Nobody likes opening their front door at night and immediately being swarmed by bugs, but the warm glow of the porch light seems to be a magnet for them. What’s a homeowner to do? Fortunately, there are several steps you can take to help reduce the number of unwanted insects around your entranceway. One of the simplest solutions is to switch to LED or yellow “bug” bulbs in your lighting fixtures. Read on for more tips that can help you reclaim that lovely space for yourself this year.
Install an outdoor ceiling fan.
If your home has a wrap-around style porch with an overhang, one or more fans might be just what you need. Not only will they help reduce the number of airborne critters by literally blowing them away, they’ll also keep your surroundings cooler and more hospitable during the sultry summer months. Keeping the air outside moving is also useful for dispersing carbon dioxide, food particles, and other human odors in the environment that brings bugs in for a closer look.
Get rid of the still water.
Make sure you don’t have any standing water around your yard, be it a still pond, puddle, birdbath or that garbage can lid you forgot was there months ago. If you have a fountain or another source of water, make sure it’s always moving. This will keep mosquitoes from breeding. You’ll notice a big difference right away since stagnant water is a favorite habitat of insects like mosquitoes.
Put in a screen.
Tightly-woven mesh screens can provide a full-time barrier against bugs for larger porches and other outdoor sitting areas. An experienced contractor can screen-in an exposed porch in a single afternoon. The occasional fly or moth may still get in while the door is open, so it’s a good idea to use your screened-in porch in conjunction with a yellow light, bug zapper, or scented candle.
Add a Screen underneath the porch.
If you are building a new structure using traditional decking, installing the screen is simple. Lay down the screen fabric on top of the joists, and then place the deck board on top to hold it in place. The screen is sandwiched between the bottom of the decking board and the top of the joists, providing an effective barrier. If you have an existing structure with deck floorboards, you don’t have the option of placing the screen in between the joists and the boards since they’ve already been installed, so the installation is a little more complicated. Instead, you need to add individual screen panels between the joists, which is a more time and labor intensive process, but in the end, provides an equally effective protection against bugs.
Opt for porch instead of traditional decking.
If you’re building a completely new structure, the ideal option is to avoid using traditional decking altogether. Instead, consider porch boards, which use a tongue-and-groove system that creates a completely solid surface. There are no gaps for bugs to take advantage of, and while screens may eventually rip over time, the porch boards don’t have that potential issue. They provide a sturdier and more lasting wood barrier against bugs.
If you have a screened porch then you should be your safe haven from bugs. If you still have bugs finding their way in, taking the time to determine where they are coming from is the best first step. The floor is a great first place to check, but you may also find gaps in other areas. Once you’ve identified the issue, an experienced porch and decking professional can help you determine a solution that will keep them out.
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