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How to Keep your Deck Bug Free

You’re sitting on your deck on a perfect summer evening. The sun is setting. Your family is gathered round. Heat waves gently waft off the barbeque and a cold pitcher of lemonade waits on the patio table. But, you’re not enjoying yourself. Why? Bugs! Lots and lots of pesky bugs! Flies, mosquitoes, bees and wasps seem to love your deck as much as you do. Don’t despair! With a few preventative measures you can keep pests from ruining your enjoyment. Try one or more of the following tricks and enjoy those summer evenings.

Change your lighting: Replace your white bulbs with yellow bulbs. Their amber glow deters insects.


Plant a few herbs around the border of your deck to ward off biting insects. Try garlic, rosemary, chives, oregano, lavender, lemongrass, mint, basil, eucalyptus, and fennel. Some flowers (chrysanthemums, lantanas and marigolds) are also helpful.


Burn citronella torches/candles: Make sure you obtain those that contain actual citronella essential oil (not artificial scents) and place them around your deck. They are effective to about 2 meters.

Spray essential oil mixed with water around the perimeter of your deck and on your furniture for a natural pest barrier. Try basil, cedar, eucalyptus, fennel, garlic, ginger, citronella, clove, lemon grass, mint, pine, rosemary, or thyme. You will need to renew this spray every few days.

Try hydrogen peroxide mixed with water and sprayed on the deck surface and perimeter. This will also need occasional renewal.



Purchase a propane powered skeeter eater and put it in the corner of your yard. It takes a while, but these machines can be effective.

Use incense: Lit incense sticks pushed into the ground surrounding the deck provide a gentle smoke that deters insects.

Install bird and bat houses in your yard. Bats can eat up to 1,200 bugs every hour! Birds feed on mosquitoes and other common bugs. Let them help you!

Use fans: Place a fan on each end of your deck. The gentle cross breeze is a non-toxic way to deter bugs.

Attend to standing water: If you have a pond, birdbath or just puddles in your yard, you have a mosquito breeding ground! Place a few drops of dish detergent in the water. It breaks the surface tension and stops larvae from resting on top.

Turn to dryer sheets: Sounds strange but some folks swear that if you clip a dryer sheet to your shirt or shorts the mosquitoes will avoid you!


Maintain your lawn and bushes. A trim lawn and well maintained bushes eliminates hiding places where insects can breed.


Clean your gutters regularly to keep them free of water and debris, a perfect breeding ground for insects.

Dress for deterring bug bites by wearing light colored, loose fitting clothing made of a tight weave.

Hang a fake wasp nest under the eaves or beneath your deck. The territorial nature of wasps and hornets means they will not build within 200 feet of your false abode. Fake wasp nests are available at hardware stores.

Try Liquid Barrier. It’s potent liquid garlic that is sprayed around the boundary of your property. It’s a no chemical approach that kills adult mosquitoes, suffocates larvae and leaves an aroma that deters the return of bugs. Don’t worry! In a few days you’ll no longer smell the garlic (though the bugs do) and 2 to 3 applications will get you through the whole season.

Screen your deck or a portion of it. A screen creates an efficient barrier without the use of harsh chemicals. There are many types of screening available at your local hardware.

Keep your deck clean. Sweep up crumbs and wipe sticky spills as these can attract insects.

Use Repel, a plant-Based Lemon Eucalyptus Insect Repellent that is effective for up to 6 hours. This deet free formula is available in most drugstores.




Your deck should be a place to retreat and relax. Put an end to the biting, buzzing and stinging! Try a few of the suggested bug repellent methods and find what works best for you.

For all your deck questions and needs choose the Calgary based deck experts, Econo Decks. From simple upgrades to complete renovation to new builds, Econo Decks is committed to providing the best quality work for their customers. Call Econo Decks at 403-768-0151 or email us at or