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Bug Off! How to Enjoy Your Backyard and Not Get Eaten Alive

Mosquitoes, biting bugs, and creepy crawly critters can turn a lovely backyard into a jungle nightmare. Not only do bugs ruin a picnic, they can bite, spread disease, and make a nice meal unpleasant. Here are some tips on how to enjoy your backyard without getting eaten alive.


Pesticides have worked for years killing bugs, but with recent warnings and cancer scares, most people want to find a more natural solution to their bug problem. We will focus more on homeopathic and natural ways to rid the yard of bugs without filling the air we and our loved ones breathe with toxic fumes.


There are a number of plants that bugs, mosquitoes in particular, do not like. Citronella, catnip, and parsley are just a few of the plants that can be placed into containers and spread around a seating area.

Bug Zappers

Bug zappers have been around for a while, but the older models only zap flying bugs that may not bite. There are some more expensive models on the market that attract mosquitoes with a liquid placed inside the zapper and exterminate them just as well.

Fly Swatters

The oldest, and for some people, the most fun way to get rid of flies and other airborne insets is a fly swatter. Kids can have hours of fund running around the yard, swinging at these airborne pests, but this is the least effective way to get rid of flying insects and it doesn’t really do much for mosquitoes.

Candles and Smoke

Smoke is a natural deterrent for all types of insects. They just don’t like it. Lighting tiki torches, citronella candles, and even a fire in a fire pit can run off pesky bugs. However, it can also leave you smelling like smoke and cause those with respiratory issues additional problems.

Sprays and Creams

There are many different types of bug repellents on the market today. Those with a higher DEET concentration work wonderfully well to ward off biting insects but have been found harmful to small children and adults who accidentally expose this to their eyes or ingest it for long periods of time. Other brands brag of no DEET, but research has shown that these creams and sprays do little if nothing to prevent bugs from attacking.


If possible, a great solution is to enclose the space in netting that keeps bugs out in the first place. Magnets attached to openings now leave a hands-free approach to enter and exit the enclosure and keep kids and adults safe without the use of pesticides, smoke, or even loud bug zappers.

Yard Maintenance

If the budget allows, there are companies that will spray your yard with nontoxic herbicides that will keep mosquito larvae and other bugs from hatching and spreading around your yard. Check your local listings for companies offering this type of service.