You’ve set out a spread of delicious food, put together an energetic playlist, and have a variety of games planned — it seems you’re ready to host the perfect outdoor party. All it takes, however, is a group of annoying pests of the non-human variety to ruin your big bash. To prevent a fun gathering from turning into a battle against bugs, make sure you’re prepared for the inevitable by reading our helpful guide below. These nine tips help you repel insects so that your guests leave with fond memories instead of stings and bites.
1. Grow Bug-Repelling Plants Near the Patio
There are many plants that smell appealing to you, but repel those pesky insects. Grow these plants near the patio or deck to ward off pests and keep your backyard bash bug-free. Here’s a quick list of our favorite pest-repelling plants.
- Lavender: While lavender’s scent is relaxing to you, it’s disgusting to bugs.
- Marigolds: Along with keeping bugs away, these beautiful flowers brighten up your backyard.
- Basil: Along with deterring flies, the oil in basil also kills mosquito eggs. Plus, after the party you can make some fresh pesto!
- Chrysanthemums: These colorful flowers contain Pyrethrins, which naturally keep common insects like mosquitoes and ticks away.
- Lemongrass: Lemongrass contains citronella oil, a bug-repelling oil which has a fresh citrus scent that your guests will love.
For the best results, place plants around the perimeter of your party, as well as on tables. A variety of fresh flowers keeps the bugs away and makes it easy (and affordable) to decorate!
2. Remove Standing Water
Standing water attracts a variety of insects and provides the perfect breeding place for mosquitoes. Before the party, take time to look for empty containers where water may be stored. Empty flowerpots and even some outdoor decor could be collecting water and attracting more insects to your backyard.
3. Burn Herbs to Repel Annoying Pests
Smoke helps deter biting bugs, but you can do even more to prevent pests from attacking your party by burning herbs over the fire pit. Sage, lavender, rosemary, mint, and citronella will all do the trick. Plus, while keeping your outdoor environment bug-free, the pleasant scent of herbs also enhances the ambiance of your party. Simply toss a bundle or a few branches (dry or fresh) into the fire to repel insects.
4. Mask Your Scent to Keep Away Mosquitoes
From body odor to blood type, mosquitoes are attracted to numerous human scents. When hosting a large gathering, it’s no wonder that mosquitoes typically crash it — the scent they love is that much stronger when groups of people get together! That’s why it’s a good idea to mask you and your guests’ natural scents during the party. Here are a few strategies to try:
- Offer your guests bug spray: If you prefer not to use bug spray containing DEET, try one of the many natural alternatives that can mask your scent. Plenty of the natural bug sprays contain citronella oil.
- Light candles or arrange diffusers around the patio: Citronella candles are a popular bug-repelling method. They’re also a great form of mood lighting if you’re hosting your party during the evening.
- Fill the patio with plants: As previously stated, there are certain plants that mosquitoes and other pests don’t like. Surround your patio or deck with these fresh-smelling flowers and herbs to make your human scent less appealing.
Keep in mind that some scents, like perfumes, mask your natural scent, but still attract insects. Avoid wearing any strong perfumes or colognes during the party.
5. Cover Food That’s Not Being Eaten
An easy way to attract insects is to set out food. If you plan to serve food outside, use large mixing bowls or even colanders to cover up the meal after guests have dished up. When it appears that everyone is done eating, bring the food back inside and clean up after the guests right away to reduce flies and mosquitoes in the backyard. After you’ve thrown away all of the empty plates and napkins, be sure to take out the trash to remove any lingering smells.
6. Turn On A Fan
Mosquitoes are not strong insects and even a slight breeze can be enough to make them inactive during the day. If you’re hosting your gathering on a still day, plug in an outdoor fan to circulate air. If it’s a hot day, guests will also appreciate having a cool breeze nearby.
7. Move Lights Away from Your Guests
Lights tend to attract bugs, so unless you have a bug-zapping lantern, pay attention to where you set outdoor lights. After the sun goes down, take advantage of citronella candles to lighten up the patio and set up your bigger outdoor lamps and lanterns away from the crowd. If you’re hosting a bonfire, you might not even need additional lighting.
8. Search for Organic Sprays
If your party is near the vegetable garden, bugs are likely to appear. To protect both your fresh food and guests, spray vegetables with an organic insect repellent. Organic, natural sprays are both safe and effective at killing insects; Avant Garden Decor offers a wide range of Safer sprays, traps and baits to reduce insects in your garden and backyard patio.
9. Set Up a Protected Canopy
When all else fails, a canopy with screen walls can provide protection from bugs and the sun. It’s not the cheapest solution, but if you’ve had trouble with bugs in the past and are looking for an easy fix, a canopy could be your most convenient option. Plus, you can reuse the tent for future events, too!
If you don’t have a canopy, but you do have an overhead structure in the backyard, consider attaching mosquito nets to enhance protection. This strategy enhances both bug and sun protection, and it transforms your backyard into a relaxing getaway. Even after the party is over, you can escape to your protected patio and enjoy a quiet, relaxing evening.
Don’t let bugs ruin a perfectly good party. There are so many ways to keep the mosquitoes away — try a few of our ideas to ensure your guests have a blast at your big bash.
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