If you’re struggling to keep insects out of your porch, you might be wondering what you can do to deter them more effectively.
Fortunately, there are quite a few steps you can take to put insects off coming into your porch, and from there into your home.
In this article we’ll show you:
- Common insects that come inside your porch
- What attracts insects to your porch
- How you can stop insects from coming in for good!
What Insects Commonly Come Into Porches?
There are a lot of different insects that might come into the home, either in the day or in the night, attracted by the lights in your house.
You are quite likely to see wasps and bees in the day, especially if you have food on your porch for any reason. Flies are another common daytime pest.
At night, you may attract anything from mosquitoes to moths, which can range from annoying to nerve-wracking to downright painful, depending on how you react to being bitten.
There are many other kinds of insects that may hang around your porch, particularly at night if you have the lights on.
You might see stink bugs, gnats, and various other unpleasant bugs, so how can you keep them away without having to turn the light off?
How Can I Keep Bugs Away?
So, what can you do to deter the bugs?
There are two different methods that will help to keep the insects away from your porch: removing things that attract them, and installing things that they dislike to drive them away.
Your methods may need to vary depending on what insects are commonly around, but on the whole, most methods will prove effective against most common bugs; many insects tend to like and dislike quite similar things!
So, let’s look at removing attractive items and then installing deterrents.
What Attracts Insects To Your Porch?
Lights are one of the biggest things that attract insects when the sky turns dark.
Every bug that is awake seems to be drawn in by them, and this is very annoying if you want to sit outdoors in the evening and enjoy your porch or patio.
There isn’t much you can do about lights attracting bugs. You can try shading the lights, or installing yellow bulbs, which might be less attractive to at least some insects.
Insects see blue light better than warm colors, so take advantage of this and use warm colors.
You should also make sure that you close the door or screen door into your home so that the insects at least go no further into your home.
This is particularly the case when mosquitoes are around, as they are probably the worst bug to have in your home!
Eating or drinking on your porch is a lovely way to spend long summer evenings, and it’s not uncommon for bits of food to drop, or the odd drink to get spilled.
This isn’t a big deal in most cases, but bear in mind that this food will attract insects, particularly if it is sugary.
It’s a good idea to clean up food and drink promptly, and not leave plates or cups on your porch, either in the day or the night.
Sugary drinks will particularly attract wasps, and the last thing you want is them setting up a nest in your porch.
Bear in mind that even breadcrumbs and flakes of food will appeal to ants, so it’s a good idea to regularly sweep your porch, whether you eat out there or not.
If you have any standing water around on your porch, whether from a drainpipe or a bird bowl or anything else, remove it if possible, or empty it regularly.
Standing water is a prime breeding ground for mosquito larvae, and you don’t want those breeding near your porch!
Empty any containers of water or keep it well away from your porch at least.
That goes for kids’ pools, watering cans, bowls, and anything else that could provide egg space to those nasty biting insects.
Long Grass Or Plants
Remember that insects need shelter, and they like grassy areas, overgrown plants, and bushes.
Keep the area around your porch well trimmed and cut low to avoid sheltering too many insects in the grass.
It can be annoying to have to constantly maintain your porch, but it will help to keep the insects away, because they will feel more exposed if they don’t have foliage to hide in, breed in, and eat.
Like removing standing water, this decreases the overall amount of bugs around.
What Deters Insects From Your Porch?
Most insects don’t like strong currents of air, and find that they can’t fly in them.
You can take advantage of this by installing a fan in your porch and turning it on when you’re using the space.
Mosquitoes are particularly known for being grounded when the weather is windy, so this is a great way of dealing with them if they are a nuisance in your area.
Other flying insects will similarly avoid the windy area, so fans are a very effective way to keep your porch bug-free, both in the day and at night.
Just make sure the fan will stay dry if it rains, or carry it indoors when you have finished using it!
Citronella is famous for keeping insects at bay, and you can either sprinkle the essential oil on your clothes, or purchase and burn citronella torches.
These will make a big difference to your outdoor experience on long evenings.
They are also beautiful and will lend a little warmth to a chilly porch, so they’re a great option for brightening up your evening, making it more comfortable, and keeping the bugs away.
Citronella is good for deterring many kinds of insects, and it works well on mosquitoes, which are often the most annoying flying insect to deal with.
Many insects dislike strong smells, so essential oils are a friend when it comes to keeping the porch bug-free.
Choose scents that you like; insects will be deterred by most, although sweet smells like vanilla may not work.
Lavender and eucalyptus are particularly effective for most insects, as they don’t like the smell.
You can mix the essential oils with a carrier oil and then spray them around the entryway to the porch.
You will have to do this quite regularly, so it is a bit of a high-maintenance method of keeping the insects away, but it has the bonus of making the porch smell nice.
If you’re relaxing out there for the evening, essential oils are a lovely addition, and if you already have them around, this is well worth trying.
You can then relax in a soothing mist of defensive scent!
You will also find that mint is highly effective when it comes to repelling bugs of all kinds, and you can buy commercial mint sprays that may last longer than homemade versions.
These should work on most insects, if not all.
They are also effective against spiders, as the strong smell is unpleasant to them, so if you’re an arachnophobe, you might find this a very appealing solution for keeping your porch totally bug free!
As with the essential oils, this does need some repeat applications as over time, the scent will wash away and fade, but it is reasonably quick and easy to give the entryway to your porch a thorough spray every few days, and you can store the spray in there for easy application.
Mint is one of the best ways to deter bugs, so give this a try some time.
You can also use this spray inside your home to get rid of spiders.
If you don’t have or don’t want to buy any specific spray, you can add mouthwash to a spray bottle and use this instead.
The strong, minty scent will drive insects away, although you might have to apply this more frequently than a commercial spray.
Use Plants To Your Advantage
Although we mentioned keeping plants under control as a method of making your space unfriendly to insects, there are certain plants that will help to repel the bugs through their presence.
This might surprise you, as a lot depend on insects for their pollination, but – depending on what you want to deter – it can be very effective.
Commonly used plants include those with strong scents, such as geranium, citronella (unsurprisingly), rosemary, marigolds, and lavender.
These can be great for keeping away biting insects in particular, so wave goodbye to the mosquitoes.
However, you should make yourself aware of what pollinates the plants before you add them to the area around your porch.
For example, lavender is extremely popular with the bees.
Many people want bee-friendly plants, but if you’re not so keen or you have an allergy, avoid lavender.
It’s a good idea to be aware of what you’re planting, what it repels, and what it attracts, as not all plants will deter all insects.
Here are a few common and useful combinations:
- Lavender for deterring mosquitoes, flies, fleas, and moths (but be aware that it attracts other insects like bees and butterflies)
- Rosemary for deterring mosquitoes
- Citronella for deterring mosquitoes
- Chrysanthemums for deterring cockroaches, bedbugs, fleas, ants, and ticks
- Catnip for deterring cockroaches, mosquitoes, flies, and ticks (but certainly not cats!)
Remember that you can plant several of these in conjunction to achieve the combination of repellents that you want, but don’t forget to check what insects like the plants so you don’t accidentally attract the wrong things!
Add A Bat or Bird House
While not practical for everyone, increasing the number of insect predators is a great way to reduce the number of insects overall.
If you live somewhere where you could feasibly put up a bird house or bat house, consider doing so.
Bats are great for swooping in on and devouring the evening insects, while birds will cut down on daytime bugs.
Both will allow you to sit and enjoy your outdoor space with far less disturbance.
There are lots of ways to keep the insects away from your porch both in the day and at night, and these are well worth the effort involved to grant yourself uninterrupted and enjoyable outdoor time!
Alright, that’s it for this article, here’s a few hand selected articles that you might also find interesting reads:
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