As temperatures rise and everyone heads outdoors, bugs are also becoming active. While some pests are simply an annoyance, others carry harmful diseases.
For example, mosquitoes can transmit West Nile Virus, multiple forms of encephalitis, Dengue fever, a range of parasites, and more.
Additionally, allergies to bee stings are fairly common, and certain spider bites have the potential to be deadly.
Whether you want to keep bugs away for your own comfort or for health reasons, using a bug repellent may help. However, you need to choose the right options for each pest to get the job done right.
Bug Zapping Lights
One of the most widely used things for dealing with outdoor insects surrounding homes is the so-called bug zapper. It uses UV light to attract flying pests. Once an insect lands on the board, the light electrocutes it.
Although a bug zapping light does kill flying pests, it isn’t always the best solution. The light actually attracts more bugs, making them more likely to appear in the area. Remedy this by placing the bug zapper some distance away from where you are — to draw the insects away from where you are hanging out.
Another problem with bug zappers: If there’s a breeze, electrocuted insects’ remains can be flung around the area. That’s all the more reason to place the appliance away from where you hang out (and especially eat).
Finally, keep in mind that bug zappers don’t have any effect on mosquitoes, which aren’t attracted by UV light does not attract them.
Candles and Torches
Candles and tiki torch oil featuring citronella can help repel pests, especially mosquitoes.
However, for citronella to work, the air needs to be fairly still — because its odor is what repels the bugs.
Additionally, it might not be very effective in open areas. However, if you have a screened porch, citronella may do the job on a still day.
Orange or Peppermint Oil
Orange and peppermint oils are natural bug repellents. Plus, they are safe for use around people, making them a viable indoor or outdoor solution.
Take a spray bottle and fill it with water. Add around 10 drops of your selected oil and a couple of drops of dish soap. Shake the bottle lightly to combine the ingredients. Then, spray areas where bugs like to gather, such as eaves, outdoor light fixtures, and porch ceilings.
You can also use these sprays indoors in areas like closets. However, if you have pets, it’s best to stay away from peppermint oil.
Cats are particularly bothered by peppermint oil and could develop lung issues after inhaling it. If a cat consumes peppermint, it can cause upset stomach, liver damage, or even lead to central nervous system problems.
Pest Control Sprays
There are a wide variety of commercial pest control sprays available today, including some natural variants. Some target specific pests, like ants or mosquitoes, while others act on a wider range of species.
If you are looking to buy a commercial product, make sure to read the warning and ingredients labels thoroughly. This lets you know where it is safe to use the spray (such as whether it is suitable for indoor use) as well as the risks of accidental exposure.
If you are worried about any of these risks, opt for one of the more natural remedies mentioned in this article.
If fleas, ticks, mites or chiggers invade your yard, consider sulfur powder. This yellow, smelly element can prevent eggs from these species from hatching. It also emits an odor that may drives the adults out of your yard.
Check the weather forecast before proceeding with sulfur dust: You need to sprinkle or sift it during a period when rain isn’t expected for a few additional days. Yes, your yard will smell for a while, but this can do the job.
It is important to note that sulfur is flammable. That means you don’t want open flames or embers in your yard while the powder is sitting. Postpone any outdoor barbecues or campfires until after the powder has dissipated.
For ants, caterpillars, and slugs, try diatomaceous earth. This white powdery substance is all natural and will repel a variety of insects.
It’s typically safe to use around people and animals. However, the dust is actually abrasive, so you don’t want to inhale it. Use a mask while applying the powder and give it a chance to settle into the soil before using your yard.
Bug Repellents for Your Home and Yard
Ultimately, any of the approaches above can help you repel pests from your home and yard.
Just make sure to read any warning labels and always follow the instructions for commercial products.
Readers, which types of bug repellents have you had the most success with?
Looking for more great articles? Check these out:
- Protect Yourself Against Mosquitoes and Tick Bites This Summer
- How to Naturally Get Rid of Fleas
- Simple Ways to Protect Your Pet from Getting Ticks and Lyme Disease
- DIY Yardwork: Tackling a Landscaping Project on Your Own
- What’s the Best Sunscreen for Summer 2018?
- How to Prepare for Summer Rainstorms and Hurricanes
- Keep Cool Without Overspending This Summer
- 10 Cool Outdoor Gadgets That Actually Save You Money
- 10 Ways to Get Free Plants for Your Garden
- Handheld Fans and Misters That Actually Work
- Upcycling for Your Garden
- How to Make Outdoor Furniture from Pallets
- 5 Summer Home Improvement Projects
- Is Renting Garden Furniture Ever Cost Effective?
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