The Best Insect Repellents for Your Back Yard

April 29, 2015 ~ Posted By Kathy Crum


Now that the weather is warmer, the days are longer and everyone wants to spend more time outside, the last thing you want is to deal with a lot of unwanted guests and nasty visitors who won’t allow you to enjoy the outdoors in peace.  No, I’m not talking about your in-laws, that friend of your spouse who arrives without notice just in time for a burger, or your teenager’s friends who love your pool more than your child.  I’m talking about those pesky insects who are bound and determined to interrupt your relaxation!

When you get those unwanted guests, there are tons of products available to you, ranging from hard-core chemical solutions to more environmentally friendly products. My suggestion is to try the more natural and organic solutions first; if those don’t work, then you may want to visit your home improvement store or store or shop online for other options.  Check out more information about Wood Fence Maintenance here!

insect reppellents

 

NATURE’S BEST MOSQUITO REPELLENT FOR DECK

Depending upon the type of unwanted guest in your yard (or in your home), here are some of the best outdoor mosquito repellent for patio enthusiasts available that won’t cost much and will maintain the environment:

How to Get Rid of Ants

The wonderful thing about ants is that if you see one, you most likely will see hundreds more.  One of the reasons why I cannot stand ants is that they love to hide in outdoor electrical outlets and timers.  I’ve had to swap out many timers for my outdoor lights and fountains because ants just love the warmth these things provide.  If you want to keep them away, try using cucumbers or spices such as cayenne pepper, chili pepper, black pepper, cinnamon, mint, cloves or garlic to keep them out of your house and from creating nests in your garden.

How to Get Rid of Flies In the Yard

Nothing is more annoying than a pack of flies paying you a visit—especially when you sit down to have a good meal.  I’ve seen many children scream at the sight of a fly landing on their hot dog or ice cream, and it’s a drama you want to try to avoid!  Did you know that the average female fly lives just one month, but in that small lifetime, she can lay more than 500 eggs.

One of the best things you can do is keep your trashcans tightly covered and never leave a garbage bag with food unopened as they feed on garbage.  Likewise, if you have dogs, pick up their poop as soon as possible as feces ranks as a major food item for these annoying insects.

When you’re grilling, keep your meat covered tightly when it is not on the grill and make sure to keep your lid closed while you’re cooking.  Meat attracts flies and on a hot summer day, that barbeque smell attracts them like girls to a New Direction concert!  As an extra precaution, make sure all your utensils receive a thorough cleaning once you’re done using them and don’t leave them sitting around outside while you’re eating as the scent on these draws flies just as much as the meat itself.

Another way to minimize your friendly neighborhood fly community is to keep your shrubs trimmed and pick up your grass piles after mowing the lawn.  Flies love tall grass and brush piles; eliminate these and the open invitation for these things to visit! And while you may love the sight of birds in your yard, be careful what you put out for them to eat.  Refrain from giving birds fruit as fruit also draws in flies, as does standing water.

Flies do not like basil so a safe (and delicious remedy) to keep flies away is to have some basil plants on your deck or patio.  Lavender and mint are also good—mint is also a natural remedy to get rid of stinkbugs!

Some other options include using various oils as a natural repellent: lavender, citronella, eucalyptus, lemongrass and peppermint are all great oils you can get in candle form or use to make in a spray bottle with water, eliminating the need for chemicals. Flies also dislike cloves, so placing some of those in your yard helps keep them away.

How to Get Rid of Mosquitoes

Mosquitoes see me coming and they think, “Here’s a buffet!”  I hate them.  However, what I’ve learned over the years is that you can keep them at bay without needing lots of chemicals on you.  One of the best ways to minimize them is to remove any standing water sources from your yard and keep your gutters clean. For those of you who have fountains in your yard, you run more of a risk of getting visits from mosquitoes when shut off.  I tell folks to get a nice supply of Liquid Net, which is made with botanical oils of cedarwood and lemongrass.  I like it because it’s non-greasy and actually smells kind of nice.

Just like flies, mosquitos also dislike and avoid citronella oil. We keep a healthy supply of citronella candles and torches in our back yard.  The smoke from them keeps away some other bugs as well.  I also recommend keeping some citronella plants on your deck and patio area.  You can also put citronella oil on your skin, which is far better than most sprays!

How to Get Rid of Termites

While many of these other insects bother humans, there’s one insect you need to think about that can actually damage a wood fence and that’s termites.  Termites love wood.  Nowadays most wood fences come treated with chemicals that make it impervious to termite infestation.  However, over time these chemicals may begin wearing you off, leaving your fence open to attack from these horrible little bugs!

Some natural ways to get rid of termites include orange oil, which contains the active compound known as d-limonene that kills termites on contact. Neem oil, which comes from the Asian neem tree, is also effective, but sometimes you have to apply it multiple times before the colony dies off, as termites have to ingest this one in order for it to work.  Borax powder is also effective and the good news is that it is non-toxic to humans and pets.  You can also spray or paint it onto wood surfaces

To preserve your wood fence, here are some things you can do:

  • Never wash your fence and leave it damp.  I tell folks to wash the fence early in the day so it can dry in the sun.  If you are not using a power washer, wash just a few sections of the fence at a time so that it has a chance to dry in the summer heat.  Wet wood attracts termites and the longer it is wet without a sealant applied, the more likely termites may visit.
  • Never leave scrap lumber around your fence. Termites love to hide in scraps and if the scraps are near your fence, they can easily move into the wood and settle. The same is true of firewood since firewood is not treated with any protective chemicals.
  • Termites thrive in wet environments, so make sure you remove any brush from around the outside of your fence and also check to remove any pools of water around your posts.
  • The best way to never have to deal with termites?  Build your fence out of fencing materials other than wood, like chain link fences, aluminum fences or vinyl fences!  In all sincerity, we have had many clients buy these kinds of fences because of the horror stories from their neighbors about having to replace major portions of their fence due to termites.

What’s Your Best Insect Repellent?

Have you tried other remedies that work for you to rid your yard of insects?  Feel free to contribute your ideas in our COMMENTS section so all our readers will benefit from new ideas on how to get those little pests out of the yard!  As for your in-laws, uninvited friends and pesky teenagers, that’s a whole other story!

Do You Need Help With Fence Repair from Insect Damage?

If you need help with a fence repair due to termites or damage from chemical-based insect repellent products, contact us today and we’ll send out one of our expert residential fence consultants who can assist you in restoring your fence so it looks as good as new!

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