Yards are something most Wisconsin homeowners take pride in. From sledding hills to bonfires, year round we work to keep them not only looking nice but functional as well. Though we work hard in these yards, one of the biggest issues can be bugs. This week let’s talk about tips for keeping your backyard oasis bug free!
Pest #1: Ticks. Ticks thrive in moist, shaded areas so keeping your yard hangouts in dry, sunny areas can help reduce tick exposure. One funny thing about ticks is they don’t like to cross paths of gravel or wood chips. Placing a gravel or woodchips barrier between wooded and non-wooded areas of your yard can help keep ticks away. Keeping your lawn mowed and trimmed will also help as ticks tend to thrive in long grasses/brush. Consider planting some American beauty-berry bushes as they are said to be a tick repellant. If you are desperate you could employ a tick eater such as chickens to defend your yard!
Pest #2: Mosquitos. Mosquitos thrive off of standing water so the biggest tip here is to eliminate as much standing water in your yard as you can. Do this by dumping out buckets, dishes and small swimming pools when they are not in use. You can plant mosquito repellant plants such as lavender, marigold, lemongrass, catnip, rosemary and basil.
Pest #3: Bees, hornets and wasps. These stinging/biting insects are attracted to flowers, so take note in the placement of your landscaping. Rotting trees are also a favorite for these pests. Keeping your yard and landscaping trimmed and maintained will help reduce the likelihood of a nest being built. These bugs are also attracted to bright colors, strong perfumes and garbage.
Pest #4: Spiders. Spiders thrive in cluttered spaces and underneath things. Keeping your yard free of clutter can help reduce spiders nests. Cedar wood mulch or cedar wood oil are an option for repelling spiders. You can also use citrus smells such as lemon, orange or grapefruit as they tend to repel spiders.
Another idea for bug repellant is to get an outdoor fan to use around your sitting areas, as a blowing breeze helps keep the bugs away. There are plenty of sprays, candles, and lanterns out there for bug repelling. Use caution with these items as they often emit chemicals.
May your summer backyard oasis be relaxing and bug free!