Sitting on a balcony to enjoy cool summer breezes or watching your children play on the lawn is one of the cherished pleasures of life. However, the good weather that lures us outside also brings with it pests of all types, making what should be an enjoyable experience, irritating and a possible health hazard. For example, mosquitoes can carry the West Nile Virus and cause serious illness. With this in mind, it is important to take measures to keep pests away from your balcony to avoid being bitten.
- Skill level:
Things you need
- Citronella candle
- Bug zapper
- Ceiling fan
- Bat house
- Bird house
Light a citronella candle while you are sitting on the balcony. Citronella oil is harvested from grasses and has been used for decades as an effective repellent against fleas and mosquitoes, among other insects. It will not kill the insects, but it will confuse them so they will not know where to land and bite.
Install electric devices such as an electronic bug zapper that attracts pests with fluorescent bulbs and then kills them. If your balcony is covered, put in a ceiling fan to effectively cause the pests to scatter from the area when in use.
Place natural insect repellents on your balcony and the surrounding area. An open dish of crushed herbs such as mint, rosemary and catnip will emit an odour that most insects dislike. Installing a bat house in the vicinity of your balcony will attract bats at night who will then feed on area mosquitoes. In addition, a nearby bird house will attract birds who will seek out pests to eat, thus reducing the pest population.
Tips and warnings
- The higher the amount of citronella oil contained in a candle, the more effective it will be at keeping pests away.
- Instead of crushing fresh herbs, place planters of growing herbs on your balcony.
- Keep any form of standing water away from your balcony, as this will attract mosquitoes that may carry the West Nile Virus.
- Even natural products can pose a health risk to children and pets, so please supervise at all times.
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