It has happened to all of us, you are sitting around a campfire, or at the picnic table, enjoying a nice conversation with friends when you realize you have been itching your ankle for the past ten minutes. This realization forces you to accept the fact that you are being eaten alive by bugs in your backyard, and for the sake of your skin it might be best to move the party inside. I challenge that. Don’t let bugs run you out of your own backyard—fight back! You can enjoy the summer evenings without your legs acquiring polka dots or spraying chemicals on yourself. There are plenty of ways to naturally keep bugs away.
- Partner with the wildlife:
We may not enjoy pesky mosquitoes, but birds and bats sure do! Partner up with the local residents of your backyard, and help them enjoy a nice meal. Set up a bat house and birdhouse, both of which you can make yourself. Not only will wild birds help keep the bugs at bay, they also give you another green hobby to add to your list: bird watching.
If you have any open water around your house, such as a bird bath or a pond, it is important to monitor that area. Open water can be a breeding ground for mosquitoes, so if you have water sitting on a tarp shake it off and change your bird bath water every five days. With a pond, you could add a filter with a fountain so the water is in constant motion, which mosquitoes can’t stand! Another alternative would be introducing goldfish or Koi fish to your pond, because they will eat any mosquito larvae in your pond.
- Dress the part:
I understand that it is summer, and the tank tops and shorts have been calling to you for months now, but they are calling to the mosquitoes too. Exposed skin is a mosquito’s buffet, so try covering up a bit. Wear long sleeve shirts, pants and other types of loose-fitting and light colored clothing.
Even if you don’t believe in aromatherapy, bugs do. And there are plenty of plants and herbs that you might already have around the house that will keep the pests away. Some of them include: citronella, lavender, lemon eucalyptus, peppermint, basil, geraniums, marigolds, catnip, rosemary and neem. Keeping a few of these plants around you, or rubbing the leaves on your skin, makes you less appetizing to mosquitoes.
- Spending a little green:
If you are willing to spend the money, there are a couple of green products that you can buy to help ward off your backyard pests. Switching to yellow light bulbs in your garage or porch is a great way to light up the party without inviting the bugs. Insects have trouble seeing this color, so they aren’t attracted to yellow light like they are to normal white bulbs.
There are also certain lotions that contain organic ingredients and some of the plants and herbs previously mentioned. My favorite is from Pampered by Nature Soaps, a goat milk lotion produced in Alden, NY. The lotion Camper’s Haven uses citronella, eucalyptus and tea tree to keep bugs away, all while making your skin feel nice and smooth.
How do you keep bugs away during your outside events? Tell us in our comment section below.