Winter is little more than a memory, spring is in full swing and before you know it, it’s going to be summer again. That means long evenings spent on the back porch, grilling out with your favorite summer salads and packing away all your winter coats for the season. Unfortunately, spring and summer also come with a few not-so-fun things as well. One of those things that might put a damper on your season is the arrival of all the summer bugs.
Not only can bugs make you miserable as you sit outside trying to enjoy the summer, but they can also have genuinely harmful effects on your trees, bushes, flowers and other backyard trappings. It doesn’t have to be that way, however. Whether you’re dealing with mosquitoes, moths, caterpillars, beetles or some other kind of pest, you don’t have to just put up with them. There are plenty of practical solutions to this problem.
To help you prepare for the upcoming warm months, we’re here with the ultimate guide to help you have a bug-proof backyard. Even if you don’t consider yourself someone who’s normally handy with tools and the outdoors, we think these are practical and easy solutions that anyone can handle. So if you’re feeling up to the challenge, get ready to roll up your sleeves and get busy. Here are some of our favorite tips to help you bug-proof your yard.
Common Backyard Bugs
Before we begin digging into some of the ways that you can drive off bugs and pests, it’s worth taking a moment to step back and ask ourselves just what kind of bugs we might be dealing with. This way, we can better address how to handle them.
As you begin to study the bugs present in your backyard, remember that not all bugs are harmful. Some can actually be helpful, and still others have no effect whatsoever on your plants. The trick is to recognize which is which, so that you don’t accidentally try to banish the good bugs right along with the bad ones.
While it’s certainly true that different individuals who live in different climates around the world and have different types of plants will be dealing with a wide variety of bugs that may not be exactly the same pests you’re facing, there is still quite a bit of commonality across the board.
Regardless of where you live and what type of plants are in your yard, there are a few common candidates that almost everyone will face. With that in mind, here are some of the most likely candidatesthat might be eating your plants and buzzing around your head this summer. Keep an eye out and see if you spot any of them in your yard.
- Ground Beetles: You might not even know these bugs are there, as they usually hide during the heat of the day and feed on other pests.
- Spiders: While they might look scary, don’t be fooled. Spiders are a great asset to your yard and garden, as they eat other pests that might seek to harm your plants. Most garden spiders are harmless to humans.
- Ladybugs: These colorful bugs are highly attracted to rosebushes, but there’s no need to worry as they don’t cause any harm. In fact, they even help your garden by eating aphids and other pests.
- Honeybees: We might be afraid of these fuzzy yellow creatures, but they’ll only sting you if you bother them. Otherwise, they’re perfectly content to carry on pollinating your plants and making your garden beautiful.
- Worms: These squirming, pink-ish creatures might look gross, but we actually owe them a lot. Without them tunneling through the soil, all our lawns and gardens would be far less healthy and beautiful.
- Flies: These can be pesky as they fly around your head. Some of the larger varieties even bite. Don’t be too quick to wish them gone, however, as they’re responsible for preying on some of the small pests in your garden.
- Praying Mantis: This distinctive looking bug is hard to categorize, as it preys on both good and bad bugs alike. It’s helpful in that it eats many pests, but it also eats the friendlier bugs as well.
- Aphids: Recognizable for their small size and distinct light green color, these bugs feed on plants of all kind and reproduce rapidly. They are capable of causing extensive damage to your garden and backyard.
- Caterpillars: There are many different types of caterpillars, some of which are harmless. The type to be concerned about most commonly appears in the fall and spring and is capable destroying large amounts of plant life.
- Fire Ants: These tiny pests have a painful bite that you never want to experience. Their colonies are easily recognizable by their tall shape and the ants are easy to spot because of their red color.
- Grubs: This term often refers to the worm-like larvae of June beetles, another pest. Even as larvae, these insects feed voraciously on roots and plants of many types.
- Mosquitoes: These pests won’t harm your plants, but they bite and sting humans. Although they aren’t truly harmful in most cases, their bites are extremely itchy. They’re most active at dusk and dawn.
Tips for Bug-Proofing Your Backyard
Now that you can identify the different bugs in your garden and differentiate between the helpful and the harmful, it’s time to answer the big question of how to get rid of the bad bugs in your yard.
While no one can claim to 100 percent eradicate every harmful pest in their garden, we’ve got some tips that we think will certainly make a positive difference and help you naturally bug-proof your yard.
1. Get Rid of Standing Water
You may think that birdbath looks pretty in your garden, but it could actually be contributing to the number of bugs — particularly mosquitoes — in your backyard. Standing water is the ideal breeding ground for pests ;like mosquitoes, and it helps them multiply at a dizzying rate.
If you’re trying to mosquito-proof your yard, get rid of the birdbath or at least change the water regularly. Unclog your gutters to remove any standing water there and make sure there are no sunken areas in your yard or garden where water might collect after a heavy rain.
2.Clean up Your Garbage
Garbage attracts flies, ants and other pests. While sometimes it’s necessary to have your trash outside, such as on trash day, take a few precautions to ensure that you aren’t attracting bugs. Keep the garbage can, dumpster or tote closed as much as possible, and make sure to keep it well away from your garden or any place you plan on doing entertaining.
3.Cover Any Food
There’s a reason that we classically associate ants with picnics — they love food and can smell it from far away. They’re not the only pests that your barbecue or picnic is likely to attract, either. If you plan on eating or grilling outside, be careful to keep any food covered as much as possible and certainly don’t walk away and leave your food out for long periods of time.
4. Invite Bats Into Your Yard
Although many of us might be frightened of bats, they are actually an enormous asset to our yards. Did you know that these creatures can eat over 6,000 insects in the course of a single night? If you have an insect problem, it could be that you don’t have enough bats living in and around your yard.
To correct this problem, consider building a small house for the bats to come live in. By placing one of these houses up in a tree, you’re encouraging bats to frequent your yard and help control the bug population while they’re at it.
5.Invite Birds Into Your Yard
Birds are also a great help when it comes to decreasing your yard’s insect population, and they’re a lot less intimidating than bats. To encourage more birds to visit your yard, put out a bird feeder or a birdhouse. You might even put out a birdbath, but remember to change the water frequently so as not to attract mosquitoes.
6.Mow Your Lawn
A neatly manicured lawn doesn’t just look beautiful. Turns out, it can also be a great way to discourage bugs and pests from taking up residence in your yard. Long, unkempt and tangled weeds make the perfect hiding place for many bugs. By eliminating these knotted nests of grass, you’re making your yard a little more inhospitable to these pests. Don’t just stop at mowing, either. Be sure to trim along the ditches, sidewalks and other hard-to-get-at places, as well.
In addition to mowing your lawn, you can also take care to avoid letting piles of yard-debris build up. This could be large piles of leaves, sticks or anything else. Bugs will take up residence in such heaps almost immediately, so don’t let them stand for any longer than you have to.
7.Build a Bug Trap
If you’re into DIY crafts, this might be a project that’s both fun and useful. To build your own bug trap, cut the top off a two-liter bottle, then flip the top upside down and insert it back into the bottle so that it forms a sort of funnel within the bottle. Tape the two pieces together. Lastly, fill the bottom of the bottle with a solution that will tempt whichever type of insect you’re hoping to catch.
8.Burn Some Citronella
This is one of the classic tried-and-true methods for repelling mosquitoes and other bugs. Citronella oil itself is created from a combination of grasses that naturally repel bugs. When you burn it as a candle, these scents help mask the smell of humans that ordinarily attracts bugs like mosquitoes. Best of all? It’s all natural and completely safe for you and your yard.
9.Burn Tiki Torches
Tiki torches are a great multi-purpose addition to any cookout, pool party or picnic. They look amazing and can help transport everyone to a tropical paradise without ever leaving your backyard. But that isn’t the only thing they’re good for.
Tiki torches can also help repel bugs that might want to join your festivities. When they burn, they give off smoke that is unpleasant to mosquitoes, flies and other bugs. The more Tiki torches you have lit, the more repelling power you’ll have.
10.Plant Bug-Repellent Plants
One of the most natural ways to repel bugs while also adding a little extra beauty and variety to your yard is to plant flowers and shrubs that repel bugs. Just a few of the possibilities include lavender, lemongrass, marigolds and chrysanthemums. Aphids and other bugs will be deterred by the smell and will be less likely to bother plants in the vicinity, while you get the benefit of enjoying these beautiful flowers.
11.Invest in Some Non-Toxic Pesticides
Pesticides often get a bad reputation, and rightly so, in many cases. The wrong pesticides can cause plenty of damage to your yard, your pets, the environment and even you, as well as the bugs they’re designed to kill. But not all pesticides are bad. If you’re shopping for pesticides, just be sure to purchase an eco-friendly and non-toxic variety to ensure the health of everyone concerned.
When using it, spray your entire yard thoroughly, including any trees, shrubs and plants. Be especially diligent about hitting the natural barriers of your yard, such as fences and sidewalks. This will discourage bugs from entering your yard in the first place. It’s also important to spray your entire yard — front, back and sides — in one session, or else the bugs may simply migrate to another portion of the yard. By spraying your entire property at once, you eliminate this option.
12.Create a Mulch Barrier
You can help deter bugs from entering your yard by building a mulch barrier around your perimeter. If you decide to do this, however, be sure to use a dry mulch. A wetter mixture may attract more bugs than it manages to deter.
13.Don’t Let Bugs Hitch a Ride on You or Your Pets
One of the most common ways for bugs to gain entry to your yard and garden is for them to ride in on you and your pets. To prevent this from happening, take the necessary precautions. Check your pets regularly for ticks and douse them with natural bug-repellents. If you plan on going for any hikes through the woods or fields, always spray yourself with non-toxic insect repellent.
14.Discourage Wild Animals
Bugs also like to ride into your yard on wild animals like rabbits, raccoons and deer. If you’re facing a bug problem, then, it might be helpful to take steps to keep wild animals out of your yard. To better keep these furry creatures out of your yard, try a few of these tricks:
- Get a dog, since wild animals will be less likely to frequent your property when they see and hear a dog.
- Set up a perimeter fence to make it more difficult for animals to make it inside your perimeter.
- Ditch the plants that attract animals, like corn, peas, strawberries, tulips and more.
- Plant natural deer-repellents, like lilacs, holly, chives, sage and more.
- Eliminate any standing water, as wild animals might be thirsty and approach to drink it.
- Keep all trash covered. Animals like raccoons and possums will often try to root around in your garbage.
Other Products to Enhance Your Backyard Décor
In some cases, people may be hesitant to take measures to bug-proof their backyard because they’re afraid all such measures involve things like chicken wire and heavy uses of pesticides. But nothing could be further from the truth. Most backyard pest control methods can actually make your yard more beautiful by encouraging plant growth that might otherwise be stunted by bugs.
Still worried about your yard not looking great? There’s an easy solution to that. Try a few of these products to take your backyard décor to the next level.
- Tiki Torches: These not only look amazing but burning them can also help repel mosquitoes and other bugs.
- Tropical Décor: Longing for an island paradise? We can’t give you that, but we can help you turn your backyard into a tropical getaway with these décor options.
- Bamboo Furniture: Now that you’ve figured out how to get rid of the bugs outside, you’ll want to relax in the comfort of your yard with this eye-catching bamboo furniture.
- Bamboo Fencing: Still looking for ways to keep wild animals out of your backyard? This bamboo fencing is great for that. The best part? It looks amazing and is eco-friendly as well.
- Bamboo Garden Borders: These bamboo borders will help set your garden off and give it a unique vibe, all while simultaneously helping dissuade animals from crossing over and chewing on your plants.
- Umbrella and Palapa Kits: Love relaxing in the sun, but don’t love constantly having to shade your eyes? Treat yourself to one of these gorgeous umbrella kits.
- Artificial Rocks: Not only can these artificial rocks help spruce up any backyard, but they’re also great at covering your garbage or anything else you’d rather not have visible. This helps deter pests and animals that might otherwise try to get at your trash.
- Fountains: There aren’t many pieces of outdoor décor more beautiful and elegant than fountains. They can easily elevate any backyard into a place of luxury and charm.
All of these different types of décor will look amazing, and some of them will even help protect you from bugs as well. Whether you use fences, furniture, umbrellas, fountains or more, it just goes to show that you don’t have to sacrifice style or comfort to get rid of the bugs that have been bothering your yard.
Shop for Your Bug-Proofing Supplies and Other Backyard Décor Items at Backyard X-Scapes
By exploring these many different techniques and tips for minimizing the bugs in your backyard, we hope you’ve been inspired to try a few of them this summer. Whether you choose to use all of them, a few of them or even just one of them, your yard and garden are sure to be a little healthier and more beautiful this year.
Sometimes, bug-proofing your garden and yard is as easy as cleaning up your garbage and mowing your lawn. These are things you can do anytime, without any additional equipment. Other times, however, it’s a little more complicated and you need to buy tools and equipment.
If you find yourself in need of the right tools to naturally drive the bugs and pests out of your yard, then we hope you’ll shop with us here at Backyard X-Scapes. We offer a wide variety of backyard accessories and décor items ranging from fencing products and furniture to outdoor rugs and paneling. All our products come in fun and attractive tropical designs so that no matter where you live, your backyard will always be a tropical paradise.
If you’re ready to get started shopping with the nation’s #1 provider of tropical décor, browse our full online catalog of products and track down the perfect items for your backyard getaway. If you have any questions about any of our products, don’t hesitate to contact us on our website. We’re also always happy to take your calls at 866-222-1422.