Protecting Your Patio From Pests

Summertime is the perfect time to get outdoors and enjoy time spent relaxing on the patio. However, common outdoor pests can put a damper on anyone’s outdoor enjoyment. A patio can be beautifully decorated and landscaped, but if pests move in and take over, even the most beautiful patio can turn into a no-man’s land due to pesky bites and unwanted bugs. Thankfully, there are a variety of ways to protect your patio from these pests ranging from simple natural approaches to installing screens and netting to keep the pests away.

Photo by tashwayne

Netting or Screens

The use of netting or screens can have the greatest effect on keeping pests out, but it is also the most noticeable. There are many attractive gazebo-type screened canopies that can achieve this effect while still being pleasant to look at. Although they can be pricey, higher end models can add ambiance and can be quite attractive and decorative.


Citronella candles are perhaps the most famous outdoor pest repellants. Typically, these large candles will come in a tin that looks like a metal pail. They can be lit and arranged strategically around the patio to provide coverage for the area against common irritating buggers, such as mosquitos. Also available are specialty lanterns that are lit with citronella candles and burn a small pad of insect repellant when lit. These can provide aesthetically pleasing protect from a wide variety of pests.

Photo by PiwoJasne

Bug Zappers and Electronic Devices

Often mocked for their crude way of getting the job done, these devices emit a light that attracts bugs and then electrocutes them when they get too close. Although a bit on the crude side, these devices do work as demonstrated by the pleasant “zapping” noise that can be heard as larger bugs meet their makers. A more modern take on the bug zapper can be found in the form of electronic devices that are claimed to emit frequencies that insects try to avoid. Although some people swear by these sound emitting devices, they have yet to be proven to have an effect in scientific studies.


Also popular are a wide variety of sprays that either kill or dissuade the buggers from entering the area. Some sprays are designed to be sprayed around a perimeter area and will kill any bugs that attempt to cross that boundary. Other aerosol sprays and designed like high powered mosquito spray. These are sprayed around an area and provide coverage for a limited time against all sorts of creepy crawlers.

Natural Remedies

Photo by Katie Bordner

In addition to these more obvious ways of culling and repelling the local insect population, there is also a plethora of natural, more “friendly” methods that can be employed. First, there are plants that serve as natural insect repellents. Citronella grass, which is the substance the candles are made from, provides a natural bug repellant, along with Lemongrass. Also, by taking simple steps like ensure no standing water is left around, bug populations can be limited before they become pests.

In the summertime, a patio can provide hours of relaxation and a wonderful gathering place for friends and family. While pests are in their natural habitats outdoors, there are effective ways to combat them using a wide variety of tools. From natural steps like draining all standing water to canvassing an area with spray, any patio can be reclaimed from insects and used for unfettered human enjoyment.

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