When most people dream about homeownership, they picture what the house will look like. They might have living room furniture in mind or a room-by-room decorating scheme. You could want to personalize your private office space. Whatever you picture, you might not think too much about the exterior of the property.

Landscaping is an essential part of homeownership. You want to take care of your property because you’re proud you own it. You can also have fun planting different flowers and trees around your home to surround it with color. Eventually, bugs join in on that fun, which is a frustrating battle to wage over the years.

Instead of fighting back the bugs again this year, read these landscaping tips to help deter pest activity. By rethinking a few of the features in your yard, you could prevent the pests from ever making a home on your property again.

1. Use Rubber Mulch

Mulch is a common material that’s easy to buy, so you’ll see it around most homes. It fills in the unused space in a flowerbed or between bushes, but it also attracts bugs. Mulch provides a home for insects looking for shelter and also helps insulate them during the winter. 

Use rubber mulch to get the look of mulch in your yard without creating an inviting environment for pests. Rubber mulch made with recycled materials is eco-friendly and won’t appeal to bugs as much as the natural mulch next door.

2. Grow Insect-Repelling Plants

What you plant in your yard may attract more pests than you think. Depending on the plant, it may have a scent that smells like home to insects.

Do some research to find out which plants in your yard could be the ones calling to insects and grow these insect-repelling plants in their place as soon as spring arrives:

  • Chrysanthemums
  • Marigolds
  • Lavender
  • Petunias

The more you read about insect-repelling plants, the more you’ll get to choose from when you remodel your landscaping.

3. Trim Your Plants Regularly

Plants are both food and shelter for bugs, especially as the plants get bigger. If you inspect your leafy bushes and flowers, you’ll probably find a few insects hanging out in them. If you trim your plants regularly, you’ll cut back excess growth and prevent them from getting swarmed with bugs. Determine your trimming schedule based on which plants you have and how fast they grow.

4. Remove Rotting Wood

When you picture termites, you probably think about abandoned homes or ancient structures. Your newer home should be relatively safe from termites, right? Not if there’s rotting wood nearby. Anytime you have a fallen tree or dead tree stumps on your property, remove the rotting wood as quickly as possible. Termites will make it their new home and soon find their way over to yours.

5. Dump Stagnant Water

Do you notice tons of mosquitoes around your home? That could be due to stagnant water. Check the area around your home to see if there’s a drainage issue in your backyard that leads to long-term puddles. You might have a pond or a swimming pool behind your house. These can attract mosquitoes as well, since they look for stagnant water to lay their eggs.

Drain any standing water you find, and pay attention to the water fixtures you installed. Drain and refill pond displays often. You can also keep your pool pump on year-round to prevent it from becoming an incubator for mosquito eggs.

6. Mow Your Lawn

Insects need a safe place to live so they can reproduce. They look for an area where they can easily hide from predators and the weather. Tall grass in your yard is the perfect place to do both. Mow your lawn frequently to keep your grass short, which will send the insects running to find a new place to live.

7. Change Your Lightbulbs

Most people have some kind of lighting set up in their yard. You might illuminate trees along your driveway at night or turn on floodlights around your home. Bugs love lightbulbs because they’re warm and irresistible, but not all lightbulbs are the same. A recent study found yellow-hued LEDs repelled most kinds of bugs compared with traditional incandescent bulbs. Change your lightbulbs so you can enjoy the light fixtures around your yard without worrying about dealing with pests.

Consider Your Yard

Before you make any significant changes, consider your yard. Where do you find the most bugs? Are they all over your flowerbed, crawling under your mulch or floating on top of stagnant water? Once you narrow down where the bugs hang out in your yard, you’ll figure out which of these landscaping tips will best deter pest activity on your property.