According to the lawn care company TruGreen, the following ten U.S. cities were those most bothered by bugs in 2019. This particular study, which relied on customer data from both residential and commercial treatments, includes mosquitos, ticks and fleas.
- New York, NY
- Boston, MA
- Chicago, IL
- Atlanta, GA
- Dallas-Fort Worth, TX
- Detroit, MI
- Washington, DC
- Philadelphia, PA
- Hartford-New Haven, CT
- Minneapolis-Saint Paul, MN
If you live in these ten cities, you might want to pay extra close attention to the following tips. Here are the ten most effective ways to avoid those annoying little critters and enjoy all your outdoor activities without their constant interruption.
10. Bug Repellents
Many commercial bug repellants on the market are known for their effectiveness, including sprays, sticks and wearables such as bracelets and necklaces. While the products you apply directly to your skin tend to be more effective than those you wear on your body, you need to be very careful about their effects on your skin and eyes.
The chemical component of bug spray, deet, is one of the most effective bug repellents but has gotten a pretty bad rap over the last few decades, but most studies show that it is not really more dangerous than other chemical sprays.
At the same time, inadequate protection from some bugs can lead to serious health problems, like Lyme Disease, so whether you choose a chemical repellant or a natural one, make sure that whatever you are using actually works!
9. DIY Bug Repellent
There are many methods of making your own all-natural bug repellants, and you can find hundreds of different recipes online. Some include vanilla, essential oils and other natural elements. One study even found that certain kinds of dryer sheets can help ward off mosquitoes and other bugs when carried in your pockets.
The smell of a citronella candle may evoke summer memories for many, including barbeques, picnics and campfires. And while not everyone loves the scent, citronella is known to be highly effective in keeping mosquitoes and other pests away from your summer garden party or get-together. These candles tend to be easy to find and are not very expensive, so they are a good choice for keeping your outdoor spaces bug-free.
7. Natural Bug Deterrents
Aside from a citronella candle, there are other all-natural ways to keep your backyard free from unwanted pests. One is to place one half of a peeled onion in a glass or dish of water – the smell is said to encourage bugs to stay away.
Another way is to stick a clove into each section of a halved lemon, which is said to have a similar effect. Transparent bags of water hung around an eating area can also discourage flies but, no matter what, it´s also important to keep food covered as much as possible to discourage insect visitors.
6. Garden Magic
Your outdoor garden can also help you to keep bugs away when the weather starts to heat up. Herbs, such as mint, basil, lavender, chives, and rosemary, can help keep bugs away when planted in a garden. Plants that keep bugs away are lemongrass, citronella grass, marigolds and chrysanthemums. So, get your green thumb on!
5. A Soapy Trap
Sometimes, no matter how many preventative measures you employ, those pesky critters just keep coming back. One trick that will stop bugs in their tracks, if they refuse to be deterred by milder methods, is to place a dish of water mixed with dish soap near your eating or gathering areas – bugs will be attracted to it and then find themselves in a soapy trap from which they can´t escape. Sad, but sometimes necessary.
4. From the Inside Out
Certain foods and vitamins can also help us to keep bugs from getting too close. Garlic may or may not keep the vampires away, but foods that are heavy on the garlic have been shown to discourage bugs from getting too close. Vitamin B can also help, as can apple cider vinegar. So, load up on these good-for-you foods (within reason, of course), which can help improve your health and convince bugs to stay away.
3. Change Light Bulbs
Believe it or not, studies have shown that flying bugs are less attracted to LED bulbs than to regular ones. So, by changing those old-school bulbs for more energy-efficient models, you will not only be making a more environmentally friendly choice, but you will also be discouraging bugs from hanging out near your porch.
2. Fan Power
Installing a fan, either an overhead or a portable, in places like the porch or deck, where you often congregate during the spring and summer, is a great way to blow those pesky bugs away. Fans not only keep you cool but will keep critters from coming too close!
1. Clean Up!
Finally, keeping your house and your body clean are two easy ways to keep bugs away. Clutter and especially areas where standing water can entice bugs to hang around. Working on cleaning things up will help you feel more organized and on top of things and keep those bugs out. Sweat will attract bugs to your body, so make sure you are showered up to avoid bug bites.
If you live in one of the ten buggiest cities in the U.S., or even if you don’t, these tips will still be useful to you. Try out different combinations of these methods, depending on your circumstances, and watch the bugs disappear.