How to Get Rid of Bugs Outside

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Our world is filled with bugs, big and small, crawling and flying. In fact, just about everywhere you look, you can see a bug. Getting rid of bugs outside is much the same as eliminating them inside. The key is understanding their needs and drastically limiting those needs or removing them altogether.

Things You'll Need

  • Push spreader
  • Granular insecticide
  • Mosquito dunks
  • Ready-to-use insecticide spray

Outdoor Overhaul

  • Remove things that attract bugs, such as food, water, and shelter. Bugs like clutter because it gives them a place to hide from creatures that might eat them.

  • Remove and/or store things that aren't nailed down. Stack firewood above the ground and away from your home. Cut grass regularly and remove excess grass clippings promptly. Keep trees and shrubs trimmed neatly and clean up excess leaf debris. Remove excess mulch or replace it with a pest-unfriendly material, such as pea gravel. Keep any encroaching wooded areas cut well back from your home.

  • Repair water leaks and fill in areas where water collects after rain. Keep gutters free of debris to prevent them from holding water.

  • Maintain outdoor pet, bird, and other animal food so that no excess food exists around feeding areas.

  • Many insects are attracted to light, which brings even more potential pests into well-lit outdoor areas. Use lower wattage outdoor lighting or eliminate it altogether. You can also switch to yellow lightbulbs. Yellow bulbs can substitute for white if some light is needed. This will minimize the number of insects, but not eliminate them.

Preventive Pest Control

  • Spread a granular pesticide over the yard to kill unwanted pests throughout. Choose a product that kills many insects, as opposed to only targeting one. Products that contain the pesticide bifenthrin work well. In addition to eliminating a broad range of insects throughout your yard, this procedure will keep other potential pests away.

  • Fill a push spreader with the appropriate amount of pesticide for the square footage of your yard and calibrate it according to the product's label (see Resources for link to Calibrating Granular Pesticide Applicators).

    Cover the yard with an even layer of granular pesticide, then water it in according to the label's instructions.

  • Cover your yard with an even layer of the insecticide and then water it according to the label's instructions, so that it sinks into the ground.

    Apply ready-to-use pesticide sprays made with botantical ingredients--such as EcoSMART--to safely treat ornamental plants, fruit trees, and vegetable gardens.

  • During warmer months, drop mosquito dunks into permanent bodies of water, such as bird baths and garden ponds. Follow the label instructions and use the number required for the amount of water in each location.

  • Unless you choose to keep spiders around to catch other pests, spray their webs to eliminate them. Simply knocking the web down will do nothing. Spiders, however, ingest their webs, so spraying the web will kill them. Once they are dead, you can safely and permanently remove their webs.

    Choose a ready-to-use pesticide spray labeled for treating spiders and lightly spray each web. Wait several days, or until you no longer see the spiders in their webs, then remove the webs with a broom.

Tips & Warnings

  • Read and follow all pest control label directions and heed all warnings.

References

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