Your patio is the perfect place to host a party or relax after a long day, but did you know it can also attract pests? Fortunately, you can do a few things to minimize the risk of infestation. Follow these four tips to help avoid contacting professional residential pest control in Toronto.
1. Choose Plants That Deter Pests
Certain plants produce scents that deter pests. You can either pot these plants to decorate your patio or plant them close by:
- Petunias: To prevent beetles, aphids, squash bugs and tomato worms from ruining your day, add these annuals to your garden.
- Rosemary: This herbaceous evergreen shrub repels mosquitoes and flies.
- Chrysanthemums: Mites, roaches, fleas, ants, beetles and ticks avoid this flowering shrub.
- Lavender: Mosquitos, moths, flies and fleas can’t stand this herb.
- Marigolds: Rabbits, aphids, plant lice and mosquitos stay away from these yellow-to-orange blooms.
Lemongrass, basil, chives and mint are also great at deterring pests. If plants aren’t your thing, you can get a similar effect by burning candles that mimic these aromas. A pest control expert may also recommend effective essential oils.
Cedar is another natural deterrent for spiders, fleas, lice, gnats, mosquitos and ticks. It’s also highly durable, making it a great choice for furniture. Alternatively, you can use cedar chips, blocks, candles, oils and sprays to keep your patio safe from insects.
2. Clean Your Patio Regularly
All wildlife needs food for survival; even crumbs can sustain small creatures. To avoid the need for bug and rodent control, you should regularly clean your patio. Sweep up any crumbs and throw them away inside the house — if you just sweep them into the yard, you won’t solve the problem.
If you spill liquid, wipe it up immediately. You may need to scrub sticky substances, as the residue is enough to attract ants. Dish soap is your best friend for greasy stains, but be careful when you rinse, as soap can damage your grass.
Finally, keep your patio clutter-free. Rodents and bugs often make their homes in close, dark places, so piles of firewood, toys and boxes may attract unwanted visitors. Your local pest control professional can identify problematic clutter and help you find a better arrangement.
3. Remove Food and Water Sources
In addition to keeping your patio free of human fare, you should remove other potential food sources. A good example is pet food and treats. While it may be convenient to leave a bowl out for your outdoor dog or cat, wildlife may get into it instead. If you leave food out regularly, rodents and raccoons will associate your property with reliable resources.
Instead, feed your pet inside. If this doesn’t work for you, create a feeding schedule and only leave food out during your pet’s breakfast and dinner time.
Another food source we humans often forget about is garbage. Rats, raccoons, birds and insects are attracted to the smell of rot and are more than happy to consume trash or compost.
To avoid a wildlife invasion, place your garbage and compost bins far away from your patio. Ideally, you should get containers with locking lids to prevent animals from getting in. If you need further help, a pest control expert can offer secure storage suggestions.
4. Install New Lighting
Certain types of lighting attract flying insects. For a bug-free evening, install LEDs. These don’t produce as much ultraviolet light or heat, both of which draw insects.
Alternatively, you can use CLF bulbs with a yellow or orange cast. These options don’t attract bugs as much as a traditional white bulb.
When pests make themselves at home, Truly Nolen Canada can help you kick them to the curb. Our residential pest control professionals can eliminate pests and ensure they don’t return. For more information, give us a call or contact us online.