Best Ways to Eliminate Bugs on Patio Furniture
I recently purchased my new home in 2020, and I have to say that owning rather than renting has felt great. It’s wonderful to be able to do whatever I want to the home without the repercussions of a landlord or management company. And what a relief not to be throwing money away on rent! The major drawback of owning my home, of course, is that the maintenance of the home and property falls to me. No more being able to call the maintenance crew at 2 a.m. when my toilet decides to stop working. Nope, it’s all on me.
One of the things I love the most about my house is the wonderful potential in the backyard. I live on half an acre, and while there is plenty of work to do, I can’t wait to start hosting some summer cookouts and show off my flowers (ya know, once they’re planted). While looking for patio furniture recently and talking to one of my friends about her recent purchase, I was dismayed to hear she has been having issues with bugs invading her patio and specifically loving on the patio furniture! I had to figure out how to prevent this before I purchased my own.
So, how do you keep bugs off your patio furniture? There are a variety of ways to protect your lovely patio furniture free from crawling pests. The major ways are to make your space less enticing and less comfortable for bugs and eliminating potential food sources.
Keep reading to learn more about eliminating these pests from your outdoor living space!
Easy Solutions To Keeping Bugs Off Your Patio
Nobody wants their summer lounge session on the patio ruined by creepy crawling pests all over the patio! Bugs are attracted to food sources and places that are dark; they like to be comfortable and well-fed like humans! Therefore, you must make your spaces as uncomfortable and unappetizing for the bugs as possible with these simple steps:
1. Aroma Therapy
You don’t have to resort to chemically intense pesticides. Especially if your home has children or pets, you should consider a more natural and eco-friendly approach to deterring bugs and spiders off of your patio furniture. You can purchase lamps that burn scented oils, candles, or even flowers or plants that you can grow.
Not only with your patio be refreshed with a wonderful aroma, but many scents cause bugs to go away. Consider using the following scents near your patio furniture:
- Citronella: Do you have a fly, dragonfly or mosquito problem? This is the perfect ammo to weaponize your patio against pests. This scent is the bane of flies and mosquitos. You could plant some, or have torches with the oil or scented candles.
- Essential Oils: Essential oils with lavender or eucalyptus can be sprayed around. Bugs are not fond of these scents.
- Pest-Repelling Plants: There are some pest-repelling flowers, like marigolds, that can ward off mosquitoes.
- Repel Biting Insects: Garlic and rosemary can repel biting insects, not just vampires.
- Other Suggestions: Chive and lemongrass also repulse other kinds of bugs.
2. Clear Your Surroundings
Do you have nearby bushes or overgrown shrubs that are close to your patio furniture? These plants will make it easy for bugs to have easy access to your furniture – they can simply crawl on over.
That’s why it is a good idea to start trimming your lawn and clearing up the immediate area around your patio furniture. This can help ensure pests stay off of your patio and you can enjoy your summer parties again!
To further separate your outdoor living space from the pesky bugs that are taking over, you may consider working with a construction company to add a covered porch or other structure in your yard.
3. Eliminate Bright Lighting
It’s not a stereotype – some bugs absolutely adore bright lights. If you have several lights around your patio, you may be inviting in unwanted pests and therefore making it easier for them to invade your precious patio furniture. Especially if you have bright white lights, this will surely bring in all types of flying insects attracted to light. It’s a good idea to replace your white bulbs with yellow bulbs or sodium vapor lights; yellow and orange glow is much less appealing to insects.
4. Clean Patio Furniture Regularly
Some furniture, like those made out of wicker, have fibers with tiny spaces where insects can hide and even lay eggs in. This will require a thorough brushing and while it can be tedious, it’s necessary to get the job done. Some insects do like to eat wood and are drawn to it. If you have this kind of furniture, it’s best to keep the rest of your patio clean and routinely do maintenance and spraying.
5. Regular Checks & Maintenance
You’re setting yourself up for potential failure if you don’t clean up after yourself and leave food out regularly on your patio, or leave trash around the patio area. You will be inviting the bugs to take up residence on your patio furniture. It’s best to keep up with regular cleanings, such as washing cloth seat pads weekly.
You can also use chlorine bleach to kill anything that’s growing in the fabrics and stuffing of your outdoor patio furniture. Before you put the seat pads back outside, make sure they have dried all the way through, or else pests that nest in the wet material will be harder to remove.
Chairs, tables, and other furniture can be power washed with hot, soapy water. Be sure to look underneath the furniture too because that’s where bugs and spiders really love to nest.
Typical Bugs Found Near Your Patio
There are a variety of bugs that are more likely to call your attic their new home. Some of the most common include:
- Ants: Even though they aren’t as gross as the typical pest, no one wants ants invading their home. Most ants are non-destructive, but be wary: sometimes you may find you’ve got carpenter ants. These ants can damage the structure of your home and need to be removed as soon as you can.
- Spiders: So, having spiders near your patio probably isn’t a bad thing. Some are venomous and should be removed (think Black Widow, Brown Recluse, etc.) However, most spiders are totally harmless to you and actually helpful, since they will hunt and trap other insects that may be lurking in your attic. Yay for spiders?
- Apids: These little pests are known to attack new plant growth and the underside of leaves.
- Ground beetles: These are the ninjas of the backyard insect area, as they normally can go undetected. They hide during the day and feed on slugs, maggots, larva, and snails.
- Flying insects: You know who they are: the dreaded mosquitos. You also have to look out for wasps, flies, and bees.
What kind of patio furniture attracts bugs the least? Sadly, most patio furniture does include some sort of wicker design and this is just a haven for bugs. Yikes! The wooden fibers allow hiding places for bugs, and some also like to feed on the wicker. Wicker is also very difficult to clean. For this reason, it’s recommended to purchase metal, aluminum, and glass furniture. These are a lot less prone to bugs and easier to clean.
Is my landscaping causing more bugs? It’s important to keep your lawn mowed regularly, and that tree limbs and bushes are trimmed back from the side of your house. Making sure leaves and other lawn clutter is cleared up will give pests fewer areas to create habitats near your home. Additionally, make sure you keep firewood and mulch at least 20 feet away from the side of your home, as many insects love to chew on wood or nest in woodpiles.
What is the average cost of an exterminator service? The average cost of an exterminator service nationally ranges from $60 to $295. Pest management treatments for ants cost $131, on average, whereas termite control services range from $65-$750 and bed bug extermination ranges from $175-$900. Of course, prices will vary depending on the level of infestation, the experience of the exterminator, and the geographic region of the United States in which you live.