Outdoor Pest Control Hacks that Really Work
By: Rita Stadler
Are you looking for ways to better coexist with nature but keep hitting roadblocks? Itchy bug bites can really ruin the vibe when we’re outdoors, but smelly repellents and noisy bug zappers don’t exactly bring about peace of mind. We’ve got tried and true outdoor pest control hacks that will make it easy for you to enjoy your time outdoors – worry-free!
Summer has been a blast with backyard BBQs, beach days, campfires, and road trips, but fall is right around the corner. Labor Day weekend offers the perfect opportunity to celebrate this transition while celebrating all the hard workers who have contributed so much to our nation’s strength, freedom, and leadership.
Sometimes when we gather together, bugs and other nuisance creatures gather too. For people like you and me, the thought of a picnic probably conjures images of fun in the sun, relaxing in the grass, tasty snacks, and refreshing drinks – sweet tea anyone? But flies, ants, mosquitoes, and other little pests will be showing up empty-handed and uninvited, looking for a free meal. Fortunately, a little prevention goes a long way.
When you’re planning a day outdoors, there are a few things you can do to reduce bothersome bugs. EarthKind Founder & CEO, Kari Warberg Block, shared the tips she was using during a live video chat before the 4th of July – you can watch the video, or find out what she had to say below.
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Outdoor Pest Control Tips
First, start with lawn care. Aside from the refreshing scent of newly cut grass, a well-trimmed lawn will help limit the number of biting insects like ticks and mosquitoes in the area. If you have a birdbath or any water features, make sure the water is fresh – mosquitoes can breed in standing water in less than a week! Inspect any planters you may have to see that they are draining properly, and if you have any kids toys or other items around the yard, make sure no rainwater has pooled in them.
Since we mentioned ticks, remember to make sure your pets are protected from ticks. Talk to your vet about preventative tick treatments for pets, and make sure your furry family members are well-groomed. Inspect your dog for ticks every time after being outside (this job’s much easier when their fur is clean and trimmed!). You’ll be protecting yourself by making sure your four-legged friends are tick-free too!
Look around the area to make sure there are no fire-ant mounds, concentrations of cobwebs or spiderwebs, or hornet and wasp nests. Wash webs away with a water hose. Try spraying areas where the webs were with a mix of water and herbal-scented castile soap – the scent will deter spiders from returning, and soap will make it harder for their webs to stick. You can make a decoy wasp nest by hanging a brown paper lunch bag in a nearby tree – wasps may avoid the area if they’re afraid of stepping on someone else’s turf.
Plan a Pest-Free Party
Before you pack your bags or fire up the grill for the holiday weekend, check out these easy DIY tips to make sure unwanted rodents and insects don’t crash the party:
- DIY Pest Hack#1: Slice a lime in half and stick a few cloves in each piece; place around your outdoor space to keep the bugs away.
- DIY Pest Hack #2: Place fruit, fruit juice, or soda in containers a little distance away from your outdoor gathering – it will lure the pests away from your space without causing any harm.
- DIY Pest Hack #3: When having a bonfire, place dried herbs in a paper bag and toss on the fire — the smell will be AH-MAZING and the bugs will stay away from the scented smoke.
- DIY Pest Hack #4: Sprinkle the perimeter with cayenne pepper, it will keep crawling pests away. Remember to reapply if it rains or after running the sprinklers.
Pro-tip: Keep a pouch of Fresh Cab® under your grill cover. Rodents and other pests love to clean up any crumbs you leave behind, but they’ll avoid the balsam fir scent of Fresh Cab Rodent Repellent.
Choose Décor that does Double Duty
While colorful, sweet-smelling floral decorations are a lovely way to bring natural beauty to your décor, they may also attract insects like ants and bees. Fresh cut herbs can look shabby chic when displayed in assorted repurposed jars, or you can tie them in bundles with twine to use as placeholders or hang around the area for a rustic look. You could use mini planters filled with herbs as table centerpieces and let guests bring them home as gifts. Many herbs like basil, mint, rosemary, and thyme naturally repel pests, so adding them to your outdoor décor will look great and help prevent pests. You can even use the herbs as a garnish or add them to your drinks!
Flying insects have a hard time sticking their landing when the wind is blowing, so if there’s no breeze, get out the fans.
Garbage bins are easy to overlook, but rodents, insects, and all kinds of pests will be attracted to any waste left behind. Set trash cans a short distance away from where you’ll be, and make sure to use one with a tight-fitting lid.
Create an Invisible Barrier
For added protection and peace of mind, turn to Stay Away® pest repellents. Stay Away has thousands of positive reviews because it really makes rodents and insects stay away.
Stay Away Mosquitoes unscented skin-friendly spray makes you invisible to flies, ticks, chiggers, gnats, and mosquitoes. It provides long-lasting protection, is water-resistant, and can be used on the whole family, including children and pregnant women.
Although Stay Away pouches are designed for indoor use, they can definitely help keep ants away from an outdoor buffet or picnic. Place the pouch someplace where it will remain dry and remember that increased airflow and extreme temperatures will cause the scent to wear off more quickly. So, while they might not be a long-term solution outside, Stay Away pouches can still be helpful for outdoor gatherings. Keeping an extra pouch by the door is also a good idea if guests will be going in and out frequently.