It’s hard to enjoy an evening out on your patio when you’re constantly being attacked by pests. Whether it’s mosquitoes, gnats, bees, etc., they can prevent you from enjoying this outdoor extension of your home. And while there’s no way to completely avoid all pests, there are ways to discourage them from being on your patio.
Grow Garlic in Containers
Garlic (Allium sativum) is a relatively small bulbous plant that’s easy to grow. Aside from its countless culinary purposes — used primarily as a seasoning — it also works as a natural insect repellent. Place some garlic plants in potted containers, arranging them around the area of your patio where you sit. The natural chemicals produced by the garlic plants deters mosquitoes and other insects, all while adding color and life to your patio in the process.
Other insect-repelling plants to consider growing on your patio include the following:
- Lemon balm
- Pineapple weed
- Tea tree
Remove Standing Water
If you have a mosquitoes problem on your patio, check to see if there are any standing pools of water around your home. Female mosquitoes lay their eggs in containers that collect water, including buckets, overturned furniture, cups, gardening tools and water pitchers. Even small amounts of standing water can yield hundreds to thousands of new mosquitoes. Therefore, you need to remove all standing pools of water from around your home. Without water-logged breeding grounds, female mosquitoes will look elsewhere to lay their eggs.
Citronella Tiki Torches
Tiki torches are a fun and unique decorative accessory for the patio. Featuring a wick atop a source of fuel, they will enhance your patio’s aesthetics while also illuminating the surrounding environment. Rather than using just any tiki torch, however, consider using citronella torches. They look and function just like a regular tiki torch, but they contain citronella oil mixed into the fuel. So, when you light it, it releases insect-repelling citronella oil into the air; thus, helping to keep your patio insect free.
Alternatively, you can make your own citronella candles for use on your patio or elsewhere. This involves melting beeswax, pouring it into a mason jar with an affixed wick, and mixing in a few drops of citronella oil. Once the candles have hardened, you can light for them instant insect relief.
Light a Fire Pit
Sometimes all you need is a little smoke to keep the bugs away from your patio. Insects hate smoke, preferring to keep their distance even if it means missing out on a meal.
Building a campfire on your patio is out of the question, though a viable alternative is to use a fire pit, such as those offered here at S&S Fire Pit. If you’re lighting a fire pit for the purpose of deterring bugs and insects, try using wood with a higher moisture content. Normally, it’s best to use dry, seasoned wood, as it burns the easiest and most efficiently. Wet wood, however, is particularly effective at keeping bugs away because it produces more smoke. Just remember to supervise your fire at all times.
Screened Patio Enclosure
Of course, another solution to keep mosquitoes, gnats, bees and other pests away from your patio is to use a screened enclosure. As shown in the photo to the right, a screened enclosure creates a barrier between your patio and the outside elements. Without a roof, rain may still drip onto your patio, but insects won’t be able to break through.
There are a few downsides to using a screened enclosure, one of which is the cost. Depending on the size of your patio and the type of enclosure, it may cost up to $1,000 (or more). An enclosure may also restrict access to your patio. These are just a few things to consider when deciding whether or not an enclosure is a good idea.
Turn on the Fan
Turning on a fan can help keep your patio free of pests. Whether it’s an overhead fan or standalone oscillating fan, the increased airflow will literally blow insects off your patio.
Sodium Vapor Lights
Ever notice how insects migrate towards your patio lights? Sure you have! Most insects are attracted to light, which is why you see them buzzing around bulbs at night. Rather than turning off your patio lights, however, you can deter insects by replacing traditional incandescent white bulbs with sodium vapor bulbs.
Sodium vapor bulbs use sodium in an activated and “excited” estate to produce light, typically with a wavelength of roughly 589 nm. Technical jargon aside, they produce a more yellowed-colored light as opposed to the white light of an incandescent bulb. And because of their yellow light, sodium vapor bulbs don’t attract insects. As a side benefit, they also consume less energy than their incandescent counterpart.
If you have any questions regarding how an S&S Fire Pit can enhance your outdoor living space; We can help. https://ssfirepits.com/contact/