In the warm seasons of the year, our backyards become a living part of the local ecosystem. While you probably don’t mind seeing a few more squirrels and butterflies this time of year, you do not want to see more creepy crawlies. Insects that invade your home or make your yard unsafe are not welcome, and it would be nice if you could let them know before they start building colonies near your house.
Fortunately, you can. The way you landscape can significantly reduce the insect population in your yard and around your home. The right choices can simply make your lot less welcoming to six-legged invaders which will encourage local pests to seek summertime shelter elsewhere.
How do you landscape to reduce bugs around your yard and home? We have eight useful tips that will naturally discourage unwanted pests while still enjoying a natural and poison-free yard.
1) Grow Flower & Herbs that Repel Pests
Some plants release chemicals and strong odors that insects don’t like, but humans do. Growing flowers and herbs that discourage insects is a win-win for everyone because you get to enjoy a beautiful, natural garden and pests can find a more hospitable place to live.
Discouraging plants include flowers, herbs, and citronella grass. Strong-smelling flowers like marigolds, petunias, and mums are a good choice. Delicious and kitchen-friendly herbs like mint, basil, and rosemary are also helpful.
- Citronella Grass
2) Lay Cedar Chips for Your Ground Cover
Cedar wood has many preservative qualities and has been used to protect human life from pests for hundreds of years. In your garden, using cedar woodchips instead of mulch or other types of natural ground cover can create flowerbeds that are inhospitable to pests. This is a valuable choice, because often mulch and underbrush create the perfect space for pests to hide. Keep a large bag of cedar chips around So that there is always a healthy layer over the top of your flowerbeds and planters.
Cedar is also an enjoyably fragrant and attractive wood, so your flowerbeds will be pleasing to humans while they are displeasing to insect life. Laying cedar woodchips will protect the top layer of soil in your flowerbeds and the shallow roots of plants from being disturbed, help to regulate moisture, and provide a nice even looking top layer to your landscaped spaces, as well.
3) Plant More Trees Than Flowers
Insects love underbrush. They thrive in things like clover and in mess like unraked leaves and thatched grass. One of the ways you can cultivate a beautiful yard without making a space that is welcoming to insects is to plant more trees than you do flowers or other low-to-the-ground greenery. Trees tend to draw the kind of wildlife you want to see in your backyard. They become homes to birds and squirrels, and sometimes they even attract larger mammals like deer. The canopy and root system of a tree also tends to ‘clear out’ the area around itself, as you may have noticed. Trees will discourage grass and insect-friendly underbrush underneath while creating a beautiful sun-dappled space full of natural life in your back garden.
4) Don’t Let Water Pool Up
Pooling water is bad news, and a favorite habitat for unpleasant pests like mosquitoes. Moving water, like in a live fountain or trickling creek, can be healthy and lovely, but stagnant water should always be removed. Watch out for flowerpots and certain sports equipment (like the base of a backyard basketball hoop) that tend to become pools of stagnant water. Create drain holes or drain these items immediately after rain or sprinklers fill then with water again.
5) Switch to Outdoor LED Lights
Insects are attracted to the porch light. This is something that everyone knows because they’ve seen it in action. But what you may not realize is that they’re attracted to the heat of the bulb, not necessarily the light it emits. This means that choosing a bulb that burns cooler for the same light can give you pleasant patio lighting without the cloud of gnats and other bugs around the porch.
LED is your ideal solution. LED bulbs are energy-efficient, just as bright, and also burn at a much cooler temperature than traditional filament-lit bulbs. Now is also the perfect time to upgrade to smart LED bulbs which can change colors, dim, and turn on/off using mobile and voice commands.
6) Keep Your Landscaping Clear and Clean
Choose a landscaping design that has a lot of open spaces. Insects like ground cover, shade, and tight designs where they can safely scurry from one leafy feature to the next. However, choosing a mostly spacious design creates fewer homes for insects, limiting access to their favorite chaotic green environment. Planting your flower beds with space between the flowers, large walkways, expanses of tidy lawn, and plenty of trees can make a beautiful yard that is also clean and clear.
7) Regularly Remove Leaves and Debris
Don’t leave dead plant life or other debris in your yard, as this is uniquely welcoming to unwanted pests. Clean up piles of supplies like wood or old bricks. Keep playhouses and pet houses polished and clear, and regularly weed, rake, and clear away fallen branches. Rake the thatch out of your grass and rake the leaves that are dropped by your trees. Weed out any plant life that is trying to grow a green underbrush and keep the edges of your flowerbeds tidy.
8) Create a Barrier Between Plants and Your House
Lastly, make sure that there is a gap between your house and all landscaping. Even with cedar woodchips, do not lay woodchips directly against the house. Do not water a moist flowerbed against the house and consider placing a small barrier like a pebble path so that your foundation and siding are protected from moisture and any natural life that may make a home in your garden.
Keep Your Yard Naturally Pest-Free with Fit Turf
Fit Turf is locally owned and operated and is here to help Denver residents enjoy the beauty of their backyards pest-free. Turn your yard into an inviting oasis for humans, birds, and pets while keeping insects at bay.
Contact us today to learn more about how our team can help.