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How to Pest-Proof Your Yard Naturally

Rid your backyard of annoying bugs without exposing your family to chemicals and toxins.


  • Step 1: Eat by candlelight Light candles when you’re outside; research shows that people who are near candles get fewer bug bites than those without protection.
  • Step 2: Sprinkle herbs Sprinkle some basil, mint, and thyme around your garden. These herbs are so good at repelling ants that many countries put them in bags of grain to keep the little buggers out.
  • Step 3: Get rid of standing water Get rid of standing water; it’s where mosquitoes breed and lay eggs. Empty any toys, buckets, plastic covers, or planters that have collected rainwater, and change the water in birdbaths and fountains at least once a week.
  • TIP: If you do get bitten, rub the area with a little deodorant; the aluminum in it will help counteract the sting.
  • Step 4: Plant flora bugs hate Plant geraniums and pyrethrum; mosquitoes hate their scent. Keep deer—and therefore the ticks they carry—out by planting ferns, daffodils, tiger lilies, snapdragons, and morning glories.
  • Step 5: Use a fan Place a few mini fans around your yard. Mosquitoes stay clear of them because they’re not strong enough fliers to handle the wind.
  • Step 6: Use neem oil Buy some neem oil. Available in health food and garden stores, it repels 200 kinds of insects, including mosquitoes, whiteflies, gnats, and ticks, and it causes no side effects at all. Just spray a little of it wherever pests like to hang out. You even can spray it directly on plants to prevent bugs from eating them.
  • TIP: Pure neem oil is safe for your skin, but certain neem oil pesticide mixtures have toxic additives, so read labels carefully.
  • Step 7: Get a birdhouse Get a birdhouse. Birds love eating the same flying bugs that make your life miserable, making it a win-win situation.
  • FACT: Most insects are attracted to bright colors and perfume!

You Will Need

  • Candles
  • both regular and citronella
  • Basil
  • mint
  • and thyme
  • Plants that bugs hate
  • Fans
  • Neem oil
  • A birdhouse
  • Deodorant

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