When we built our home 5 years ago, we had two main things we really wanted, laminate flooring throughout the whole house and a large covered patio with ceiling fans. That’s right, someone was looking at Better Homes and Gardens magazines a little too much 🙂
Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely love our covered patio. It is one of my favorite things about our home. It is, however, a pain to keep clean and looking magazine pretty. Here are some tips and tricks that I have learned to keep that patio looking as beautiful as possible.
Dealing with Bugs
This is my number one complaint. Bugs absolutely love covered patios. Flies especially love to come underneath the covered patio on hot days. I have to admit, I haven’t fully conquered the fly problem. I’m just not ready to hang Ziploc bags with pennies in them all over my patio because it kind of defeats the whole pretty patio look in my eyes. Having ceiling fans does help deter them, but not 100%. I find that having a bug zapper or making a homemade fly trap has helped reduce the numbers.
The flies do not bother me as much as what they attract. Spiders. I really am not a fan of spiders. They’re the one creepy crawly bug that I can’t stand. What those magazines do not tell you about that pretty porch…is how much spiders love it. They make webs and lay their egg sacs everywhere 🙁 Living in Washington state, the need for spraying for bugs on a consistent basis isn’t as necessary as somewhere like Texas. Also, I’m a bit of a cheapskate, if I can find a way to deal with it without having to pay someone else to do it, I will. I have found that using a Swiffer Duster to knock down any webs and dust up cobwebs works incredibly well. They just cling to that duster like a magnet. The fact that it extends is really nice also…so stray spiders do not fall on top of you! Next, I have a recipe that is easy to make for a natural spider deterrent that works really well. The one thing that does suck about it, is you have to apply it every 20-30 days for it to continue to work, but that’s really a small price to pay for keeping the spiders away.
If you would rather use a commercial grade spray for bugs, which I do recommend doing here and there as needed, there is an awesome product you can buy off Amazon, that is much cheaper than having a pest company come out and it lasts quite awhile. You will get several treatments out of it and it only costs $45.00. I have had a pest company spray our house twice since we moved in before I found this product and it cost well over $100 each time to have someone else do it. The product is called Suspend SC Insecticide. You will need to also buy a pesticide spray container and then you mix the product with water and put it in the sprayer and just apply it. It works incredibly well and so much more affordable.
Pine Cones, Needles and Leaves…OH MY!
We thankfully do not have a ton of trees super close to our house, however, the two trees we do have within 30-100 feet from our home, surprisingly send a lot of debris our way. The best way to get rid of it? Pull out the vacuum! At least for the needles and small stuff. I have an old Dyson vacuum I use specifically for dirty jobs that works great. It takes so little time! The other thing I do is use a leaf blower to blow the larger debris, such as leaves and pine cones off of our porch. You can pick up an electric blower for less than $30.00 and it’s much easier than sweeping.
Reduce Outdoor Clutter
When you have a covered outdoor patio, sometimes it’s easy to treat it like another space of your home. Yard tools and miscellaneous things get set on tables and chairs and before you know it, you sit there wondering where all of this stuff came from? Be mindful of controlling the clutter. I notice when stuff starts to pile up, there is an influx in the number of bugs. It just gives spiders more places to cling their webs to and lay eggs…yuck!
Stay On Top Of It
The best way to keep the bugs and debris from piling up is to stay on top of it! I know, I know…we all lead very busy lives and it makes it difficult to stay on top of everything. I have to admit though, the more mindful I am about it, the more I get to enjoy my patio. Notice a few spiders coming back? Knock down their webs and spray a spider deterrent. Had a wind storm last weekend? Take a few minutes to vacuum or blow any debris off of your porch. Notice some yard tools or kids toys piling up on the porch? Put them back where they belong. As much as I hate cleaning, It’s so much easier to stay on top of things than try and deal with them once they get out of hand.
Have any additional tips and tricks on keeping your patio clean? I would love to hear them! Post them in the comments below.