Tag Archives: pest control

The bugs are coming, the bugs are coming

Because it has been a very wet year, and few nights of freezing temperatures, the bugs are going to invade with a vengeance this spring. We are seeing them already and a few have made their way into the house. Today I mixed up my bug-deflector oils, soaked cottonballs in the mixture, and placed them in strategic spots around doors and windows.

I use cedar, citronella, tea tree, eucalyptus, and lavender oils to keep the critters at bay. I have to refresh the cottonballs every few days, and then once a week or so, I mix a batch that I use in the sprayer for the backyard. That is if I stay vigilant and don’t wait for the mass invasion of bugs before taking action. The key here is to be proactive.

The clean patio with chairs


The clean patio with chairs

Originally uploaded by dkzody

Having a patio is nice. It shades our house; it’s a place to sit and read the paper on a Sunday morning; the cats use it as their bedroom; we occasionally eat there. The amount of work, however, to keep it clean, is mammoth.

For one thing, it is a big patio. Probably the same size as the tiny SF apartment. The two trees in the backyard shed their leaves which then blow up on the patio, along with piles of dirt. I don’t know where all the dirt comes from. Over the years, I have probably hosed off an acre of dirt, yet the backyard does not get larger.

The spiders like the patio because the bugs love it, too. For a long time we had a pest control service that kept the spiders and all bugs under control; but the use of poisons bothered me even though they said it was all organic. (Hey, killing something doesn’t seem organic to me.) We had to be sure and leave the gate unlocked for the service rep to come in the back yard which also meant taking in all the cat’s food and bedding, and cats too, for that matter. Then there was the cost. I have apartment rent to pay now, in an expensive city, so I’m cutting costs. The spiders are happy and making their home again in the patio roof. Their webs are just more to clean up, however.

I usually clean the patio early spring, mid summer, and late fall. Today was the mid summer cleaning. It will be around 108 today so I did all my errands and chores, which today was the patio and greenhouse pad (that’s another story), before 11 a.m. It will probably be too hot this evening to go out back and enjoy the fruits of my labor.