Spending mild and warm evenings on your porch comes with the comfort of the indoors and the fresh openness of the outdoors. But as an outdoor space, it can be invaded by various unwelcome guests. Various insects can be attracted to your porch, and their presence can range from mildly annoying to being a real nuance.
The only way to properly enjoy spending time on your porch is to get rid of them and to keep them away. Fortunately, there are several ways to keep bugs from ruining your evening relaxation.
Why Are There Bugs On Your Porch?
There are several reasons why your private space can be invaded by various insects. Just like any other animal, insects are driven by the search for food, water, and shelter. Your porch can easily provide them with any or all of these three things.
While cinnamon rolls lying on your porch will easily attract the ants, they are not the only food that will attract bugs into your outdoor space. Many insects feed on lichens and moss that can grow in many nooks and crannies of your porch. The most common culprits are concrete slabs and footings, but they can also appear on the underside of the porch beams, joists, or decking material.
Another source of food for various bugs is various plants you may keep on or around your porch.
Water is necessary for all living beings that include bugs too. Standing water provides a perfect breeding ground for some insects, such as mosquitoes, while for others, it can be a source of algae and other microorganisms they feed on.
Standing water is not the only potential problem, but also the excessive moisture that can accumulate in various places on or near your porch. One such place is gutters, whether they are clogged or bent out of shape. Also, the mulch that is too close to your porch can be host to various bugs that can invade it.
Many flying insects have an aversion to moving air; even a slight breeze can chase them away. That is why they are looking for places with standing air to hide. And porches can provide them with such a protected place where they can be a real nuisance.
Many bugs are attracted by lights, and this natural phenomenon is called phototaxis. There are several reasons why some insects are attracted to light. Some insects use light as a navigation aid or mating call like fireflies. But most often, it is a safe place away from their predators, like moths and mosquitoes.
Because many insects have sight that makes them able to see the UV light, bulbs that emit these wavelengths will attract them even more. Another way that some insects are attracted to the light fixtures on porches is the heat they can emit.
Why Are There Tiny Red Bugs On Your Porch?
In the late spring, you may notice that your porch, or even home, is invaded by tiny red bugs. These are clover mites, and they are quite harmless bugs, though because they leave a bright red residue if accidentally squashed, they can be a big nuisance. They are attracted by lush lawns where they can feed on dandelions, daffodils, grass, and many other plants.
In case that your lawn is properly fertilized and watered, they can invade it, and an abundance of food will lead to the growth of their population. Eventually, new generations will start looking for new feeding grounds, and this is when they can accidentally invade your porch, especially if your lawn extends to the edge of your porch.
Why Are There Tiny Bugs On Concrete Porch?
If you notice bright red pinhead size bugs on your concrete porch or sidewalks, those are most likely the concrete mites. These bugs like to burrow and breed in warm and moist patches of humus-rich earth, where they also can find eggs of other insects to feed on. Naturally, there is a certain increased level of groundwater accumulation around foundations and other concrete structures, which attracts them.
Occasionally they can wander away from the grass and mulch, and while they are harmless, they are also a nuisance that can breed in large and unsightly numbers.
How To Deal With Bugs On Your Porch?
Just killing insects that have invaded your porch is not enough. To successfully deal with the bugs on your porch, you should also prevent them from returning. In other words, make your porch a pleasant environment for yourself and not for crawling and flying critters.
Probably the easiest way to deal with bugs is to spray a bug repellent on and around your porch. Which one you should use depends on which bugs you want to prevent from invading your porch. There are commercially available repellents that contain plant extracts and will keep away many different types of bugs.
The drawback of repellents is that they are not very persistent, and the rain will wash them away. To keep bugs away from your porch then you will need to reapply them after each rain.
Install A Fan
Many flying insects have a very intensive aversion to air movement, not just to the strong wind but also to a gentle breeze. The easiest way to deal with them is by installing a ceiling fan on your porch. It will keep away mosquitoes and flies but will also provide a pleasant cool breeze you can enjoy on warm summer evenings.
Remove Standing Water
Standing water will likely attract bugs, such as in bird feeders, miniature ponds, or clogged gutters. It can provide food, shelter, and breeding ground for various insects if it is left unchecked. Standing water will, over time, become rich with algae and other microorganisms that are food for many bugs.
Thus, the best way to prevent bugs from invading your porch is to keep any standing water fresh and change regularly. Also, gutters and drains shouldn’t be cleaned just so they would function properly. They are also places where many types of bugs like to build nests if there are half decomposed leaves or moss in them.
Use Mulch Better
Mulching is important, but mulch itself can be a source of insects that could wander on your porch. It provides both shelter and food sources for many different insect species. To keep them away from your porch, you should also keep the mulch away.
Placing a foot-wide strip of gravel or rocks around your porch will not just keep many pesky crawlers away from your porch but also make it look nicer.
Use Plants Smart
Basil, rosemary, marigolds, lavender, chrysanthemums, and many other plants are known to repel various insects. One of them will not prevent all possible bugs from invading your privacy, but with a little bit of planning, you can make flower arrangements on your porch that will keep most of the insects away.
Though it is counterintuitive, you could make a lush flowering jungle that will repel insects.
Keep Grass Away From The Porch
The majority of insects that can invade your porch live in tall grass. Besides keeping your lawn manicured, a good preventive measure is to also keep the lawn one or two feet away from your porch. This can be done in aesthetically pleasing ways; there is no need to keep two feet of unsightly bare earth or concrete slab. Decorative rocks and gravels come in various shapes and colors.
Use Bright Colors
It is a well-known fact that bright colors do not attract bugs, particularly white color. Painting your porch white will make it less attractive for insects. But also keeping white or otherwise light-colored furniture on it will also be very helpful.
Why Are Bugs Attracted To Your Porch Ceiling?
It can be a very unpleasant sight to raise your eyes toward your porch ceiling and to see that it’s cowered in various bugs. Your first thought could be that they are attracted by some unpleasant things, but there are some other reasons why fleas, wasps, and similar bugs could congregate on your porch ceiling.
Many bugs have an aversion to the harsh sun, and during the day, they will search for a hiding place. Particularly fleas and wasps could invade your porch ceiling in large numbers, but that doesn’t mean that they are nesting anywhere near or on your porch. You shouldn’t be surprised if you notice them in large numbers.
This doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t deal with them, but that you have a much smaller problem with them than it could seem at first glance.
Warmth And Light
During the cool nights, many bugs will seek warm areas to hide in, and at the same time, there are many types of insects that are naturally attracted by lights. Ceilings of porches almost always have lighting fixtures that provide both warmth and light, thus attracting bugs during the night.
Many flying insects just hate air movement and will actively seek calmer areas. One such is just under the porch ceiling because it is often protected from draught. Even though your porch may be very aired, a pocket of standing air will exist above your head and attract some types of flying insects, including flies.
How To Keep Bugs Off Your Porch Ceiling?
Besides installing a ceiling fan that will blow and disturb the air near the ceiling, there are couple more things that you can do to keep bugs away from it.
Paint Your Ceiling Brightly
White color is very reflective and will help keep away bugs looking for a shady place to hide during sunny days. Though the light outside of your porch will still be very harsh and not shine directly on your ceiling, the white color will reflect just enough of the indirect sunlight to be helpful.
Install A Screen
Screens are one of the most obvious solutions for keeping the bugs away from not just your porch ceiling but from your whole porch. Mesh, netting, and similar screens will allow air to move across your porch but will be a physical barrier for all insects that they will not be able to cross.
Occasionally, a bug or two may find their way into your space, but they will be easy to deal with a fly swatter or something similar. Additionally, installing screens is not rocket science, and it can be a nice DIY project if you have some basic skills or tools.
What Kind Of Porch Lights Keeps Bugs Away?
When it comes to light, there are two kinds of bugs, those that are kept away by any type of light and those that are attracted to certain types of lights. The second type of bug is those attracted to lights that emit blueish color because along with it, they are also emitting UV light which is visible to bugs and thus attracts them.
If you wish to keep the bugs away from your porch, you should use lightbulbs that give yellow, warm light. The bugs are not as much attracted to it and will stay away. Another issue with light bulbs is that many types radiate a lot of heat that also attracts many insects. So using LEDs that run very cool is an excellent idea.
Do Blue Porch Ceilings Keep Bugs Away?
Contrary to popular belief, the haint blue painted porch ceilings will not keep the bugs away. Originally this practice has started among Gullah in Georgia and South Carolina, intended to trick haints, ghosts, and other immaterial supernatural creatures; into believing that it is the sky and thus to fly through it and away from the porch.
Over time this practice has lost its superstitious character and transformed into an incorrect belief that painting porch ceiling blue will trick insects into believing that it is a sky above them and not an enclosed area. Blue painted porch ceilings are a beautiful tradition of the American south, but they will not keep bugs away.
Spending pleasant evenings on your porch is an experience that can easily be ruined by pesky invaders, bugs. But there are many ways to keep insects away from your space. Some are short-term solutions like spraying repellents, and some will enrich your porch like pots full of plants that naturally repel insects.
If you are so inclined, you can always install a screen, but such a solution may not be aesthetically pleasing for everyone.