Do you love to enjoy the warmth and beauty of your outdoor dining area or kitchen? Whether you're alone or with a big group of friends and family, outdoor dining is one of the best ways to enjoy your yard and all your hard work.
But, the threat of insects-both flying and crawling-can ruin your appetite.
What can you do to keep the creepy-crawly critters out of your eating area? Here are a few easy fixes for all your bug troubles.
Keep It Clean
Insects are drawn to dining areas and kitchens because of all the tempting smells and tastes. You can make your outdoor food area less appealing by keeping it free from messes, food, and water. Be sure to clean up any spills and wipe down the prep counters, stoves, grills, and dining table promptly after each use.
Keep a few easy cleaning supplies handy around the kitchen and dining table, such as all-purpose cleaner, sponges, squeegees, paper towels, and disinfectant wipes. When things are convenient, they're more likely to be used. And if you have outdoor trash or recycling in the kitchen area, move it far away from the food and prep areas.
Planning a custom outdoor kitchen design? Include garbage cans with self-sealing lids and foot pedals, then place them inside a designated cabinet with a solid door seal.
Remove Standing Water
Water draws in insects ranging from tiny ants to nasty mosquitoes and bees. Avoid giving them anything to come to by removing standing water and preventing it from forming at all. Do you have plants in containers around the patio? Avoid over-watering so much that leftover water stagnates in planter trays.
Trim back plants and trees that provide so much shade that water can pool in dirt and uneven concrete or paver sections. If you do get puddles that last, consider grading or otherwise boosting drainage.
Plant Pest Deterrents
Some plants, flowers, and shrubs can help deter bugs from your patio or deck. Basil, for instance, can repel both flies and mosquitoes. Mint and rosemary also make mosquitoes unhappy. Repellent herbs like these are perfect for an outdoor dining area since they can also be used to spice up your cooking or leave a pleasing aroma around the food.
Prefer flowers for a little color while they repel bugs? Try lavender, which helps get rid of many flying insects and fleas-perfect for outdoor kitchens with pets in the backyard. Marigolds, chrysanthemums, and petunias all make good bug protectors while making the room look brighter as well.
Screen It Off
What should you do, though, if these simpler measures just aren't doing the job? If you live in a more pest-prone climate or have nearby water features, for instance, you may need to take more drastic steps to ensure a comfortable eating environment. If you don't want chemical repellents around the food, consider screening off the porch to provide more solid protection.
Modern screened porches or decks don't have to be constricting or unattractive, though. Give yours an inspiring theme, like using wrought iron support railings and window decor for a look reminiscent of New Orleans, or using wide and tall screened windows with white column accents for a Southern feeling. Sheer, flowing curtains can help provide shade and comfort while minimizing the appearance of the window screens.
No matter what your budget and goals are, you can create an outdoor environment with fewer pests and more fun. Start by meeting with the landscape and outdoor room professionals at Chandler Landscapes, Inc., today. We can help you find the right plan for your particular yard.