How to Keep Bugs Away From Your Patio

Entertaining friends and family on your patio can be a great way to spend a summer evening until pests start to show up. Warm bodies and cold drinks can attract mosquitoes, ants, and other unwanted guests. But there are a few simple ways to keep bugs away from a patio and help you enjoy the outdoors without enduring any unpleasant interruptions.

Outdoor Bug Proof Patio

Get Patio Plants To Keep Bugs Away

Nature has provided plants with a variety of natural defenses to repel insects, but there’s no one perfect solution to using plants to keep bugs at bay. You would need to use fairly specific patio plants to keep bugs away, depending on the pests you’re most concerned about. For example, ants avoid chrysanthemums, flies steer clear of basil, and moths are not fond of lavender.

To keep mosquitos away from your patio or deck, you can use:

  • Rosemary
  • Marigold
  • Lavender
  • Lemon thyme
  • Geranium
  • Basil
  • Citronella

Keep in mind, while a lemon scent can repel mosquitos, it might entice bees. That means a little planning is necessary. But with some thought, this can be a helpful, natural way to keep bugs away.


Use Essential Oils

To create a solution that keeps bugs away from your patio, combine one-part witch hazel and one-part water. For every cup of solution, add a tablespoon of rubbing alcohol and a few dozen drops of essential oils.

As for essential oils to use, look to lavender, rosemary, lemon thyme, or basil -- as well as others that may mimic the scent of plants and herbs we’d previously mentioned. These scents imitate the odors of the plants for which they are named and allow you to combine several kinds of protection into one solution.

You can use this mixture to keep bugs away from a patio by spraying the mixture evenly across the perimeter of your space.

Drain Any Standing Water

Of the numerous ways to get rid of flying bugs on a patio, few are as important as addressing the root of the problem. Standing water can be a breeding ground for generation after generation of pesky mosquitoes. Whenever possible, you want to keep gutters, downspouts, birdbaths, pools, buckets, and other areas clear of standing water.

Spray Mouthwash around your patio

If you don’t have rubbing alcohol or essential oils, an alcohol-based mouthwash can be another effective way to repel bugs from a patio. Just load some mouthwash into a spray bottle, then spray down the perimeter of the deck, or even your patio furniture. This can repel bugs and leave a pleasant scent, but the rapid evaporation of alcohol means that regular reapplication may be necessary.

Use Citronella Candles and Torches

Some homeowners often overlook citronella as an option to keep pests away from their patio. Citronella candles and torches have a reputation for being effective at warding off mosquitos, but they’re also effective at discouraging flies and similar critters. In addition to filling the air with scents that discourage pests from bothering you, burning citronella can add natural ambient lighting to help illuminate your patio.


Change Your Outdoor Lighting

Bugs have eyesight that helps them better see shorter wavelengths of light. That includes blues, purples, and even ultraviolet light which is invisible to humans. However, their visual range does not include warmer colors, like red or orange.

Daylight white bulbs contain higher concentrations of blue light. If you want to keep bugs away from a patio at night, try swapping out cooler bulbs for warmer ones, especially yellow or sodium vapor bulbs. Don’t use bulbs that are any brighter than you need because the intensity of the light can also be a pest magnet. Here are some outdoor lighting ideas to help get you inspired.


Keep Your Backyard And Patio Trimmed and Clean

Unkempt backyards provide a great home for bugs. Ticks enjoy hiding in tall grass, and bushes pressing against your home can make it easier for pests to enter. Keeping your yard looking neat isn’t just a matter of appearances; it can actually go a long way towards keeping bugs away from a patio. Do your best to pick up trash and clean up messes before they have a chance to attract insects.

Following or combining several of these simple tips can help you keep your backyard patio a bug-free place to enjoy time with friends and family outdoors.