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Natural Ways to Keep Bugs Away!

Natural Ways to Keep Bugs Away!

Are swarming mosquitoes threatening to ruin your cookout this weekend? Don’t fret. There are steps that you can take to avoid getting bitten by these bloodthirsty pests.

Step 1 — Ensure That Your Yard is Not a Breeding Ground for Mosquitoes. Mosquitoes require stagnant water to breed. Thus,

  • Make sure that there are no buckets or empty planters left where they could collect stagnant water.
  • Empty any standing water, and store empty containers upside down.
  • Check the gutter on the house for leaves or other debris blocking rainwater from flowing freely.
  • Change the water in the birdbath weekly.
  • If you have a pond or water garden, install a pump, waterfall or fountain to keep the water flowing.
  • Fill in any puddles or low spots in the lawn with soil or rock.
  • Check the area just beneath all downspouts to ensure there is no standing water.

Step 2 — Fighting Off Mosquitoes Naturally

  • Install a bat house near your outdoor living spaces. Bats dine on mosquitoes in the evening and are a beauty to behold in flight.
  • Erect bird feeders in your yard to attract wild birds, which feast on mosquitoes. Stock the water garden or pond with goldfish or other mosquito larvae eating fish.
  • Use yellow bug lights outside on the patio, porch, or deck.
  • Light citronella candles or mosquito coils when using outdoor seating areas. There are safe propane and butane operated mosquito traps and devices that can be used when entertaining outdoors.
  • Install ceiling fans on your covered porch or balcony and sit beneath them when outdoors at night to discourage mosquitoes from landing on you and your guests.
  • Use an oscillating fan in outdoor living spaces in the evenings.
  • Wear light colored clothing with thin, long sleeves, long pants, and socks when working in the garden just before dark.
  • Spray an herbal-based mosquito repellent on top of your clothing. Most herbal-based repellents contain plant-based oils such as citronella, cedar, eucalyptus, lemongrass, peppermint, basil, geranium and feverfew, which are mosquito deterrents. These are safe for use on children, who are highly susceptible to mosquito bites when running and playing outdoors at night.
  • Taking garlic or brewers yeast supplements is said to deter insect bites.

Numerous tips for ridding the garden and lawn of pests naturally are found in Deborah Tukua and Vicki West’s book, Pearls of Garden Wisdom.


1 How To: Get Rid of Bugs and Insects at Home | Patrick Lim's Blog { 07.10.14 at 10:54 am }

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4 How To: Get Rid of Bugs and Insects at Home | Janet Glowacki's Blog { 07.09.14 at 12:05 pm }

[…] For more eye-awakening facts, visit the Farmer’s Almanac […]

5 Bonnie Wetmore { 06.16.14 at 10:22 am }

Dap Vick vapor rub around ankles ,wrist arms neck ear it keep bug away.

6 Fionna { 06.03.14 at 4:42 pm }

Mosquitoes love eating my ankles and lower legs, I`ll try the dryer sheets

7 Michelle { 10.19.13 at 8:24 am }

Chigger bites – i know it sounds weird but it works. Put clear nail polish on the bite. It smothers the chigger and kills it and relieves the itching. I didn’t believe it until I tried it and it works every time.

8 don { 06.17.12 at 3:55 pm }

I did not see anything reported about chiggers. How to repel and relieve the itching. We have plenty here in the WNC mountains. Even the “old timers” don’t have a successful answer. HELP

9 Julie C { 06.01.12 at 9:57 am }

Use Cedarcide – all natural.

10 tif { 05.31.12 at 9:55 am }

I work outside a lot. Dryer sheets in my pocket do work. I also put citronella essential oil in my shampoo. It smells OK and I don’t find so many nats and such flying by my face. When i take the dogs, i put the dryer sheets on their collars.

11 Sandra { 05.24.12 at 10:45 am }

We have Citronella plants planted around the patio and close to the picnic table. They are pretty, bloom and have a delightful smell warding off mosquitos.

12 Rae { 05.24.12 at 9:04 am }

Purple martins (a type of large swallow) are WONDERFUL for insect control. They eat their weight daily. TO attract them, look up instruction for building a house (or buy one). Just make sure you follow the directions EXACTLY! They are picky about it. Also, make sure you run off any starlings or sparrows. They compete for the living space, although, we have a large number of martins despite the irritating sparrows that just won’t go away.

13 Jaime McLeod { 05.24.12 at 8:25 am }

Alice, Have you tried attracting bats to your property? If you can, install a few bat boxes around. If you do manage to attract a colony of bats, they will help keep down the blackfly population.

14 Linda { 05.23.12 at 11:14 pm }

My wonderful husband bought me some insect repellant clothing from Exofficio. The pants and shirts repel mosquitoes, ticks, ants, chiggers, and midges for up to 70 washings, and they are cool and comfortable. No more itchy bites for me as I work in my garden. I love them!

15 Alice Moorhouse { 05.23.12 at 2:28 pm }

HELP PLEASE, The blackflies are so thick here we are putting the place up for sale because I am so allergic and become sick and labour to breathe due to the blackfly bites which swell so badly that I have to increase my prednisone dosage and antihistamines . We have two creeks on the property and was told they breed in moving water. It also rains a lot here in the maritimes of Canada.. Last year I had to stay inside until the 2nd week of August when they finally left. I have tried most of the above recommendations but to no avail and they seem to come right through the screens and I bought some gauze type material to put up against the screens and that helps some. There is a spray made from chrysanthamums but unable to find it locally. Does anyone know if it works. I thought that might make sense as they do disappear when that flower comes into bloom.

16 Assa { 05.23.12 at 10:57 am }

Spray the area with lemon scented pinesol for flies, they hate the scent, the fly traps that you add water to also work extremely well.

17 MoonWillow { 05.23.12 at 10:31 am }

Can anyone plz help with black flies? They are taking over our open carport, waterbags with or without penny do not work, basil, eucalyptus you name it I have tried it. PLEASE can someone help a gardener about to be flown away by flies???

18 Mila { 05.23.12 at 10:18 am }

Essential oils like lavander oil or pine needle oil help stay away mosquitoes. You need just rub small amount into your open skin(not over use, because it’s very strong!). Pine needle oil helps reduce skin irritation after biting.

19 Kathy OConnor { 06.10.11 at 6:08 am }

We use smudge pots… we just pour the citrinella in the pots work really good on your patio…. just gotta be carefull around children.

20 Robin { 06.02.11 at 8:30 am }

We put a shiny new copper penny in a ziplock bag & hang several around our seating area to control black flies. Don’t know how it works, but it sure helps.

21 J. Ward { 05.28.11 at 3:09 pm }

Taking vitamin B1 (300 mg a day during mosquito season) keeps mosquitos and black flies from landing and biting you. Works for me for over twenty years.

22 jimmy { 05.27.11 at 10:35 pm }

For the black flies and skeeters I use skin so soft from AVON

23 C. Silveria { 05.26.11 at 11:26 am }

Best I’ve ever used for any insect stings, skeeters or bees, wasps, etc. is baking soda paste. Just slap some on and let it stay until it dries. No swelling or itching after that. My stepmother taught me that one firsthand!

24 kjacobitz { 05.26.11 at 9:21 am }

I’ve used the catnip for a long time, crush the leaves and rub on skin, works great here in Maine.

25 Starr { 05.25.11 at 10:46 pm }

If you use mud on a sting or bite it will not only cool it but will stop the pain/itch. I have used it many times on myself and on my kids and it works well. As for keeping them at bay, the listerine works well, put some in a spray bottle and spray the area. You will be good to go. Hope this helps.

26 Kathy { 05.25.11 at 5:51 pm }

If you get bitten by the mosquito’s, apply a small dap of colgate toothpaste on the bite, it helps so you don’t scratch!

27 TLM { 05.25.11 at 3:31 pm }

To help stop the itch of mosquito bites, crush yarrow leaves and apply. We have used this for years (smells good too.)

28 Diane Bruso { 05.25.11 at 2:53 pm }

CATNIP (planted &/or rubbed on) works too …. (Of course, ya better like cats because it’s an “attractant”! (great if you need to sight in your 22)! :-)

29 JLC { 05.25.11 at 2:04 pm }

the best deterent is using Jerry Baker’s tip. It works I used it at my backyard wedding!!! take a hose end sprayer fill 1/3 w/lemon ammonia, another 1/3 with lemon dish soap and fill with water. attach to your hose and spray the perimiter. Works for special events but too much and the bugs get used to it… Works like a charm it’s the lemon mosquitoes don’t like it!!!

30 dlmaddox1 { 05.25.11 at 1:59 pm }

I tried the dryer sheets in my pocket, but I got dizzy from tumbling over and over.

31 ron nunley { 05.25.11 at 1:08 pm }

Lemon Joy will kill mosquitos. Place 3 or4 drops in white saucers around deck area. The lemon & white saucer will attract them & soap kills them.

32 KLynn { 05.25.11 at 11:22 am }

We have a run off ditch along our back yard, bad for mosquitos, I use plants like parsley, garlic, marigolds, zenias, and mint around our deck. It does well enough, I like the bat idea, but we do feed the bird do they get along?

33 Katherine { 05.25.11 at 10:53 am }

This tips are great for mosquito bites and deterrents. What can help with black flies they are a real problem here in Nova Scotia. Please any ideas would be great.

34 Cheryl { 05.25.11 at 10:46 am }

I have also heard about the Listerine. As soon as skitter season starts, I am going to give it a try.

35 Bonnie { 05.25.11 at 9:56 am }

Another deterrant is listerene. Spray it around your outdoor sitting area. We tried it last summer and it worked.

36 tennell { 05.25.11 at 9:52 am }

nothing better nor cheaper…

37 Nicki { 05.24.11 at 10:33 am }

Dryer sheets tucked into your pocket are supposed to help too.

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