The great outdoors is the natural habitat for bugs. For better or worse, being outside means coexisting with them. Not all outdoor habitats are created alike, however, and there are certain things that attract more bugs to your yard than would otherwise be there.

The good news is that this means there are also things you can do to reduce the number of unwanted insects in your yard. Here is what you need to know about managing outdoor pests.

Why Are There So Many Bugs in My Yard?

Several man-made and natural features in your backyard might be attracting scores of unwanted pests. The most obvious are garbage cans and uncovered food, but there are many natural attractions as well. Leaf litter, wood piles, and other organic materials provide great harborage for ants, springtails, termites, and other insects.

This includes mulch, which—when it begins to decompose—becomes an ideal environment for breeding pests. Standing water also serves as an incubator for breeding insects, such as mosquitos. Weeds and overgrown grass, as well as trees and bushes that grow up against or over your home, can also attract more bugs to your yard.

How to Get Rid of Bugs in Your Yard

You can reduce the number of bugs around your home with several strategies:

  • Clean up and remove leaves and organic materials from around the foundation of your home and from under bushes, decks, and exterior steps.
  • Trim back trees overhanging or touching your roof and bushes that are up against your house.
  • Be mindful of your garbage. Keep trash cans covered, store them away from outdoor recreation areas, and take them out to the curb as often as possible.
  • Empty stagnant water from your yard. Mosquito larvae cannot survive in moving water, so opt for waterfall features instead of decorative pieces that use standing water, like birdbaths.
  • Don’t mulch within twelve inches of your home’s foundation or directly by recreation areas. If you must mulch, try using inorganic materials like gravel or rock.
  • Burn citronella candles when hanging out in your yard, as citronella oil serves as a safe, natural repellant to mosquitos and other pests.
  • Lastly, add some plants to your garden that naturally repel unwanted bugs. Chrysanthemums, for example, drive away ants, bedbugs, fleas, roaches, and ticks. Lavender will help keep fleas, flies, moths, and mosquitos at bay.

Are All Bugs Bad?

Not all backyard bugs are unwanted pests. Some have an important role to play in maintaining your yard’s complex ecosystem. Bees, for instance, are attracted to flowering plants but also play an important role in pollinating them. Spiders, ladybugs, and ground beetles may seem like creepy crawlies, but they eat many smaller unwanted pests like aphids that feed on plants and could destroy your garden.

When trying to get rid of outdoor pests, it’s important to be careful that your methods don’t kill or drive away the insects you need to have around. This is where relying on a pest control professional can help.

Outdoor Pest Control in St. Louis, Missouri

Ready to transform your backyard and patio into a bug-repelling recreation zone? McCarthy Pest and Termite Control can help. Using our thorough six-point inspection process, we will identify all the trouble spots attracting bugs to your yard and clear them out. Contact us today so you can enjoy the outdoors tomorrow!