Summer kicked off with “buffalo gnats,” and mosquito season wasn’t far behind. After being cooped up all winter long, how can we ward off biting and pesky bugs long enough to enjoy our all-too-short Minnesota summers?

Here, we’ll be offering insights you can use to bug-proof your home and yard so that you can enjoy summer days swinging on the porch and evenings grilling out.

Preventative measures to keep bugs out of your yard

If possible, it helps to prep your yard as mosquito season is approaching. This allows you to decrease the amount and size of any areas in your yard or garden that bugs could be attracted to.

To begin, get rid of standing water. Not only will this improve the health and appearance of your grass, but it will also remove the chance of mosquitoes calling this area home. Next, cover up logs. Whether you have a pile of wood for home improvement projects or firewood to fuel your summer bonfires, cover these stacks so they don’t become breeding grounds for mosquitoes after rainfall.

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Budget-friendly ways to rid your yard of bugs

There are plenty of options when it comes to decreasing the number of bugs in your yard. Here are some of our favorite ways to get bugs out of your lawn without breaking the bank. The end game? A summer filled with yard activities, sans the bug bites that we’ve become accustomed to getting.

1. Tabletop options for a bug-free summer. Whether you like to sit out on your porch, deck, patio or right in your grass, stash a can of bug spray on every tabletop and outdoor storage space that you have. By keeping bug spray constantly within reach, you’ll remember to spray yourself and ward off pesky bugs.

You may also consider purchasing an assortment of citronella candles. The scent of a citronella candle is natural yet floral, plus it keeps bugs away.

2. Purchase an umbrella netFor the effect of a screened-in porch, purchase an umbrella net. You can attach this screen to your patio umbrella to create a pop-up screened-in area. These nets have mixed reviews for durability, so you may want to do your homework before buying, but some users tout them as an easy and inexpensive option. Or, there’s always the more traditional route of the screened-in tent!

3. Think about spatial repellents. Have you heard of Thermocell’s rechargeable mosquito repellent? This gadget is battery-operated and it keeps mosquitoes away for hours — without any odor! Simply refill your gear and replace the repellent cartridges and you’re well on your way to an enjoyable evening outdoors.

4. Kid-friendly and natural repellants. Whether you’re a parent or just want to opt for a more natural approach, you can look for bug spray or repellant that is free of DEET, a common chemical used to deter bugs. Natural bug sprays typically have citronella or Citriodiol (also called lemon eucalyptus oil). For a quick-and-easy option for kids and adults alike, look into mosquito bands.

5. Spray-it-yourself options. Not interested in spraying yourself or dealing with extra furniture and gadgets to keep the bugs away? Maybe a DIY yard spray is for you. You can mosquito-proof your backyard with lawn spray. Simply head over to your nearest hardware store or landscaping store to stock up on effective sprays and get started.

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Invest in a bug-free yard

If you’re done exploring the DIY options of ridding your yard of bugs and you’re ready to get serious about pest control, you may need to consider some more expensive options.

You can hire a professional to spray your lawn. There are companies devoted to pest control, while many landscaping companies also offer spraying as an add-on to their typical mowing and upkeep package.

This heavy-duty spray will kill off any existing bugs and prevent future mosquitoes from coming. However, spraying your yard isn’t a one-and-done procedure. To keep enjoying the effects of a bug-free yard, you’ll need to routinely schedule lawn sprays throughout the summer. Keep in mind that spraying for mosquitoes and gnats can have a negative impact on pollinators like butterflies and bees.

Alternatively, maybe this year you build that screened-in porch you’ve always dreamed of. This is the perfect option to keep bugs out, without having to do continual upkeep or spray your yard (or yourself) each and every evening. With a screened-in porch, you can enjoy the summer breeze and the sunshine peeking in while avoiding sunburns and pesky bugs.

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Goodbye bugs, hello summer

By following these preventative and active steps, you’ll win the fight against gnats, flies, and mosquitoes. If you’re ready to make your yard look its best before you sell, reach out to Edina Realty, or give me a call (715) 821-6491.  We’re able to help you enjoy summer even as you look for your next dream house.  You can view our properties at the Betty Most Agency.