How To Keep Bugs Away From Your Patio
Written by Neighbor Editorial Team | @neighboroutdoor | Opens in a new window. |
Here's how to keep your patio pest-free all year long
In warm summer months, you may find ants, flies, mosquitoes or wasps sharing your outdoor space with you. These common bugs can be bothersome when they hang around your outdoor living space, in patio areas, balconies and dining areas. While some bugs are harmless and may go unnoticed, other bugs (like mosquitoes) aren’t as easy to coexist with. Everyone deserves a space where they can relax and decompress after a long day, without unwanted guests flying around. From essential oils to candles and mosquito nets, there are a range of solutions you can try out to deter bugs from your patio dining table, outdoor sectional or poolside Sun Lounger. Check out these tips to help keep bugs away from patio furniture, including natural repellents and easy-to-install solutions.
Tips for keeping bugs away from patio furniture
Use essential oils
Essential oils are high on the list of 'how to get rid of bugs naturally'. Using diluted essential oils around your outdoor living area is an effective, people-safe and pet-safe solution. Certain essential oils serve as natural insecticides without harsh chemical additives. Spraying a peppermint oil solution around your outdoor patio space is one of the best ways to repel ants, spiders, caterpillars, ticks, beetles and flies. Rosemary oil is another essential oil solution known to repel flies, mosquitoes and ants, as well as spider mites and aphids infesting garden plants. Citronella oil is also highly-regarded as an effective mosquito repellant.
Both rosemary oil and citronella oil are common ingredients found in commercial bug sprays and bug repellants.You can purchase a pre-made commercial bug spray with your choice of essential oil, or you can create your own solution. To create a homemade essential oil bug spray, grab a spray bottle and mix a simple solution of water and essential oil. Fill the spray bottle with water and add about 30 drops of citronella oil or rosemary oil. Spray the perimeter of your outdoor space and lightly spritz your furniture pieces with the diluted solution. Essential oils can keep pests at bay while bringing a nice aroma to your outdoor sanctuary.
Eliminate standing water
Standing water, or stagnant water, provides the perfect breeding grounds for pesky mosquitoes and flies. To prevent bugs from infesting your outdoor space, remove any standing water sources around the area that could be attracting bugs. Bugs love kiddie pools, gutters with sitting debris, overwatered flower pots, buckets, rain barrels, puddles and muddy areas around patios. Minimizing these areas where bugs populate and reproduce is an easy way to reduce the amount of bugs in your outdoor living space.
Add a patio fan
Outdoor ceiling fans can keep your outdoor space cool during warmer weather and keep flying bugs away from your patio. The air flow from a fan makes it challenging for bugs to fly in your patio area, which discourages them from landing on and around your patio furniture. When you’re relaxing in your outdoor area on sunny days, you can turn your ceiling fan on at a higher speed to prevent mosquitoes, flies and other flying insects from bothering you.
Spray hydrogen peroxide
Spraying hydrogen peroxide around your outdoor space is a great way to repel bugs without harsh chemicals and without spending more than a few dollars. Hydrogen peroxide is even approved by and registered with the U.S. EPA (United States Environmental Protection Agency) as an effective pest control solution. To create a hydrogen peroxide solution, simply fill a spray bottle ⅓ of the way with hydrogen peroxide (3%) and fill the rest with water.
Shake the solution and spray the perimeter of your patio as well as your outdoor furniture. Test a small section of our outdoor furniture material first and spray lightly. If you have Neighbor’s durable outdoor furniture with Sunbrella cushions, you don’t have to worry about discoloration or damage to your cushion covers. Sunbrella material is equipped to handle stronger cleaners, like diluted bleach solutions, without fading or degrading.
Try candles and mood lighting
Citronella candles are commonly used on patios, porches and balconies to repel bugs with the added benefit of creating a soft, romantic atmosphere. You can set citronella candles on your outdoor dining table and light them while you’re enjoying your space. Citronella oil works best when melted or burned, making it more effective in candle form than citronella grass form. Citronella candles are particularly effective when lighting multiple candles at once and allowing the aroma to saturate the air. Adding tiki torches or other outdoor lighting to your space is another easy solution that helps keep mosquitoes away. Citronella oil can be used as tiki torch fuel to ward off flying bugs in visual range and to help mask body scent and body heat that attracts mosquitoes.
It’s important to keep open flames in visual range so your outdoor space doesn’t catch fire. Certain light bulbs, specifically yellow light bulbs, can also reduce the number of bugs near your porch or patio. You can replace LED porch lights or blue porch lights with yellow light bulbs to discourage swarming near your living space.
Add natural bug repellant plants
Some plants, like lavender, marigold, citronella grass, rosemary, and basil, naturally repel bugs. Lavender is particularly popular as a natural, people-and-pet-safe pest control plant. The aroma of lavender is too strong for small insects and discourages them from flying near the area. Hanging dried lavender around your outdoor space is a simple solution for keeping bugs away, while adding a soft, floral aroma and a natural element that brings warmth to your outdoor patio design.You can also purchase or grow a type of tall grass, like lemongrass, which contains citronella oil, to enhance your outdoor patio arrangement and repel mosquitoes, flies and ticks naturally.
Install a mosquito net
Mosquito nets can be installed around the perimeter of your outdoor living space to block bugs from being able to enter your patio. Patio nets come in a variety of sizes and can be attached to gazebos, built around outdoor dining spaces, or draped over your outdoor living area to keep your family and friends protected from mosquito bites and other annoying pests. Available as a permanently installed solution or more of a temporary/portable solution for warmer months, mosquito nets provide a physical barrier guaranteed to keep flying insects out while you enjoy your relaxation space. If you live in an area with warm summer months that bring pesky mosquitoes to your yard, a mosquito net is an outdoor dining must-have.
Whether you’re inviting friends and family over to throw the perfect outdoor party and don’t want bugs bothering your guests, or you’re simply tired of bugs frequenting your relaxation zone, there are a number of solutions you can try out to help keep the bug population down. The best bug repelling solution for your outdoor patio will depend on the type of outdoor space you have, the type of bugs you have in your area, and the potential causes behind those pesky visitors.
Bug zappers are also commonly used to kill patio bugs, but these devices are known to be ineffective against mosquitoes while effective at killing beneficial insects, which can create an imbalance in the environment. For this reason, it may be best to opt for eco-friendlier solutions. Lighting citronella candles is one of the first solutions people tend to try in outdoor patios or balconies, but if those don’t do the trick, a mosquito net or patio fan may prove best for your space.
Shop Neighbor’s collection
Neighbor’s outdoor furniture is built to endure the seasons, changes in weather, and some of the stronger bug repellent solutions like hydrogen peroxide and diluted essential oil sprays. We use Sunbrella fabric for all of our outdoor chairs, seats, sofas, sectionals and loungers, because it’s fade-proof, water-resistant and stain-resistant. Our life-proof outdoor cushions can be easily cleaned and maintained with a simple soap and water solution, but they can also withstand stronger cleaning solutions like bleach.
With Sunbrella fabric and Neighbor’s lasting outdoor furniture materials like teak wood, you don’t have to worry about bugs leaving irreversible stains on your cushions or pests damaging your rot-resistant real teak wood furniture. Neighbor furniture brings your living room outdoors, with all weather and elements welcome. Shop our outdoor collection to create your personal haven outdoors.