We were thrilled to add a new patio to our home recently, which was in the works for months. Imagine our shock and dismay when we realized that various bugs were starting to call our patio furniture their new home.
Out of desperation, we were forced into a brand-new project to keep the bugs out of our patio furniture.
Luckily, our research yielded many great ways to eliminate the unwelcome guests residing on our patio.
I will share the methods we used to get rid of the bugs that had started lounging on our new patio furniture:
- Starting with maintenance or damage-control methods to stop attracting pests onto a patio.
- Then we’ll look at ways to identify if insects are on patio furniture.
- Finally, I’ll provide a detailed list of ways to repel bugs out of patio furniture, which includes a range of instant and medium to long-term solutions.
So, here’s how we got rid of the bugs on our patio furniture, starting with what we shouldn’t have done in the first place: sending them an open invitation to come and hang out on our patio furniture!
5 Ways To Stop Attracting Bugs Onto a Patio
We were late to realize that we were at fault for making our patio seem like a great nesting place for all kinds of bugs, and it was time to correct that mistake.
We could have avoided a lot of trouble if we had followed these simple tips:
1. Clear the Surroundings
Overgrown shrubs and plants make it easy for pests to move into the patio and onto the furniture. Therefore, clearing out any potential hiding or nesting places is a great way to ensure the bugs stay off the deck.
We started by removing a few potted shrubs we placed on the patio and trimming the lawn surrounding it.
2. Routine Inspections
Keeping an eye out for bugs can save you a lot of trouble later, making these routine checks a wise choice:
- Carefully inspect under tables and seat cushions, inside cracks, crevices, and wicker on the furniture.
- Any tubes and PVCs on the patio are also great insect nesting places.
- Don’t forget to thoroughly check other patio items, such as umbrellas, umbrella mounts, and decorative items.
3. Regular Cleaning
Regularly clean the patio furniture by brushing them thoroughly, especially if you have wicker furniture that bugs love to nest on. Seat pads, if you have any, need weekly washing.
Pests often venture into unwelcome territories in search of food. Therefore, make it a habit to clean up the patio to avoid leaving any bits of food or wrappers behind for bugs to feed on.
4. Change Lighting
We learned that yellow and orange light attracts fewer bugs than bright white light. As a result, we changed our patio lighting by going for a mix of dimmer yellow and sodium vapor lights.
5. Covering Patio Furniture
Patio covers are not only for protecting patio furniture from the rain and sun, but they also help keep the bugs away.
Investing in a fitted cover with mounting points or tie-downs to fully enclose the furniture was a great idea.
Vinyl and fabric are preferred for patio covers since they are natural pest deterrents.
Signs of Bugs Nesting on Patio Furniture
While it might take unsuspecting eyes some time to spot insects residing on patio furniture, a closer look can help identify some tell-tale signs of bug problems.
- Spider webs and insects caught on them might mean that spiders have moved onto your patio, and a closer look can even reveal spider nests.
- Clumps of dirt, plant litter, wasp nests and combs, insect feces or frass, and wood shavings are common signs of bug activity on your patio furniture.
- Stained and pigment streaks on patio furniture point to bug concerns too.
Typical Bugs Found Around Patios
- Ground Beetles
- Mosquitos, Flies, Wasps, Bees & Other Flying Insects
How To Repel Bugs Out of Patio Furniture
Here’s the list of methods we found helpful to keep bugs off our patio furniture. Some of these methods work instantly, while others take more time, so we use them based on our needs and other factors such as convenience and safety.
1. Bring Out the Vacuum Cleaner
Vacuuming removes even the smallest insects, nests, webs, eggs, and other bug-related debris from patio furniture. As a result, we bring out the vacuum to the patio whenever we use it indoors.
We also heard that using a power washer or steam cleaner is a great way to get rid of insect eggs that can be difficult to remove or kill.
Just be careful not to damage the furniture with the extreme heat such appliances produce.
2. Using Essential Oils
The aroma of some essential oils can repel not just bugs but also rodents and other animals, such as coyotes.
Although their effect subdues over time with exposure to moisture and sunlight, we found spraying essential oils before spending time on the patio a great way to keep insects away.
Bug-Repelling Essential Oils
- Peppermint Oil
- Neem Oil
- Rosemary Oil
- Lavender Oil
- Citrus Oil
- Basil Oil
Mix a few drops of essential oil with a liter of water and spray the mix onto the patio, furniture, and the surrounding area. Adding some soap to the mix will prolong the effects of the essential oil.
3. Washing With Bleach
Bugs can easily crawl inside the cushions and nest in the cushion stuffing. The best way to get rid of them is to mix a bit of bleach with water and rinse the cushion thoroughly.
Don’t forget to toss the pillows in the dryer instead of hanging them out to dry since damp cushions can quickly attract insects.
4. Spraying Vinegar
Vinegar is right up there regarding home remedies for controlling bugs. It’s cheap, safe, and highly effective.
Mix equal vinegar and water before spraying the mix on the hard surfaces and crevices of your patio furniture.
5. Using Cinnamon
While most of us find the smell of cinnamon to be warm and comforting, bugs seem to have a different opinion.
We found leaving cinnamon sticks underneath and between sofa cushions highly effective.
6. Burning Citronella
Citronella’s pest-repelling qualities are scientifically proven. It’s available as oil, candles, and torches. We prefer the candles since they create a lovely atmosphere on the patio in the evenings.
Torches, however, offer more aroma as the flame is bigger.
7. Sprinkle Diatomaceous Earth (De)
Diatomaceous Earth is a natural powder, and sprinkling its food-grade version is a great way to create a barrier between the patio and the rest of the yard.
It will be effective if it doesn’t get wet, in which case, re-application is required.
8. Applying Talcum Powder
Talcum is a natural mineral commonly used in baby powder and makeup products. It’s available by the container too.
Establishing a perimeter around the patio with Talcum can stop any encroaching bugs.
9. Using Borax
Borax is a cost-effective way of keeping cockroaches and other hard-shelled insects well off the patio.
We found sprinkling borax around the deck and on the furniture is practical, especially when we didn’t have time for thorough cleaning immediately after spending time on the patio.
Some individuals and pets are sensitive to some of the substances listed above, including the natural ones.
- Keep children and pets away from Diatomaceous Earth (DE), Talcum, and Borax, as ingesting them can be dangerous for children and pets.
- Always read the warnings and use them responsibly as instructed.
- Some essential oils, vinegar, and cinnamon can stain furniture and cushions.
- Try going with diluted mixes with more water after testing the mixture on a hidden spot.
- Wrap cinnamon in old clothes or socks before placing it on furniture.
10. Growing Bug-Deterrent Plants
Some flowering plants make patios look stunning and help keep the bugs away.
Marigolds and Lavender provide protection against flies, moths, and fleas, while mites, ants, and mosquitos don’t cross paths with Chrysanthemums.
Petunias, on the other hand, are great against aphids and beetles.
Herbs have so many uses other than for cooking. Potted herbs make beautiful decorative pieces; more importantly, most bugs prefer to steer clear of them.
Strategically placing them around the patio and furniture is an excellent solution for bug problems.
Pest-Repelling Plants & Herbs
- Citrus Plants
- Garlic & Onion
11. Attracting Lizards
Various lizards are great at controlling bugs, especially spiders. We had to do some research to learn about the kinds of lizards living in our area.
Then it was just a matter of providing water and hiding places, so we set up a small pond and created some caves with rocks.
12. Using Bugs Against Bugs
Ladybugs are fantastic for controlling bugs since they gobble up insect larvae and eggs. They also don’t damage plants or furniture.
Plants such as Chives, Dandelion, Marigold, and Parsley attract them while they find shelter in oregano and thyme. Ladybugs are available to purchase online.
However, we found them already living in our yard, so it was just a matter of attracting them to the patio area and ensuring we didn’t step or sit on them by accident.
Remember to check local regulations before buying ladybugs online.
Remember that although finding bugs in patio furniture can be scary initially, there are many ways to repel them. The list was full of variety, from DIY home remedies to using nature to help our cause.
It was just a matter of picking the methods that suited us and our setting and putting them into motion. I must also highlight the need for a lot of patience and consistency.
Once the bugs were off our patio furniture, it boiled down to how well we maintained our patio and its surroundings.
So far, we have done an excellent job of avoiding a second bug infestation on our deck.
Frequently Asked Questions
What Naturally Keeps Bugs Away?
Herbs and plants such as Basil, Chrysanthemums, Citrus Plants, Garlic & Onion, etc., and essential oils such as Peppermint Oil, Neem Oil, and Rosemary Oil. etc.
Natural products such as vinegar and cinnamon can be used to repel bugs.
What Can I Spray To Keep Bugs Away?
You can spray an essential oil such as Peppermint oil, Neem oil, or Rosemary oil diluted with water. Mixing vinegar with water and spraying it can also repel insects.