lavender, lemongrass, and herbs like rosemary and basil are great at repelling mosquitoes. Mint and chrysanthemums do a good job at keeping ants away.

You’ve invested a lot into your outdoor space to make it an enjoyable place to lounge. Nothing throws a wet towel on your day in the yard like pesky bugs, though. By implementing some prevention and repelling techniques, you can keep your backyard and patio bug-free this summer.

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