Nobody wants ants at a picnic — or in their back yard! Prevent gnats, mosquitos, ants, and more from crashing your summer fun with five simple tricks guaranteed by pros to bug proof your yard or any outdoor space.
Tick off ticks with eucalyptus oil.
To keep ticks out of your yard, make your own repelling spray by adding 20 drops of eucalyptus essential oil to an 8-ounce spray bottle filled halfway with water, then spritz it around the border of your property, says entomologist Nicholas Martin of Pest Control Hacks. “Ticks are so repelled by the eucalyptus scent that the oil is often used in commercial tick repellents.”
Outwit ants with honey and borax.
If you see ants making their way to your porch or patio, mix 1 tablespoon of honey with 2 teaspoons of borax and pour onto small pieces of cardboard, then set in areas where the insects have been seen (keep away from pets and kids). The sweet honey will attract ants, then the pests will carry the honey and toxic borax to their colonies, where the rest of the ants will eat it.
Ward off mosquitoes with herbal twinkling jars.
The decorative way to keep mosquitoes at bay and bug proof your yard? Add rosemary sprigs and citrus slices to a sixteen-ounce glass jar. Fill the jar with water and ten drops of lemon essential oil, then add a floating tea light. Mosquitoes will flee since they detest the citrus and herb scents.
An added bonus: For long-lasting protection from mosquitoes (no spray required!), we recommend Inzecto, a revolutionary mosquito trap that attracts the bugs, then traps them inside. Simply add water, then place two around your fire pit our outdoor seating area, about 30 feet apart (Buy a two-pack from Amazon, $49.59).
Sidestep wasp stings with sugar water.
The weather is perfect for alfresco meals, but you don’t want stinging insects to spoil the festivities. To the rescue: “Mix equal parts sugar and water, pour it into water or soda bottles and place around your garden, as far away from the table as possible,” says Clarissa Benny, a certified pest control technician. “Wasps love sweet treats and will be attracted to the traps, and once they climb in, they’ll be unable to get back out.”
Get rid of gnats with apple cider vinegar traps.
Prevent gnats from attacking by making an easy vinegar trap, says Martin. “Mix a few tablespoons of apple cider vinegar, a pinch of sugar, and a few drops of dish soap in a bowl, then set it where you see the most gnats. Apple cider and sugar attract gnats, and the dish soap causes them to sink and get trapped in the mixture.”
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This article originally appeared in our print magazine, Woman’s World.