When it comes to keeping bugs off patio furniture, you have a lot of options. From keeping the area clean and creating a welcoming environment for other animals to using various chemicals and scents, there are numerous ways to protect your patio from unwanted insects.
However, before we get into how to keep bugs off patio furniture, we need to identify the bugs we’re combating and figure out if the furniture is a cause of the problem. There are a lot of different bugs and some of them require a special approach.
What Kind of Bug Is It?
Depending on your location and the time of day, your patio might be infested with all kinds of bugs. The best way to tell the difference is by noting their coloration, because that will likely give a clue as to what they are.
Tiny Black Bugs on Outdoor Furniture
If the bugs are black, you probably have an aphid problem. These little guys feed on the juices of your plants, which is probably where you’ll find them. The biggest problem with them is that they can transmit viruses that will kill your plants.
To make matters worse, ants tend to surround and protect aphids so an aphid population will attract ants onto your patio area. To keep your plants safe and your patio clear, you need to handle the aphid issue quickly or prevent one entirely.
Tiny White Bugs on Outdoor Furniture
If you notice small white bugs around your patio, specifically near your furniture, then you probably have a wood mite infestation. They only feed on dead or dying wood, so they don’t pose as much of a problem as termites, but they can be a nuisance.
Aside from the methods that will be discussed later, you can purchase a mite killer from any home goods store and spray it to rid yourself of the problem. Just make sure to locate any eggs and take them out as well.
Tiny Red Bugs on Outdoor Furniture
The next color on our list is red, which brings us to spider mites. Once again, they’re not dangerous to humans or animals but spider mites will eat away at your plants. They especially go after potted plants, infesting the soil and killing your plant.
Like wood mites, you can take them out yourself with a spray but you need to make sure the one you use specifies spider mites. Some insecticides don’t kill spider mites and would be useless.
Tiny Green Bugs on Outdoor Furniture
Green bugs could be aphids again or beetles. Aphids can be a couple different colors, so refer to the earlier black bugs to learn more about them. There’s no difference in their behavior, so your plants are the most at risk if you have an aphid problem.
Beetles are just as bad for your plants, though. While they pose no danger to you or your pets, beetles have a variety of species that will eat and kill many different plants. The best option, as with most of these, is to deter them from coming to your patio in the first place.
What Other Bugs Could it Be?
On top of mites, beetles, and aphids, your patio could have an assortment of other bugs trying to make a home on your furniture.
There are dozens if not hundreds of species of spiders to try and describe, but watch out for anything with six or eight legs crawling around your patio. While they don’t generally go after furniture or plants, spiders love the dark and warm spots.
While some are harmless, others can be lethally poisonous like the brown recluse so if you notice a spider be sure to look up what kind it is. Spider eggs can hatch countless babies, too, so don’t forget to get rid of any you see.
These tiny brown bugs typically infest furniture and can be difficult to see until it’s too late. The worst part is that they feed on your blood, so if you notice movement on your patio couch or have red spots on your skin you should check for an infestation.
LIke bed bugs, fleas are small and can spread quickly. One of the biggest mistakes that people make is assuming that fleas will only be a problem for their pet, because fleas can actually be just as annoying for humans.
While not dangerous by any means, they can make you and your pets itch like crazy and infest your patio furniture in a short time.
A combination of spiders and bed bugs, these brown or reddish-brown arachnids attach to the skin and feed on the blood of animals or humans. They’re larger than the other bugs on this list, so they’re easier to see, but it can be painful for the victim.
Mosquitoes and flies can become troublesome for any relaxing evening, especially the potential diseases carried by mosquitoes. Scents and light-related tools will be the best to keep these bugs away or kill them.
To prevent as many of the above infestations as possible, let’s discuss some of the most effective methods of deterrent against bugs of all kinds.
How to Keep Bugs Off Patio Furniture
There are a handful of ways to keep bugs off patio furniture. Some are natural means while others will need to be purchased and some require a more active delivery while others are passive. It’s up to you which to try, so let’s get started.
Keep It Clean!
Cleaning can be enough of a chore to tidy up the inside of your home, so a lot of people leave their patio unkempt and in disarray. However, this is one of the best ways to prevent bugs from infesting the area.
You might want to consider purchasing patio covers for your outdoor furniture. The material that covers are made of will protect your patio couch from the sun and rain, but the vinyl will also keep out unwanted bugs. Covers can also be made from fabric, which is just as effective.
One thing that a lot of people don’t think to do is vacuum their patio, but this is another good way to keep bugs away. Not only will it suck up things that bugs are drawn to for food, but the vacuum will also get rid of small bugs, eggs, and webs that you might not even notice.
Lastly, be sure to trim tall grass near your patio and be careful not to overfeed or water your plants too much. Many bugs like tall grass and will naturally go onto your patio if close enough, and plant food can be a food source for ants and some other bugs.
Any kind of stagnant water will attract mosquitoes and any other bug that’s thirsty, so monitor your levels and sweep or blow excess water off of your patio as much as possible.
Bring In The Predators
One of the easiest ways to keep bugs off patio furniture is to attract animals that will eat them. There are two main choices for this purpose: Ladybugs and lizards. If you can get either one to protect your patio, your furniture will be a lot safer.
If you’re one of the lucky people that has ladybugs around naturally, you’re already in the clear. However, most people will need to order them online as long as it fits local regulations on insect populations. Ladybugs eat eggs and larvae that would become a problem.
There are a lot of species or lizards, so you might want to find out what’s in your area and if there’s a specific way to attract them. The general method, though, is to provide a water source nearby and somewhere to hide.
The food is taken care of, because lizards will crawl and climb all over your patio to eat bugs, so as long as you have a small pond or something close to your patio with a rock shelter the lizards will keep your patio free of bugs.
One of the biggest reasons bugs will come to your patio is due to lights. The brightness attracts them at night and brings in the flying insects, like moths and mosquitoes. These then attract spiders to hunt the flying bugs and you end up with a patio full of unwanted insects.
At night, be sure to avoid turning on outdoor lights and try to cover your windows to reduce any bleed from your indoor lights. If you live in an area where you want outdoor lights for protection, consider swapping out the bulbs to not attract bugs.
Yellow or blue bulbs typically don’t attract their attention and both provide enough light to see an intruder on your property. Either option will help reduce the chances of a bug infestation on your
When it comes to keeping bugs off patio furniture, chemicals and scents are two of the most effective methods to prevent an infestation. There are a lot of chemicals out there, but bleach, vinegar, baby powder, and borax seem to be the best.
This is the first household item that you can use by mixing it with water and cleaning your patio furniture with it. Once you’ve rubbed down your cushions and exteriors, simply toss them in the dryer and you’re done.
Many of the bugs listed like to lay eggs inside or underneath the cushions of outdoor furniture due to the darkness and warmth, so anything that can be applied to your cushions will be more useful.
Like bleach, you’ll want to mix vinegar with equal parts water to dilute it prior to use. However, even diluted, vinegar can still stain furniture so make sure to test it on a small part before you go over the whole patio area.
The good thing about vinegar is that, once you know it won’t damage the furniture, you can spray it on everything. The concrete, walls, furniture, railing, and the outskirts can all have vinegar sprayed on them.
A vinegar solution can kill many insects instantly, too, and leave a lingering scent that will keep others away for a few days. Since it’s completely natural and probably already in your home, this makes vinegar one of the best at-home remedies to keep away bugs!
It may seem funny, but baby powder contains talcum powder. While you could just use talcum powder, being careful with gloves and possibly eye protection, baby powder is the safer option to spread around your patio area.
Simply create a small line of powder in the grass on the edge of your patio and let it sit. It’s also safe to use on your furniture if you need to, but it’s important to know that it won’t be effective to deter flying insects.
This chemical powder is considered in the bug community to be the best money can buy, with a small amount being enough to protect your entire home from roaches and many other bugs for a long time.
Like talcum and baby powder, all you need to do is buy it at a home store and spread it around your patio. You can choose to create a line in the dirt or only focus on areas where bugs are more prone to attack from, but be sure not to pour too much.
It’s not dangerous to do so, but bugs will recognize the powder and avoid it in that case. The important thing to note with borax, though, is that you’ll have to replace your line after each rainfall, which can be tedious. At least it doesn’t take much.
Like chemicals, you have a lot of options as a homeowner and scents are one of the most effective deterrents to keep bugs, flying and not, off patio furniture. They’re also passive, so you won’t have to do as much to protect your property.
Oils and Water
There are 2 different oils that can be used as natural means to keep bugs away: Essential and citronella. Essential oils can be mixed with water and sprayed around your patio, but you’ll have to repeat the process after each rainfall like borax.
One tip is to mix a small amount of dish soap in the bottle to make the essential oils last longer outside and make them adhere to the environment better. Some of the most effective scents are peppermint, lavender, and citrus-related ones.
There’s a reason that citronella torches exist, and that’s because the scent of citronella is an organic repellant to many insects both flying and otherwise. Simply light the candle or torch and relax knowing that bugs are staying clear.
Plants and Dirt
While many of the bugs listed above were prone to eating or killing plants, you can use plants to protect your patio from those same bugs. You just have to know which ones to use.
Examples of the best ones to plant in your garden or have in pots on your patio are peppermint, garlic, and citrus-related plants like lemon or lime. If that list sounds similar to the essential oils, that’s because those scents work really well to keep bugs away.
One of the most highly-recommended plants to have on your property is mint. Not only will it create a relaxing scent for any company, but the strong flavor will be one of the best deterrents of unwanted insects.
It may seem confusing to sprinkle dirt on top of dirt as a means to keep bugs away, but diatomaceous earth will do just that. It can be purchased specifically for pest control and used like borax and many other deterrents on this list.
Ground cinnamon can be sprinkled along the line between your patio and the grass as a completely-organic method to keep bugs away. Like mint, the strong scent will repel most insects but the cinnamon will need reapplied after it gets wet.
Does Wicker Furniture Attract Bugs?
The wicker material of outdoor furniture doesn’t specifically attract bugs, but the formation of wicker does. Wicker has a lot of small nooks and crannies that bugs like to set up shop in, from laying eggs to spinning webs.
Of course, the biggest problem there is that most patio furniture is partly made of wicker and that material is incredibly picky to clean. The best option is either a deterrent listed earlier or some form of repellant spray that doesn’t damage your furniture.
How to Deal With Bugs in Outdoor Cushions
One of the methods of getting rid of bugs in your cushions was mentioned earlier with the bleach and water solution, but a common way that homeowners have an infestation in the first place is by getting used furniture.
Aside from replacing your cushions if the infestation is bad enough, keeping a clean patio and routinely washing and drying your cushions should do the trick to kill any bugs inside. Again, spraying one of the many chemicals or scents above underneath will also help.
How to Deal With Mites on Outdoor Furniture
You have two main options here: Use one of the methods earlier to deter or kill the mites, or purchase a specific mite-killing spray from the home goods store. With the first option, simply refer to the plethora of above approaches and pick your poison.
For the latter, though, you’ll first need to identify the mites that have infested your patio. The reason for this is because not all insecticides kill all mite species, like spider mites or wood mites. Clover mites are also a common one found on outdoor furnishings.
Once you’ve figured out which mite plagues your patio, check the label on the repellant and make sure it specifically names the mite in question. Most sprays are safe to use on furniture on purpose, so simply spray around and inside your patio furniture and you should be fine.
By this point, you’ll know many of the different bugs that can infest your patio and how to keep those bugs off your patio furniture. From a handful of scents and chemicals to luring natural predators and lighting, you’ve got a lot of options at your disposal to protect your property!