ground view of a green lawn with home in background

6 Ways to Make Your Yard & Home a Bug-Free Zone

In Homeowners by Doug Phelps

As a homeowner, do you desire a lush spot for outdoor relaxing and entertaining? Of course you do! Colorado Summer evenings are perfect when spent outside looking at the beautiful surrounding views and enjoying cooler temperatures after the sun goes down.  However, a constant swarm of insects that invade your patio and home are probably not on the guest list for your backyard party. Be the home on the block that bugs run from. Below are some tips to keep bugs away from your patio and yard, and from getting inside your house:

#1 Install Patio Fans

Did you know you can keep mosquitos away without chemicals or sprays?  Mosquitos may have a tough sting, but they’re wimps when it comes to standing up to a breeze. Patio fans can give you a dual benefit by giving you a cool breeze and keeping the mosquitos away.  Rather you install fans or manually place them around your outdoor area, patio fans can be your first line of defense against summer bugs.

#2 Don’t Mulch Too Much (or Too Little)

While mulching is generally a good thing for curb appeal, overdoing it can cause problems.

The National Pest Management Association reports that mulch gives cockroaches and ants the ideal environment to nest and could eventually even find their way into your home. As mulch decomposes, it generates heat while providing cover for brooding pests. It can even help mice tunnel into your home.  So keep mulch at least 12 inches away from the foundation — or use inorganic mulch, such as rock or gravel.  But don’t go in the opposite direction and forgo mulching altogether, leaving the ground essentially bare. Yellow jackets make their nests by tunneling into bare dirt.

#3 Get Rid of Standing Water

You probably know this one already and you probably already make sure that rain drains properly. But did you know your gutters and downspouts make a perfect spot for mosquitos to breed and lay eggs? Be sure to clean out gutters and downspouts regularly to prevent clogs that can trap water and give bugs an ideal place to breed.  Also make sure to keep kiddie pools, buckets, and watering cans empty when not in use.  Even your beloved birdbath can be an issue so consider getting a bird bath with running water and not standing water.

#4 Keep Your Yard Trimmed, Mowed, and Tidy

Pull out that lawnmower regularly, and keep your garden shears sharpened.  For example, ticks love to hide in tall grass and can cause a problem.  Plus having a tidy yard makes for good curb appeal.

#5 Add Landscaping Plants That Bugs Hate

In general, bugs hate strong scents of mint or citrus. Mix plants with those scents into your landscaping, especially near the porch, patio, or deck for added beauty and functionality.

Here are some pest-repelling plants and the bugs that hate them:

  • Basil: flies, mosquitoes
  • Catnip: mosquitoes, ticks, flies, cockroaches
  • Chrysanthemums: roaches, ants, ticks, fleas, bedbugs
  • Lavender: moths, fleas, flies, mosquitoes
  • Citronella: mosquitoes
  • Geranium, lemon scented: mosquitoes
  • Lemon thyme: mosquitoes
  • Marigold: mosquitoes
  • Rosemary: mosquitoes
#6 Paint Your Home Lighter Colors

Studies show that bugs see dark and bright colors more easily, which is why people are often advised to wear light-colored clothing to repel them. The same principle may work for your home.  If you are planning on painting your home soon, choose lighter shades of paint color for your home’s siding, doors, trim, and other features such as fencing, patio, and decking to make it less attractive to mosquitoes.  Just be sure the paint job fits into the neighborhood and enhances your home’s beauty. Bugs are a pain, but hurting your home’s value is more painful.

Do you have any tips you’d like to share about keeping bugs out of your yard? Are you in the market to buy or sell your home?  Call and text me at (720) 323-4176 or email me at [email protected]