Ideas & Inspiration

How to Get Rid of Summer Bugs

Control Flying Insects
Japanese beetle on a pink flower

Flying insects like Japanese beetles, yellow jackets and wasps can be a nuisance. The good news is that they can be captured with traps. Place traps 30 feet from doors and places where people congregate. 

The organic method of controlling Japanese beetles is straightforward: Hand-pick and drop beetles into a bucket of soapy water (you may want to don gardening gloves first). 

Organic Neem-based pesticides and insecticidal soaps also provide good control. Always use according to label directions.

Yellow jackets can be aggressive and should be treated with caution. Learn more about identifying and controlling yellow jackets.

Control Mosquitoes
Mosquito on human skin

Protect your family and landscape this summer when you take precautions against mosquitoes. Not only are these pesky insects annoying for their buzzing and biting, but they can spread diseases, too, like West Nile virus and Zika virus.

The way to reduce the mosquito population is to take measures at every stage of the insect’s life cycle. There are four stages in a mosquito’s life: egg, larva, pupa and adult. When you disrupt the life cycle, you will reduce the mosquito population in your area.

Mosquitoes breed in summer and lay their eggs in water. And they don’t need a lake or pool – mosquitoes can breed in as little as a bottle cap of water. For this reason, the top mosquito-control advice is: Kill mosquitoes before they are old enough to bite by eliminating sources of standing water.

It’s easy to control mosquitoes in water by placing a mosquito dunk in the source of water. Dunks are made of Bti, short for bacillus thuringiensis israelensis, a bacteria that creates toxins in mosquito larva.

Mosquito Dunks will not harm birds, fish, wildlife and pets. When you place a dunk in standing water, it will control mosquito larvae for up to 30 days up to 100 square feet of surface water, regardless of depth.

Learn more about controlling mosquitoes.

Control Ants, Slugs and More Soft-Bodied Insects
Ants on food

Stop soft-bodied insects like aphids, earwigs, ants, crickets, snails, slugs, millipedes and centipedes by sprinkling diatomaceous earth in trouble spots. Reapply after a hard rain.

To use diatomaceous earth outdoors, lightly coat areas where pests are found or may hide, including windows, door frames and sills, and outside of entryways.

You can treat your lawn with products that will kill grubs, fleas, ticks and more. Be sure to read packages carefully before applying to your lawn. 

Tip: Calculate how much product you’ll need to treat your entire lawn based on width by length and the delivery rate per square foot listed on the package. On a dry day, pour product into a rotary spreader. Apply half, running the spreader in a north/south pattern and half in an east/west pattern to lawns and flowerbeds. Water thoroughly.