Natural Ways to Prevent Outdoor Pests
Learn how to keep outdoor pests controlled naturally with our simple tips.
By Merissa Alink
The start of summer brings backyard barbecues, pool parties and evening bonfires … along with an abundance of crawling and flying insects that can ruin the fun and gobble up your precious garden plants. But rather than turn to bug sprays or chemical treatments, you can banish them from your yard naturally with the help of this guide.
Prevention is the first step to ridding your patio or backyard from outdoor pests. Try these suggestions:
- Keep stacks of firewood or other items that give bugs a hiding space far away from the house
- Collect small tools or outdoor toys together in sealed tubs or containers
- Mosquitos thrive in wet environments. Repair any water leaks quickly, and fill in areas where water puddles after rain
- Keep gutters free from debris and make sure they drain quickly
- Switch outdoor lighting to lower wattage bulbs, or yellow light bulbs
Use our natural spray to keep pests from destroying plants in your garden:
- Combine 1 clove minced garlic, a medium-sized onion cut into quarters, and 1 quart of water. Let sit for 1 hour
- Add 1 teaspoon of cayenne pepper and 1 tablespoon of Dawn Ultra Dish Soap. Mix thoroughly
- Spray mixture on and around outdoor plants. Refrigerate leftover spray for up to a week
Check out this list of plants and natural oils that repel bees, flies, moths and mosquitos:
- Flies, bees and wasps: Locate the areas they’re generally found, and sprinkle a few drops of eucalyptus oil around
- Moths: Plant the herb Artemisia (also known as southernwood) to rid your yard of moths while bringing in the scents of dill and mint
- Mosquitos: Deter mosquitos from crashing the party by planting marigolds, ageratum, catnip and lemon thyme
- Ants: This natural pesticide made from citrus oil and cayenne pepper deters ants from gathering: Mix 10 drops of citrus essential oil, 1 teaspoon of cayenne pepper and 1 cup warm water. Add ingredients to a spray bottle, shake well and spray any areas where ants are found
Tip: Spray vinegar over large solid surfaces (like walls) for a natural ant deterrent.
- Slugs: Leave out lemon, orange and grapefruit rinds overnight near slug-prone plants, and then collect and trash them – covered with slugs – first thing the next morning. Old lettuce leaves work well, too
Merissa grew up living a frugal lifestyle but didn’t know what it truly meant until she was married and had a household of her own. She knows that anyone can make the most with what they have, no matter their income level or situation and blogs daily at www.littlehouseliving.com about her journey in life and all her current projects.