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Tips & How-to's7 min read

How To Keep Bugs Away From Your Patio: Tips From Outdoor Experts

How To Keep Bugs Away From Your Patio: Tips From Outdoor Experts

There are few things as enjoyable as spending the whole day outside. But sometimes, the flies, mosquitoes, and other insects get so bad that you have no choice but to retreat inside. That’s why we have compiled a list of how to keep bugs away from patio furniture and outdoor spaces.

It’s no secret that pests can ruin time spent in your favorite backyard or patio areas. There are, however, ways to fight back.

In this article, you’ll learn how to keep these bugs away so you can live your life outside.

How To Keep Bugs Away From Your Patio

Patio with a fire pit table
Outer Fire Pit Table with Ceramic Balls

1) Use Bug Blankets

Bug blankets provide easy (and cozy!) protection from bugs in a convenient, lightweight option. Enhanced with bug-repellent Insect Shield® technology, the Outer Bug Shield Blanket offers long-lasting insect-repellent technology that’s EPA approved for the entire family.

Our blankets are perfect for breezy summer nights, when insects tend to be most active. And they’re easy to clean and maintain so you can enjoy bug-free evenings for years to come. Simply hand or machine wash with a mild detergent — just avoid dry-cleaning.

2) Keep Your Patio Clean

A clean patio is a pest-free patio. And a pest-free patio means you can spend as much time outside as possible enjoying the weather, the company, or a nice meal over the fire pit grill.

Before settling down for a bit of relaxation, remove dirt and debris from your patio or deck with a broom or blower. Then, while you’re snacking or eating outside, sweep up any crumbs and wipe away any spilled liquids as soon as possible so they don’t attract flies and ants.

At least once a year — preferably at the start of the warm season — clean your outdoor space with a pressure washer to remove mold, mildew, and other substances that can attract pests.

If the surface can handle it, you might even scrub it with soap and apply a sealer of some sort to protect it against bugs and the elements.

It’s also a good idea to clean the patio furniture itself (again, at least once a year) to remove any dust, food residue, grease, and other substances that attract pests.

3) Install Fans

Airborne pests like flies, mosquitoes, and bees don’t do so well in a stiff breeze.

While you can’t control when the wind will blow in your area, you can control the breeze around your covered patio, deck, pergola, or gazebo. Install ceiling fans, and you can literally blow bugs away.

If you don’t have a cover over your outdoor space, consider purchasing one or two large floor or stand fans instead.

If the ceiling fans allow it, set the blades to spin counterclockwise so that they push air down and out rather than pulling air up and away. This will create a breeze that makes it difficult for bugs to fly.

Floor and stand fans don’t usually have this function, but they’re designed to push air right out of the box so you don’t have to worry about which direction the blades are spinning.

Whether you install the ceiling variety or choose a floor or stand model, a fan is a great way to keep your outdoor space pest free with just the flip of a switch.

4) Burn Citronella

Another easy tip for how to keep bugs away from patio furniture is to burn citronella. It’s particularly effective at discouraging flying nuisances, like mosquitoes, from pestering you while you’re outside.

One of the easiest ways to use citronella on your deck, patio, or other outdoor space is with candles. You can purchase citronella candles of all different sizes at your local hardware or grocery store.

We like the kind that comes in a container with a lid so we can leave them sitting out when we have to go back inside.

Whatever size citronella candles you get, place a few around the perimeter of your outdoor space, and then place a few more near the main seating area to maximize the coverage.

For another layer of defense against flying pests, purchase some garden torches, fill them with citronella oil, and place them around the edges of your patio or deck.

Torches, in combination with citronella candles near your seating area, are a great way to keep bugs at bay while providing just the right ambiance for nights outdoors.

If you do install torches, be sure to follow these guidelines for safe use:

  • Position torches at least six feet away from the house
  • Place torches six to eight feet apart for best coverage
  • Do not place torches under trees, overhangs, umbrellas, or other flammable materials
  • Push torches at least six to eight inches into the ground for the most stability
  • If you want to place the torches on a hard surface, purchase a torch stand

However you choose to burn citronella — with candles, torches, or both — doing so is a great way to keep pests away from your seating area.

5) Add A Fire Pit Table

Firepit table for keeping bugs away on your patio
Outer Fire Pit Table with Ceramic Balls

Another solution to the question of how to keep bugs away from your patio is to add a fire pit table to your seating arrangement.

While you don’t burn citronella in a fire pit table, the heat, air movement, and bright light of an open flame do have a tendency to deter bugs from hanging around.

Ours even comes with a cooking surface so you can have all the fun of cooking over a flame while you drive the pests away.

Plus, a fire pit table makes a great centerpiece around which to arrange your outdoor furniture. The crackling flames invite everyone to sit back, relax, warm up, and enjoy their time outside.

A fire pit table in combination with citronella candles and torches is the perfect way to keep family game night or neighborhood gatherings going long after the sun sets.

6) Change Your Outdoor Lighting

Bugs primarily see and are attracted to the cooler, shorter wavelengths of light — blues, purples, and ultraviolet. They don’t, however, see the warmer, longer wavelengths — reds, yellows, and oranges.

How does that help you learn how to keep bugs away from your patio, deck, and furniture?

Regular light bulbs emit higher concentrations of blue light. As a result, insects detect that light and move toward it. If you use regular light bulbs on your patio or deck, you’re literally inviting bugs toward your gathering.

To keep bugs at bay, install bulbs that emit warmer, longer wavelengths. Yellow-tinted bulbs and sodium vapor bulbs are the perfect option.

In addition, use a lower intensity bulb that puts out less light so the brightness doesn’t serve as a pest magnet.

7) Harness The Power Of Patio Plants

Cityscape view from a root top patio
Outer Brown Wicker Outdoor Sofa - 3 Seat

Some plants have natural defenses that repel bugs. You can harness the power of these plants by growing a few varieties in and around your outdoor space.

Not all plants deter the same pests, so you’ll likely have to use a combination of one, two, or three to get the results you’re looking for. Or, if you have a specific bug that you want to get rid of, do a bit of research to find the plant that they dislike the most.

For example, flies avoid basil, ants steer clear of chrysanthemums, and moths give lavender a wide berth. Similarly, mosquitoes don’t like to approach rosemary and geranium.

For maximum effect, install bug-deterrent plants around your outdoor seating area and grow a few varieties in pots placed among your patio furniture.

Herbs such as garlic, rosemary, chive, and lemongrass are also useful in the kitchen or when preparing a meal over the fire. Just pluck a few leaves from the stem, and you’re good to go.

8) Spray Your Way To A Bug-Free Patio

Another easy and effective way to keep pests away from your patio is to mix up a homemade bug spray. Here are three different bug deterrents you can make with household items.

Essential Oil Spray

In the previous tip, you learned how to keep bugs away from your patio with the right plants. You can mimic these plants’ natural defense mechanisms with the help of essential oils.

  1. In a spray bottle, add one cup of witch hazel
  2. Mix one cup of water
  3. Measure in a tablespoon of rubbing alcohol
  4. Add 24 drops of essential oil

Choose oils such as lavender, rosemary, marigold, geranium, or basil for the best effect.

Spray the mixture around the perimeter of your outdoor space and on the ground (concrete, wood, or brick) around your furniture. Don’t spray the mixture directly on the furniture or on yourself.

Mouthwash Spray

If you’re short on rubbing alcohol, witch hazel, and essential oils, you can use an alcohol-based mouthwash to repel crawling and flying pests.

As you did with the essential oil mixture, pour some mouthwash into a spray bottle and apply it to the flat surfaces around and among your outdoor furniture. Again, don’t spray the mixture directly on the furniture or on yourself.

This mouthwash spray repels insects and leaves a pleasant scent in the air. It does, however, evaporate quickly, so you’ll have to reapply regularly to keep bugs at bay.

9) Cover Your Patio Furniture

Furniture covers are a good way of how to keep bugs away from patio
Outer Cover for Teak Sofa - 3 Seat

Rain, snow, wind, and sun can take a toll on your outdoor furniture, but bugs can too.

Protect your chairs, sofas, sectionals, and other patio furniture from everything mother nature throws their way — bugs included — by covering them with tailored, all-weather covers from Outer.

Our waterproof and mold-proof covers are fade-resistant, recyclable, and built with easy-on, easy-off zippers to help you quickly cover or uncover your furniture every time.

They add an extra layer of defense against the elements and are one of the best methods for preserving the look and feel of your outdoor seating options.

Keep Bugs Away And Live Better, Outside

Don’t let pests ruin your day or night. With our Bug Shield Blankets and the tips in this article, you can enjoy your outdoor space all summer long!

For more ideas and inspiration, visit LiveOuter.com today.