‘Tis the season for bugs. Yuck. I live in the mid Atlantic region, specifically in the former swamp that is now our nation’s Capitol. There are lots of good things about the DC area but the gnats and mosquitoes are not among them.
Every summer, I have big plans to spend lots of time out in our backyard and every yet we get driven inside by the swarms of flying bugs that menace us. We get mosquitoes like crazy because the whole area is humid and warm. We don’t usually see West Nile but I’m a mom and a hypochondriac so that possibility is always on my (crazy) mind. We also get gnats that will dive bomb your head until you want to scream and run away. They don’t bite but they’ll drive you absolutely nutty while you’re outside on a warm day. This year, I want to fight back against the bugs but I want to do it in a way that’s safe for my baby.
I’ve asked around and gotten some great recommendation of non-chemical bug control methods. Click through to read what I’m doing to keep my yard bug free!
7 Non-Chemical Bug Control Methods 1 of 8
Click through to see them all!
Ladybugs 2 of 8
A friend told me about this. The ladybugs eat mosquitoes which is great on its own. They also breed like crazy and spread out from your yard to adjacent yards. That means a large territory gets the mosquito-eater treatment! I ordered some off the Internet and an excited to set them loose.
Purchase from Gardens Alive for $14.95
Praying Mantis 3 of 8
Like ladybugs, mantises eat pests. I'm waiting to see how the ladybugs do before I get some mantises but I know a neighbor releases them every year so I'm covered either way.
Purchase from Amazon for $14.99
Bug Zapper 4 of 8
These are good,old-fashioned fun to watch, in a creepy kind of way. I like to place one near the door as a deterrent for bugs getting in the house.
Purchase from Home Depot for $49.99
Mosquito Trap 5 of 8
This recipe has been all over Facebook and I've already made one. I'll let you know if it works!
1. Cut a plastic bottle in half.
2. Mix 1/4 cup brown sugar with 1 cup hot water. Let cool. When cold, pour in the bottom half of the bottle.
3. Add 1 gram yeast. No need to mix. It creates carbon dioxide, which attracts mosquitoes.
4. Place the funnel part, upside down, into the other half of the bottle, taping them together if desired.
5. Wrap the bottle with something black, leaving the top uncovered, and place it outside in an area away from your normal gathering area. (Mosquitoes are also drawn to the color black.)
Change the solution every 2 weeks for continuous control.
Photo and recipe from Democratic Underground
Gnat Traps 6 of 8
I've also made vinegar traps for gnats. It's the same bottle configuration as the mosquito trap but with cider vinegar and some dish soap in them. I've used them to control fruit flies indoors and I hope they'll work outside too.
Purchase cider vinegar at Target.
Grapefruit Oil 7 of 8
Fan 8 of 8
A breeze will keep gnats from swarming your head. A simple fan on your deck can help with a gnat-free dinner or playtime.
Purchase from Target for $15.99