Love summer, but hate sharing your yard with thousands of bugs that just seem to be lurking everywhere you go? No need to call in the big guns yet, as every homeowner has some tricks at their fingertips for keeping bugs at bay during warmer days and evenings. If you’re thinking “what tricks?”, there are some natural, human-friendly but bug-annoying plants and materials that can be introduced to yards and homes to help reduce bug activity without the use of harmful chemicals.
Citronella, Lavender, Basil, Mint, and Elderberry
We haven’t listed the ingredients for a summer cocktail – at least not for human consumption! But when it comes to lowering the number of bugs that are hanging out in your yard this summer, these plants can make a difference. Citronella has long been used in lotions, candles, and sprays to deter the presence of mosquitoes, flies, and other annoying flying insects. But you don’t have to douse yourself with this highly perfumed scent to create a barrier against bugs, as planting the citronella plant throughout your garden can also help. And if the grassy plant of citronella isn’t achieving the desired result, consider adding some lavender plants and having plenty herbs, such as basil and mint, scattered around your deck for further deterrence. Mother Nature has supplied plenty of vegetation to win the war against unwanted swatting and buzzing, and the mix of colour and fragrances can add to a garden’s charm.
Fire-Pits and BBQ’s
It may seem as though we’re creating a shopping list for a lavish dinner, but along with the basil, mint and elderberry, you may want to pick up some sage and rosemary to keep mosquitoes away while you relax in the evening. Mosquitoes detest the smell of these two herbs, so burning a little on a fire or BBQ might be all that’s needed to help you forget about this bug. Flames from a fire-pit obviously act as another deterrent, but are only effective in the immediate area. Adding a little sage and rosemary means the surrounding area has less bugs, giving you a chance to get back to your house, RV, or tent without being bitten. Of course, safety around a fire-pit is of utmost importance, so never use aerosol cans of bug spray close to a fire.
A spice that most households have on hand is cinnamon. Tucked away in a drawer or cupboard is a friendly defense against ants. Yes – you may love cinnamon, but neighbourhood ants hate the stuff, and a little sprinkling has been shown to stop household ants in their tracks. If you really want to put this fragrant spice to optimum use, then reach for some cinnamon oil and watch those critters run!
Curious to know what other natural options you may have on hand to make your home and yard a bug-free zone? Follow our blog in the coming weeks to get more tips and information on Natural Hacks for a Bug-Free Summer.