When you are hosting at a party at your house during the summertime, there are always things which could go wrong.
Certain events could be disastrous, like running out of food or drinks. Other possibilities could make the night uncomfortable, like not having enough chairs for people to sit or the very scattered rain shower.
Sometimes, things can just be annoying, like having some uninvited bugs and insects come and invade your party.
Whether you are having guests over, or you just enjoy sitting outside of your house and enjoy the cool breeze of a summer’s night, one thing which can always put a damper on the mood is dealing with bugs.
No one wants to be sprayed with bug spray on a constant basis, and you don’t want to be the house where it’s a requirement to be doused in insect repellent in order to participate.
So, how do you create an environment which is free of bugs during the night in a non-evasive manner?
Within this guide, I am going to cover three different concepts which can help keep both the outside and inside of your house bug free.
Check Your Environment for Attractants
When dealing with bugs, one of the first questions you have to ask is why are they attracted to your house or yard in the first place? If you can eliminate anything they may be attracted to, then there is less of a chance of them coming to your place at all.
One of the environments that bugs love the most is standing water. Now, you might not live near a river, or even have a culvert nearby, but if either of these are the case, then you may need to check out of a couple of the items listed below to help keep them at bay.
If you do not have a clear source of standing water nearby, then you need to make sure there are no dips or valleys in your yard where water can accumulate.
Even if it is a small puddle, insects will be attracted to it. A small puddle will eventually form into a bigger puddle over time, so if you see a small puddle, you need to fill it in.
A common place for standing water you might not think of is within a structure which has a removable lid. This could be an outdoor storage box or closet, or even your water hose storage unit.
If it rains, or you water your grass, and water hits these storage areas, then water can creep in. Due to them being mostly enclosed, there is less chance for the water to escape into the atmosphere which means there is a greater likelihood for it to store standing water.
Clean the water out, and you will have less bugs hanging around.
Another structure which could have standing water is a water fountain or a pool you may have in your yard. Although fountains and pools are nice and can look exquisite, if you do not properly maintain them, they will be a beacon for insects.
If you plan on being outside or hosting a party, then you need to ensure that these structures are full of running water. You shouldn’t wait until it is time to be outside; you should run them at least 24 full hours before you plan on being near that area.
This way, there is plenty of time for the water to move and not be standing still.
Lastly, you should take into account your own body. Insects are attracted to the carbon monoxide our bodies let out, especially to sweat.
If you are outside and it is warm or muggy, and you start sweating, then you will attract insects naturally to yourself. You might think that the more clothes you wear, the safer you are, but if those clothes are making you sweat, though, the exact opposite is true.
Use Nature’s Own Defense System
Since insects live in nature, it would seem they would be comfortable anywhere in nature; however, this is not true. There are plenty of defenses which nature itself has concocted which can deter bugs from coming near your yard.
One of the best ways is planting certain types of flowers. Depending on the species of insects you have in and around your yard, there are many flowers to choose from.
For example, if you are dealing with ants, then you can plant Chrysanthemums or you can plant an herb garden and grow plants like mint and basil.
If you are attempting to stay away from mosquitos (always a pesky insect both during the day and night), then you can plant Marigolds or Lavender.
Maybe the bug which gives you the most trouble is a beetle. If this is the case, then you will want to look into Petunias. The same herb garden you might use for ants is also good for beetles, as you can plant chives or even garlic.
Remember, even if you have an herb garden, you don’t have to use the herbs for any cooking; you can just have the garden to help repel bugs.
If you do build a garden and use any of the flowers which can help deter bugs from coming into your yard or house, make sure that they are in the right proximity to the house.
Too far away from the house, and bugs will still be able to get around these safeguards and it will be ineffective. Too close to the house, it’ll be the same issue; you still want to have an aesthetically appealing yard, and having plants and flowerbeds against the house may not be the best look.
Remember, you want to make it difficult for insects to get what they need. If they are having trouble getting into your yard, they will move on and find somewhere else to go.
Set Up Your Own Defense System
You might not be feeling the whole idea of planting flowers or setting up and herb garden, as there is some time involved in the upkeep of this kind of defense system against insects. If that is the case, there are some other ideas you can capitalize on which are more time-sensitive and less laborious.
One common method is the use of a citronella candle system. Perhaps you have hosted a party, or attended one, and you can remember how these smelled, as they have a distinct smell.
Although there is a little bit of success found within this kind of product, there is more research being done showing that burning a regular candle or oil is just as effective as a citronella based product.
So, whether you so use a citronella based product, or just a normal candle or oil lantern, the thing you have to be aware of is making sure those do not run out. You always have to make sure you enough stored inventory, so if they do go out, you have a replacement ready to go.
Another insect repelling possibility is putting down some mulch in and around your outside area. You have to be careful of this, as some mulches actually attract bugs, so you need to make sure you purchase the correct kind of mulch.
You do not want to put down Cypress or Hardwood mulch if you want to repel insects; rather you should go with Cedar. Cedar mulch has a natural scent which keeps insects away from the targeted area. Plus, once you lay mulch down, you do not have to do much with it for the rest of the year.
Cedar can form a great tag team with any flowers from the previous section you put out, as they will both work on ensuring insects stay away from your area.
However, if you do not plant any flowers, or don’t have any trees around the area you want to stay bug free, then this idea may not work out for you.
No one wants random piles of mulch in their yard, so you should only go this route if it makes sense within your yard.
Lastly, one other idea is to blast the area with lights. Typically, insects are attracted to lights, as it is a source of heat. You’ve more than likely seen or owned a bug zapper, and although those do work, they only work in a small area.
You can set up lights in and around your entire area, as long as they are lights which are proven to keep insects away. They will typically be a yellow-ish hue; stay away from almost any other color of light, as they will attract insects.
Setting up a light perimeter can be effective, you just have to make sure you are okay with having a big yellow ball of light on at night just to enjoy the atmosphere.
Perhaps you have read through this guide, and you have decided that any or all of this seems like too much work and you will in fact be the house where everyone has to put on bug spray in order to enjoy themselves on a given night. Hopefully though, this is not the case.
As you can see, there is a large assortment of possibilities to help you, your family or your guests to have a good time outside, at night, away from the pesky insects.
You just need to evaluate the area you want to be in, diagnose if there are any issues, and then form a plan.
Remember, insects want to find the easiest way to get what they need. If you make it tough on them, they will move on. When this happens, then you can make sure you are having a great time each and every night during the summer.
If you want more backyard tips including recipes, how-tos and more, make sure you subscribe to my youtube channel