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Q: Insects in my yard ( Answered,   3 Comments )
Subject: Insects in my yard
Category: Family and Home > Food and Cooking
Asked by: pkman-ga
List Price: $15.00
Posted: 18 Aug 2005 02:34 PDT
Expires: 17 Sep 2005 02:34 PDT
Question ID: 557145
We are going to have guests for dinner and we will be eating outside.
We want to keep insects down or away from the dinner table especially
flys and mosquitos.  What is the best way to keep the insect
population low and away from our dinne.
Subject: Re: Insects in my yard
Answered By: landog-ga on 18 Aug 2005 04:45 PDT
I have compiled a list of both well known and lesser known methods to
help you keep down the pest nuisance whilst dining outdoors. Keep in
mind that outdoor bugs are persistent little creatures. There is no
way at all to ensure a 100% bugless environment outdoors.
To ensure that it would leave quite a chemical taste in one's mouth.
Something utterly non-desirable to the environment to humans and
Every bug (and living creature) has it's place and function in nature.
Check out this cool site:
"Fear, disgust, anger?despite our relative advantage in size, power,
and intelligence, our first reaction to the sight of a "bug" usually
is to try and kill it. Is our reaction rational? The reality is that
without insects we couldn't live. Perhaps there's more to bugs than we

Good prevention activity a day or two before dining outdoors can act
wonders. People have very good success using only the non-toxic
control methods. The UV lamps are really good as long as you don't set
them up too near. They take good care of the 'airborne dangers'.
Safari style netting, draped from a large tent or similar, is really
effective, but not too aesthetic.
As a last resort in a very pest-infested location you might want to
reluctantly look at chemicals. But do consult a professional before
using chemicals.

Preliminary assessments:
How bad is the situation? Is the garden/porch/patio teeming with
pests? It may warrant calling a pest-control professional
if the situation is  that bad.

Prevention before dining:
- Seal cracks in floors or drains openings to keep out bugs.
- Clean the area thoroughly a few times before dining outside, using
general household cleaning detergents with a hose and stiff broom.
- Clear area of pest 'hazards' - pest infected branches, logs, old
plant pots, rotting carcasses(!) etc.
- Clean and cover trash receptacles. Place them as far away as
possible from outside dining area.
- Makes sure in the wider vicinity of the dining area (neighbors
gardens, ditches in the neighborhood and the likes) there is no
stagnant water, a favorite for mosquitoes. Old rain water puddles and
clogged pipes or gutters can also be breeding grounds for mosquitoes.
- Fill in accessible tree holes with a material that will not harm the tree.
- Dispose of all possible food and litter in the area as quickly as
possible after eating.

"Tips for Controlling Ants:
Ants are controlled by finding and treating wood where the ant
colonies are located. Often, the nest may be located far above the
ground in a tree where it is inaccessible to direct treatment. In such
cases, limiting interior invasion of ant trails is critical. Repairing
water leaks and drying out moist wood inside will help prevent
infestations of both acrobat and carpenter ants. Improving attic and
crawl space ventilation is also important in limiting acrobat ant
infestations. General tips for limiting ant infestations include:
- Eliminating piles of lumber, bricks or other debris that could serve
as a nesting site for ants.
- Keeping landscape mulch less than 2 inches thick and at least 12
inches away from foundations.
- Ensuring the sprinkler system does not spray directly onto the foundation.
- Sealing as many cracks in the building's exterior as possible.
- Keeping tree and shrub branches trimmed to prevent them from
touching the building. "

Various Tips for controlling Mosquitoes:
"If you're using the barbeque, throw a bit of sage or rosemary on the
coals to repel mosquitoes.
An effective natural bug repellent can be made using garlic juice. Mix
one part garlic juice with 5 parts water in a small spray bottle.
Shake well before using. Spray lightly on exposed body parts for an
effective repellent lasting up to 5 - 6 hours. Strips of cotton cloth
can also be dipped in this mixture and hung in areas, such as patios,
as a localized deterrent.
Neem oil is a natural vegetable oil extracted from the Neem tree in
India. The leaves, seeds and seed oil of the Neem tree contain
sallanin, a compound which has effective mosquito repelling
properties. Neem oil is a natural product and is safe to use. Neem oil
is also an excellent skin moisturizer and highly regarded for its
wound healing properties. Look for new Neem Oil-based commercial
products on the market. The website,, is one source.
Thai lemon grass (Cymbopogon citratus) is a natural and effective
mosquito repellent. It contains the natural oil, citronella, which is
safe and effective; in fact, lemon grass citronella is considered more
effective than true citronella as an insect repellent. To use as a
mosquito repellent, break a stalk off from the clump, peel off the
outer leaves, until you find the scallion-like stem at the base. Bend
the stem between your fingers, loosening it, then rub it vigorously
between your palms - it will soon become a pulpy, juicy mass. Rub this
over all exposed skin, covering thoroughly at least once. You can also
make a tincture using alcohol, for spray applications. Plantings
around the patio will also help repel mosquitoes. "

The Neem Company:

Tips for Controlling Flies
Use mint as a fly repellent. Small sachets of crushed mint can be
placed around the home to discourage flies.
Bay leaves, cloves and eucalyptus wrapped in small cheesecloth squares
can be hung by open windows or doors.
Place a small, open container of sweet basil and clover near pet food
or any open food in the house.
A few drops of eucalyptus oil on a scrap of absorbant cloth will deter
flies. Leave in areas where flies are a problem.
You can make your own flypaper with this simple recipe: Mix 1/4 cup
syrup, 1 tbsp. granulated sugar and 1 tbsp. brown sugar in a small
bowl. Cut strips of brown kraft paper and soak in this mixture. Let
dry overnight. To hang, poke a small hole at the top of each strip and
hang with string or thread.
A plastic bag [or clear plastic soda bottle] filled with water and
hung will repel flies from the area."

Another two ideas are "the use of yellow in the kitchen. I know that
sounds a little too simple to be true, but the amount of flies in the
kitchen was cut down visibly. All we did to try it out was put up
yellow curtains and the results were amazing...we tried was a Lignum
Vitae plant in the kitchen. Lignum Vitae is the national flower of
Jamaica, which is actually a small sturdy tree with small purple

Chemical & toxic methods.
- Pheromone traps. These use sexual attractants to lure flies to
sticky pads or into a liquid trap. for example:
"pheromone traps monitor an extensive array of pest insects using high
quality semiochemicals."

- Various pesticides/chemicals (Acephate Pro PCO, Baygon 70 WP,
Professional Pyrethrin Aerosol, CB-Air Devil, CB-Invader..etc etc)

- Insect repellent containing DEET (N,N-diethyl-meta-toluamide):
"the active ingredient in many insect repellent products. It is used
to repel biting pests such as mosquitoes and ticks, including ticks
that may carry Lyme disease...DEET is designed for direct application
to human skin to repel insects, rather than kill them. After it was
developed by the U.S. Army in 1946, DEET was registered for use by the
general public in 1957. Approximately 230 products containing DEET are
currently registered with EPA by about 70 different companies"

Why not to use a Toxic product:
"What makes a pesticide (-cide = kill) non-toxic to the environment
and other animals, including you? All of the ingredients in a product,
inert and active, go into the environment. If the active or
inactive/inert ingredients are non-toxic, such as fatty acids, but
they are put into a petrochemical base, the product is still,
technically, toxic and should not be used when a non-toxic alternative
is being sought. You may have to question the manufacturer about the
inert ingredients if you cannot find information on them elsewhere. By
law, all sellers of pesticides and other toxic products must have
Materials Safety Data Sheets on hand for all the products they sell to
give to consumers who request them, or they must be able to provide
the consumer with specific information on how to obtain it for the
products they sell. Few, however, do. See the MSDS Online section for
sites with online MSDS information

Non-Toxic natural pest control
- Dim (or dim-ish) lighting during the dining hour.
- Install high-ultraviolet lights, but not too near, as not to have
zapped bugs fall into your soup. OR not too far as not to draw
mosquitoes and bugs from adjacent properties. For example:
"Flies (and other bugs) find these ultraviolet rays irresistible.."

- Pest repeller electronic devices. For example:
"Ultimate SG and Pest Repeller UltimateŽ II are the only Repellers to
use all three Electronic Pest Control technologies. Electromagnetic,
Ionic and Ultrasonic Pest Control all in one repeller...Developed to
be an easy, inexpensive, safe and a healthy alternative to using toxic
chemicals, poisons or traps."

- Netting (just like on safari!). For example:
". One risk of eating outside is insects. So, naturally, one of the
most popular products associated with outdoor dining are gadgets to
foil the bugs. Candles, lamps, zappers and other high-tech insect
repellents infringe on the dining experience and have fallen out of
favor. Safari-inspired nets and covers have risen in popularity
instead. "

- Adhesive Traps or Flypaper. For example:
"Glueboards of various sizes can be used to catch a wide variety of
pests including flies, spiders, fleas, scorpions, lady bugs, lizards,
snakes, roaches and rodents."

Completely natural Insect Spray:
"Our Anti-Ant powder is a mixture of strong, natural insect repelling
aromas. Ants and other insects will be driven away from their nests
and accustomed runs swiftly and effectively"

- Anti bug powders and concoctions made of natural ingredients which
drive ants and other insects away. See here for a comprehensive mix of
homemade ideas:
"When you have children or pets, finding safe ways to get rid of
natural pests becomes increasingly important. When one has enclosed or
free-roaming reptiles, it becomes even more important to find ways to
get rid of the unwanted beasties who congregate in undesirable levels
in our homes and yards"

Please let me know if you need more information.

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Subject: Re: Insects in my yard
From: myoarin-ga on 18 Aug 2005 06:00 PDT
And WASPS, they love picnics too.  Pieces of lemon with whole spice
cloves stuck in the cut faces.  Place near the food to repel them.
Subject: Re: Insects in my yard
From: landog-ga on 18 Aug 2005 07:57 PDT
I suspected you had a 'grandma trick' or two up your sleeve :-)

Subject: Re: Insects in my yard
From: myoarin-ga on 23 Aug 2005 17:19 PDT
We really use it here in Germany, and it seems to work  - just like
snapping your fingers to keep the elephants away.

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