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10 Best Ways To Keep Bugs Away From Patio Furniture

Castlery|May 07, 2024

As the weather warms up and we spend more time outdoors, one of the biggest annoyances can be pesky bugs buzzing around our outdoor furniture. Not only are they a nuisance, but they can also ruin outdoor dining experiences or make it difficult to relax and enjoy the fresh air.

If you find yourself constantly battling flies, mosquitos, and other tiny bugs on your patio furniture, it's time to explore effective strategies on how to keep these pesky bugs off by incorporating preventative measures such as regular cleaning, utilising natural repellents, and ensuring no standing water is nearby to greatly diminish the presence of these unwanted guests!

Why do outdoor patio furniture attract bugs?

Outdoor patio furniture can attract bugs for several reasons. Food and drink spills are major culprits, with even the smallest crumbs and residues inviting ants, flies, and other insects to your outdoor living area. The nooks, crannies, and especially the textures of furniture like wicker offer perfect hiding spots and nesting grounds for a variety of bugs. 

Additionally, outdoor furniture that basks in the sun absorbs warmth, creating an inviting microclimate for insects, especially during cooler evenings. This makes regular maintenance key to keeping these unwanted bugs at bay.

How to keep bugs off outdoor furniture

Clean outdoor furniture

Cleaning your outdoor furniture is one of the critical factors in keeping bugs at bay. Make sure to vacuum or wipe down your furniture regularly to remove any crumbs or debris that might attract insects. Clean stains on your lounge chairs with mild soap and water, and rub them with a soft bristle brush before rinsing off with cold water.

This step is foundational in learning how to keep bugs off your outdoor furniture.

Airy design with slim armrests - perfect for warm weather!

The Sorrento Outdoor Lounge Set features a slim silhouette - creating a perfect lounge experience in the warm weather. Picture credits: @ashleyfultz

An outdoor sofa, two lounge chairs, and a coffee table from the same outdoor collection.
An outdoor dining set under a patio umbrella.

Slatted resin wood tabletop

With a slatted resin wood tabletop, this makes the Sorrento Outdoor Dining Set easy to clean and maintain. Picture credits: @caseyholmesvlog91

It’s good practice to regularly dust your outdoor furniture with a dry and soft cloth​. Be sure to also clean the undersides of the furniture, where bugs can often hide.

Keep your patio tidy

Other than regularly cleaning your furniture, keeping your patio as well as surrounding areas clean and tidy is just as important.

Sweep it down regularly to remove any fallen leaves, branches, or other debris that can attract insects. If your patio is particularly dirty or has a lot of built-up grime, using a pressure washer can be an effective way to clean it.

Use a fan

Using a fan on your patio can help keep bugs away, as they aren’t strong enough to fly against the strong winds. Position a fan near your seating area to create a cool breeze while also keeping the bugs away.

Be sure to clean your fan regularly to prevent dust and debris from accumulating on the blades. This can help prevent bugs from being attracted to the fan itself.

Try natural remedies

Using natural bug repellents is a safe and effective way to repel insects without the use of harmful chemicals. Here are some tips on how to use natural remedies to keep bugs at bay:

Use vinegar

Vinegar, known for its natural insect-repelling properties, doubles as an effective cleaner for patio furniture. Creating a mixture of equal parts vinegar and water in a spray bottle provides a handy solution for both deterring tiny bugs and tackling dirt and grime. This simple yet effective approach keeps your outdoor furniture clean and insect-free.

Use citrus peels

The natural oils in citrus peels, such as lemon or orange, are effective at repelling various insects. Rubbing these peels directly onto your patio furniture or placing them around your outdoor areas can serve as a natural deterrent against a variety of bugs, including wicker bugs.

Additionally, simmering citrus peels in water can diffuse their oils into the air, enhancing their repellent effect and infusing your patio with a refreshing scent.

Use herbs

Herbs such as rosemary, basil, and mint contain natural insect-repelling properties. Place fresh or dried herbs in a sachet and hang them around your patio furniture. This method is particularly effective against spiders and other insects that are deterred by the strong scents of these herbs.

You can also make an herbal bug spray by steeping fresh herbs in boiling water and then spraying the cooled mixture onto your furniture. These herbal remedies not only prevent insect invasions but also add a pleasant fragrance to your outdoor living space, contributing to a serene and inviting atmosphere.

Use essential oils

Essential oils such as peppermint, citronella, and eucalyptus have natural insect-repelling properties. Mix a few drops of your favourite essential oil with water in a spray bottle and use it to spray around your patio or furniture.

Use insect-repelling plants

There are many plants that naturally repel bugs and help keep them off your patio furniture, such as lavender, marigold, citronella, and lemongrass.

Depending on the type of bugs that you’re trying to repel, each plant deters different pests. For example, lemongrass, citronella, and rosemary are known to deter mosquitoes. Basil and mint can help to deter flying insects, and chrysanthemums can deter roaches.

However, it's important to note that while these plants can repel bugs, they may not be 100% effective at keeping bugs away from your patio furniture. It's best to combine the use of bug-repelling plants with other bug prevention methods such as the ones listed in this article.

Remove standing water

Removing standing water from your backyard and patio areas is crucial in preventing mosquito infestations, as these places serve as ideal breeding grounds for them. It's essential to conduct regular inspections around your outdoor spaces for potential water collectors like planters, birdbaths, and clogged gutters, where water can accumulate unnoticed. 

If you have standing water in larger containers, such as a pool or a hot tub, make sure to treat the water with chlorine to prevent mosquito breeding. This proactive approach not only enhances the enjoyment of your outdoor living spaces but also contributes to the well-being and health safety of everyone around.

Choose bug-resistant furniture

Natural materials like cedar, redwood, and teak are not only aesthetically pleasing but come with inherent properties that make them naturally resistant to insects. These woods secrete natural oils that act as repellents to various pests while simultaneously offering exceptional weather resistance for enduring the elements, making them ideal for outdoor furniture.

Solid teak wood is naturally resistant to insects

Not only is the Rio Outdoor Dining Set highly durable - it's also naturally resistant to bugs thanks to the high oil content and tight grain. Picture credits: @benji_plant

A teak outdoor dining set with plates of food and a lamp.
An outdoor teak lounge set.

Wide slats and sleek architectural lines

The Rio Outdoor Lounge Set features wide slats that prevents water from pooling on the seats.

Additionally, metal outdoor furniture options, such as those crafted from aluminum or wrought iron, present a less inviting surface for bugs, primarily because these materials do not offer the organic fibers that many pests prefer to feed on.

This blend of functionality and style makes both natural and metal outdoor furniture choices not only practical but also a long-lasting investment for enhancing your outdoor living spaces, free from the worry of insect damage.

Consider insect-repelling lights

Insect-repelling lights are a great addition to your patio furniture to keep bugs away. Some of these lights include LED, fluorescent, and incandescent lights.

Consider using yellow and amber bulbs as they are less attractive to bugs than other colours. These colours have longer wavelengths, which are less visible to bugs and don't disrupt their natural activities as much as other colours.

You can also use a bug zapper in combination with insect-repelling lights to catch any bugs that are not repelled by the lights.

Install screens

Installing screens around your patio or using an outdoor mosquito netting can create a physical barrier between you and the bugs. This can be particularly effective at keeping mosquitoes and flies away while you're enjoying a meal or spending time outside.

Consider retractable screens if there’s high traffic around your patio, or if you simply want the convenience of opening and closing the screens as needed. Retractable screens are usually mounted on a roller and can easily be pulled down or retracted.

Cover your furniture

Covering your outdoor sofas, dining tables, and chairs with protective covers can help keep bugs from landing on them when it's not in use.

Polyester covers to prevent mold and mildew growth

Our furniture covers are made with polyester which are durable and made to weather the elements.

Two outdoor lounge chairs with polyester furniture covers over them.
An outdoor lounge set with furniture covers over them placed infront of a swimming pool.

Tailored to fit your outdoor furniture

Each outdoor cover is tailored to perfectly fit your outdoor furniture so no bugs or water can damage them.

There are different types of materials available, such as plastic, canvas, and polyester. Plastic covers are the most affordable option, but they may not be as durable as other materials. Canvas and polyester covers are more durable and resistant to tearing.

Our furniture covers are resistant to water, mildew, and fading, and come with velcros and hooks to easily secure the cover over the furniture piece. Aside from protecting the furniture from bugs, these covers will also help protect your outdoor furniture from the elements and extend its lifespan.

Enjoy bug-free patio furniture

By taking these steps to repel bugs, you can enjoy your outdoor lounge without buzzing insects hanging around. Try out these tips and see which ones work best for your outdoor space, and say goodbye to pesky bugs.

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