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Warmer weather and longer days mean spending more time outdoors for many of us in the Fox Cities. However, playing outside with the kids, grilling up some brats, a camping adventure, or lounging by the pool can go from fun to annoying in a matter of minutes thanks to unwelcome bugs and insects. With that in mind, we’ve put together a few tips to help you keep ants, mosquitoes, spiders, and other common backyard pests away so you can make the most of your backyard and deck/patio area this summer.

1. Clean up food.

Food that’s left out after your backyard grill out or picnic can attract yellow jackets, ants, flies, rodents, and other types of pests. Be sure you clean up thoroughly when you’re done, including wiping down picnic tables, patio furniture, and lawn chairs and disposing of any trash/food that may have fallen on the ground.

2. Minimize standing water.

Stagnant standing water can attract mosquitos, cockroaches, and other nasty pests to your backyard and patio area. Clean your birdbaths, fountains, buckets, kiddie pools, and pet water dishes and store them away when not in use. You may also want to check your gutters to see if they seem to be holding water.

3. Use common household objects.

There are a lot of things you might have around your house that can work to deter bugs, such as: 

  • Laundry detergent. Mix with water and spray around your patio.
  • Dryer sheets. Try pinning these to your clothes, placing them under cushions or table cloths.
  • Potpourri with cloves and sage. Set a dish or bag full on your patio table. 
  • Mint tea bags. Tuck them under your deck or along cracks where ants tend to hide. 
  • Mouthwash. Spray around your deck and patio furniture or put a bowl on your table.

4. Spray essential oils.

A lot of bugs don’t like essential oils, so spraying them around your deck, patio, or running an oil diffuser can be effective. Try cinnamon, peppermint, tea tree, eucalyptus, lavender, and lemongrass essential oils.

5. Light citronella torches/candles.

Citronella is an old stand by. Consider lighting some citronella candles or tiki torches around your patio area to deter flies and mosquitoes.

6. Grow herbs and other pest-deterrent flowers.

Not only do they look great, but planting marigolds around your patio can help keep mosquitoes, bees, and other pests away. Bugs also don’t like a lot of herbs like mint, garlic, and rosemary.! 

7. Use a fan.

If you have outdoor plug-ins or battery-operated fans, bring them outside with you. You’ll get a nice cooling breeze on a warm day and the air from the fan will help keep pests that aren’t strong fliers, like mosquitoes, at bay.   

8. Install bird feeders and bat houses.

Birds and bats are natural predators of many different kinds of pests. Attracting them to your yard can be a natural way to keep mosquitoes, lake flies, spiders, and other bugs under control..

9. Bug repellant.

Of course, there’s a variety of bug repellents available for people to wear when spending time outdoors. Just be careful using these sprays around food, pets, and young children.

10. Work with a pest control specialist.

As we all know, spiders and other pests can get pretty bad around the Fox Cities. Oftentimes more natural and at-home methods just don’t cut it. If you can’t seem to keep the bugs and pests at bay in your yard — or worse, they’re finding their way into your home — consider calling a pest control specialist. They can offer practice advice and recommendations or handle the pest issue for you. 

If you’re dealing with pests in your Fox Cities home or backyard, K&C Pest Control is here to help. Contact us at 920-582-9000.