As much as we love the warm weather that summer brings, we can do without the pesky bugs.  They land on your food while you’re trying to eat, bite you when you’re not paying attention and buzz around your room when you’re trying to sleep.  Although bugs help the environment sometimes it seems like their sole purpose is to annoy you.  Fortunately, there are tricks you can use to keep them away.

Remove standing water from your yard

Mosquitoes love to lay their eggs in and around standing water.  Therefore, it’s your responsibility to destroy their favorite breeding grounds.  Scope out your yard and dump any water that’s been collected in flowerpots, buckets, tire swings, etc.  Also make sure you’re regularly cleaning and removing debris from your gutters.  This will prevent them from getting clogged and becoming a nesting site.

Buy an outdoor fan

Kill two birds with one stone by investing in an outdoor fan.  Not only will it keep you cool, it will also blow the bugs away.  Problem solved!

Grow plants that repel bugs

Have a green thumb?  If so, make sure you’re growing plants that don’t attract bugs.  Some of the best bug-repelling plants to add to your backyard are chrysanthemums, basil, petunias, marigolds, lavender, mint, rosemary and lemongrass.

Keep your house clean

“Clean up! Clean up! Everybody, everywhere.  Clean up! Clean up! Everybody do your share.”  Children’s song or not, Barney had the right idea in mind.  The best way to keep bugs out of sight is to keep your house clean.  When you drop food or drinks on the floor clean it up right away.  Wipe down your dining table, stove, countertops and sink after dinner.  Try to dust your furniture and vacuum at least once a week.  Putting a lid on your garbage can also help keep the critters away.

Seal the cracks around your home

Pests only need to tiny bit of space to enter your home.  Do a walk through and keep an eye out for small holes and cracks.  Pay special attention to your doors, windows and screens.  Mice can fit through a hole the size of a nickel which is more than enough space for bugs to crawl in.  Once you’ve identified the problem areas get the gaps caulked or repaired.

Stick a dryer sheet in your pocket

It sounds weird but Bounce fabric softener dryer sheets contain a chemical that’s known to repel certain insects.  While the verdict is still out on mosquitoes, dryer sheets can work on fungus gnats, mites, beetles, weevils and German cockroaches.  You probably already have some dryer sheets at home that you can use to test this theory.  Just stick it in your pocket and go.

Create your own homemade bug spray

Store-bought bug sprays are full of chemicals.  A better alternative is to create an all-natural bug spray at home.  Here’s the recipe:

  • ½ cup witch hazel
  • ½ cup apple cider vinegar
  • 40 drops of essential oils (eucalyptus, lemongrass, citronella, lavender, peppermint, tea tree or rosemary)

Mix the ingredients in a spray bottle and mist it all over your body.