Here in Australia, outdoor living is a way of life. In fact, many homeowners end up spending more time on their patio than inside their house. Along with this love of the outdoors, Australian's have to contend with their fair amount of outdoor pests – and by pests we mean insects. Nothing ruins a relaxing afternoon on the patio faster than being overtaken by bugs.
So, how can you continue with your love of the outdoors, making the absolute most of your patio in a bug-free manner? Is it even possible? With just a few simple tips and adjustments, you'll find that your patio can be a lot more comfortable and relatively bug-free, encouraging you to spend even more time outdoors.
Get Rid of Things that Attract Bugs
One easy step you can take is to remove anything that attracts bugs to your patio in the first place. Just by doing, this you'll make a very noticeable difference. So, what attracts bugs? Standing water is usually the biggest culprit, so this could include a small wading pool, fountain, or water feature.
If you insist on having some sort of standing water feature near your patio, make sure you are replacing that water on a daily basis. Standing water acts as a breeding ground for insects, so emptying the water means the eggs will be disposed of.
If you have food outside, make sure it is always covered with a nylon/mesh tent or a lid. It's also important to keep waste and recycling far from your patio and fully covered up so as not to draw in the insects.
Choose Your Plants and Greenery Wisely
While there is nothing wrong with planting a variety of shrubs, bushes, and flowers near and around your patio, did you know that you can pick varieties that help to repel insects? This gives you a chance to use nature to your advantage. Plants that are known to repel insects include Marigolds, Calendula, Catnip, Rosemary, and Citronella grass. To insects, these plants give off an unpleasant smell, which means they are less likely to come around.
Use a Hydrogen Peroxide Solution on Surfaces
You can also spray surfaces such as your table and chairs, along with the perimeter of the patio with a hydrogen peroxide solution. Fill a spray bottle with 1/3 hydrogen peroxide and 2/3 water and use this to treat surfaces. Again, this helps to repel insects.
Let Citronella Get to Work
As discussed, insects don't care for the smell of citronella, so burning it will provide you with even better results. You can find citronella candles to place on your patio, and even on the perimeter of the patio.
Use Herbs as Your Table's Centrepiece
If your patio design allows for some sunlight, then you can create your own table centrepiece that looks and smells lovely, yet chases away pests. Plant a mixture of lemongrass, rosemary, mint, chives, and garlic for the best results.
You Don't Have to Accept the Bugs
Just because you enjoy sitting outside on your patio, it doesn't mean you have to tolerate and accept the bugs. Instead, you can take these steps to help drastically cut down on the number of pests that you have to contend with.