Summertime in Wisconsin is a beautiful thing. Imagine sitting on your back patio or deck surrounded by loved ones, watching the sunset. Ah a beautiful moment. But wait, what’s that noise? The buzzing of mosquitos. The swarm of hornets around the fruit punch. Bugs have a way of ruining the serenity of a Wisconsin summer. Below are some things you can do to make your outdoor space bug free this year!
Mosquitos: The biggest tip for warding off mosquitos is to beware of standing water whether it be a swimming pool, bird bath or dog dish. Mosquitos lay eggs on the surface of standing water. Make it a habit of dumping out buckets, dishes, small swimming pools when they are not in use. Assess the yard for any puddles and when possible drain or fill those soggy areas. Consider planting a pot of mosquito deterrents such as lavender, marigold, lemongrass, catnip, rosemary and basil. 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.
Bees/hornets/wasps: Take note of where you plant flowers as flowers are bound to attract these bugs. Keep landscaping around your home, pool, patio, etc. trimmed-plants that are regularly maintained are less likely to become a nest for wasps or hornets. Cut down rotted trees as these are a perfect place for hives and nests. Avoid bright colors and strong perfumes while outdoors as these can attract pollinators. Make sure you keep any garbage’s securely covered wasps, hornets and bees are attracted to garbage. If you do find yourself with a nest, search for it and either carefully take care of it yourself, or if in doubt call a professional.
Spiders: Spiders tend to set up a home in cluttered spaces and underneath things. Keep your outdoor spaces clear of clutter. Spiders may make a home underneath outdoor furniture, so be sure to check under the furniture frequently. Make a homemade, natural spider spray that you can use both indoors and out. Use 1 cup apple cider vinegar, one teaspoon oil, 1 cup pepper and 1 teaspoon of liquid dish soap in a spray bottle and spray down outdoor furniture, windowsills, doors, etc. to keep spiders away. Make sure to reapply after rain! You could also use some cedar wood oil or cedar wood mulch, as spiders tend to dislike cedar. Also, anything citrus will deter spiders as they dislike the smell-lemons, oranges, or grapefruit. Either use leftover peels or get some essential oils in these fragrances and place around your patio or home.
May your summer be relaxing and bug free!