The worst thing about the yard around your home isn’t the imperfect gardening. It isn’t the lackluster entertaining space. It isn’t the rain or the weeds or the patchy lawn or any of that.
The worst thing in any person’s lawn, regardless of what it looks like or where it is, is the bugs.
Unfortunately, it’s impossible to rid the world of bugs entirely — and it would be inadvisable considering the environmental impact, even if it were possible. However, it is possible to keep the worst insect pests out of your yard. Here’s how.
“Pesticide” has become a dirty word — and in many respects, that’s a good thing. In the past, pesticides were exceedingly toxic and sprayed haphazardly. The overuse of pesticides in agriculture has created dozens upon dozens of environmental problems, from the elimination of a critical link in the food chain to the weakening of health in other species like birds and mammals to the breeding of pesticide-resistant insects that continue to plague crops. Today, thanks to the backlash surrounding pesticide use, chemical companies and farmers are searching for other ways to control pests that doesn’t have such a drastic impact on the environment.
However, the pesticides sprayed around your yard aren’t nearly as harsh as those used in agriculture, and they are used in much more sparing quantities. In fact, if you are interested in controlling only a certain type of bug, experts will typically only spray in the areas preferred by that bug. For instance, a mosquito service will control populations by spraying in dark, dry areas around your yard as well as around areas where water can pool.
The specialized knowledge of where insects live and breed is why you should always hire insect control experts to administer pesticide instead of doing it yourself. Experts know what type of pesticide to use and how to apply it safely, to keep your yard bug-free and your family safe.
Bugs don’t live out in the open; since they are small and vulnerable to predators like lizards, birds and even cats, they tend to hide out in places with plenty of coverage as well as plenty of food and water. When a yard isn’t particularly well-tended, there is an inordinate number of places for bugs to hide, which means they will breed rampantly and plague your exterior spaces.
To reduce insect populations, you should be diligent about keeping your yard clean and tidy. This means picking up toys, tools and other possessions and putting them away, but it means raking up twig and leaf litter regularly, pulling out weeds and cutting back trees and shrubs. Fortunately, these activities will not only control bugs; they’ll also increase the look and value of your property.
Bugs don’t fly well in any sort of air current because their lightweight bodies are too easily pushed around. Thus, wherever there is wind or even a slight breeze, insects tend to stay away. By installing and running fans around your outdoor entertaining spaces, you can discourage bugs from flying in and bothering you and your guests.
Use Different Light Bulbs
In truth, scientists aren’t sure why so many bugs seem so addicted to electrical lights. A popular theory is that bugs navigate using the sun or moon, which are light sources far away from them; at night, bright light sources become much closer and at odd angles, so their navigation methods get confused, and they flutter chaotically as close to lights as they can get.
Studies have shown that only certain types of bulbs attract bugs’ attention. Thus, to decrease the swarms of moths, flies and other insects around your exterior lights, you should swap whatever you currently have in your fixtures with warm LED bulbs. Again, science can’t say exactly why this trick works — perhaps something to do with the lack of blue light emitted — but by doing it, you can reduce your energy bill and largely eliminate bugs in one fell swoop.
Plant Insect-repelling Herbs and Flowers
Most insects love fresh air — but if that air has any type of odor in it, they’ll stay away. That’s why one of the best ways to repel insects from your yard is to plant fragrant herbs and flowers. Fortunately, people tend to love a sweet-smelling garden. Here are the best additions to your yard to increase your enjoyment and decrease bugs’:
- Lemon thyme
You don’t want to wish for a world in which insects don’t exist, but you can work toward a yard that doesn’t attract swarms of annoying bugs. With the above tips, you can reduce the insect hordes around your home and take more enjoyment from your exterior spaces.