Monday, April 12, 2010

Stylish Pest Prevention

I have very strong feelings towards both the joys of warm afternoons outside and the hatred of bugs that disturb them.  Disruptive insects have ruined many a nice day with their biting, stinging, and the general sense of panic they cause when they rear their ugly heads (okay, maybe not everyone panics…but I certainly have been known to do so on occasion).  A relaxing outdoor area is such a wonderful part of a home, and if you’re lucky enough to have one you should be able to enjoy it bug-free.  We searched high and low for products to protect you and your family from these irritating pests, while allowing you to maintain a beautiful space.  

Did you know some plants are natural insect repellents?  For a chemical free way to fend off mosquitoes try planting Lemongrass around your patio.  Not only is it an organic option, it’s edible and great with garlic, cilantro and chilies.  See what your local garden center has in stock, or order some online here.    

Another coincidentally edible mosquito repellent is Rosemary.  Even if you don’t like the taste, you can throw some on your barbecue coals for a great aroma and to provide added fuel to your fight against bugs.  This hardy plant is beautiful, delicious and can be found at most Lowes or Home Depot garden centers, or online here.  

Marigolds are another good option for natural insect deterrent, but beware…the same scent that makes them unpleasant for bugs sometimes makes them repellent to humans as well.  Marigolds are inexpensive and readily available, try any nursery or garden center or visit hereto make an online purchase.    

Decorative Candles

There’s a good chance you may have benefited from the repelling power of a good citronella candle at some point in your life, but chances are it wasn’t nearly as lovely as these selections we found.  

Our favorite had to be this Crate&Barrel Citronella Bucket Candle.  It comes it two sizes, a small that sells for $6.95 and a large for $16.95.  Although, like all citronella candles, they’ll only work in their smoke range- we’d buy them for their style alone.

The hand crafted stone like finish of this candle makes it another decorative choice…and they’re reasonably priced at just $5.40 each.  

If you’re looking for an all natural, soy option that’s citronella and DEET free, try thesewax candles that contain other insect repelling essential oils.  These babies aren’t cheap, however…just one will cost you $56.  

Traps and Zappers

          Sometimes the situation outside calls for something a little more aggressive and you’re forced to bring out the big guns.  The good news is you don’t need to put an industrial weapon-of-mass-destruction-looking eyesore in your backyard to accomplish this.  This Glass Wasp Trap is pretty and effective.  I’m pretty petrified of wasps (they’re just so evil!) and even I breathe a little easier with one around.  

This Sunbeam Cordless Bug Zapper is by far the most covert one we found…we loved it’s ability to masquerade as a purely decorative piece.  It’s on sale at Amazon right now, if you hurry you can pick it up for under $30. 


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