How to Keep Bugs Off Outdoor Furniture

When the warm weather hits, and you want to enjoy your backyard relaxing on the patio furniture, you know it’s only a matter of time before those pesky insects come to join the party. Have you ever sat down on your outdoor sofa, feeling like you were being bitten all over within minutes? Or ended a meal on the patio surrounded by swarms of buzzing, biting bugs dying to dive into your dessert?

How to Keep Bugs Off Outdoor Furniture

In this post, I’ll share some of the most effective natural and chemical-free methods for repelling insects and keeping your outdoor lounging bug-free. From plants that act as natural repellents to products you can spray on furniture, there are lots of options to drive those bugs crazy looking for an unprotected place to land.

Read on to find tips on how to keep bugs off outdoor furniture.

What Will You Need?

Before we jump into the different methods, here’s a list of items you’ll want to keep on hand.

  • Essential Oils: Peppermint, lemon eucalyptus, lavender, and tea tree are all great options.
  • Herbs: Citronella, lemongrass, basil, mint, and rosemary are all plants that naturally repel bugs.
  • Spray Bottle: You’ll want a spray bottle filled with water and essential oils to mist on your furniture.
  • Candles or Torches: Citronella candles, tiki torches, or even regular candles with citronella oil added can help keep bugs away.
  • Citrus Peels: Save those lemon, lime, and orange peels – they’ll come in handy!
  • White Vinegar: This household staple has many uses, including repelling bugs.
  • Dish Soap: You can use dish soap to create a bug-repelling solution for your furniture.
  • Plastic Wrap or Cloth Covers: Use these to cover your furniture when it’s not in use.

Once you have these items gathered, you’re ready to start keeping those bugs off your outdoor furniture!

8 Easy Steps on How to Keep Bugs Off Outdoor Furniture

Step 1: Prepare Your Essential Oil Spray

First, fill your spray bottle with water, leaving a little space at the top. Add ten drops to your chosen essential oils (peppermint, lemon eucalyptus, lavender, and tea tree are all excellent choices). Shake the bottle well to combine the oils and water.

Spray this mixture generously on your outdoor furniture, focusing on the areas where you’ve noticed the most bug activity. Repeat this process every few days or after heavy rainfall. Be sure to test a small, inconspicuous furniture area first to ensure the oil does not discolor the material.

Step 2: Utilize Herbs as Natural Repellents

Herbs like citronella, lemongrass, basil, mint, and rosemary are beautiful additions to your garden and natural bug deterrents. You can plant these herbs in pots and strategically place them around your outdoor furniture.

You could also create a small herb garden near your outdoor lounge areas. The strong scent these herbs emit is pleasant to humans but disliked by various insects. This process is sustainable and free from harsh chemicals, making a friendly choice for your family and the environment.

Create a Small Herb Garden

Step 3: Light Candles or Torches

Citronella candles or tiki torches are excellent bug-repelling options for relaxing outdoors during the warmer months. These products release a scent unattractive to bugs, creating a bug-free zone around your outdoor furniture. Try adding a few drops of citronella oil to regular candles for an even more practical approach.

Light these candles or torches and place them around your patio or lounge area, ensuring they are safely distanced from flammable materials. Replace or refill them as needed for continuous protection. This method keeps bugs away and adds a warm and inviting ambiance to your outdoor space.

Step 4: Employ Citrus Peels

Citrus fruits are great in a refreshing summer drink and can be a natural insect repellent. Bugs, especially mosquitos, find the scent of citrus peels repulsive. Once you’ve enjoyed the fruit, save the peels and distribute them strategically around your outdoor furniture.

Refreshing Summer Drink and Can Be Natural Insect

You can place them directly on the ground, in a small bowl, or hang them in a breathable bag. Replace the peels every few days or after rainfall to ensure their effectiveness. This method is excellent for repurposing kitchen waste while keeping your outdoor space bug-free.

Step 5: Create a Vinegar Solution

White vinegar is an effective and eco-friendly option for keeping bugs off outdoor furniture. Simply mix equal parts of vinegar and water in a spray bottle. Spray this concoction on the furniture, especially targeting areas where you’ve seen bugs congregating.

The pungent smell of vinegar deters bugs and keeps them at bay. Be aware that vinegar may leave a faint smell after application, but don’t worry! This dissipates briefly and is completely safe for use around pets and children. Remember to reapply after heavy rains or at least once a week for the best results.

Step 6: Use Dish Soap Solution

Dish soap is a common household item that keeps bugs away from outdoor furniture. Mix a few drops of dish soap with water in a spray bottle to make a solution. Shake it well to ensure the solution is thoroughly mixed. Spray this solution on outdoor furniture, focusing on areas where you’ve noticed increased insect activity.

Dish Soap is a Common Household Item

The soap solution is a surface barrier, deterring bugs from landing on your furniture. Since dish soap can leave residue, it’s important to rinse your furniture after a few hours to prevent any buildup. Like other methods, reapply this solution after heavy rain or every few days for consistent results.

Step 7: Cover Your Furniture

Consider covering your outdoor furniture with plastic wrap or cloth covers when it is not in use. These materials are a physical barrier, making it difficult for bugs to settle on your furniture. Ensure the covers fit snugly and cover the furniture entirely for optimal protection. They remove these covers at least once a week to air out the furniture and prevent any bugs that may have gotten trapped underneath. This method helps keep bugs off and protects your furniture from weather elements, prolonging its lifespan.

Step 8: Maintain Regular Cleaning

Regular cleaning is one of the best preventive measures against bugs. Make sure to clean your furniture regularly with a mild detergent and warm water. This keeps your furniture looking its best and removes any food or drink spills that may attract insects.

You can also use a soft brush to scrub the hard-to-reach areas where bugs like to hide. After cleaning, thoroughly dry your furniture to prevent moisture buildup, which can attract more insects. Maintaining a regular cleaning routine will discourage pests from making themselves home on outdoor furniture.

Following these methods, you can keep your outdoor furniture bug-free and enjoy spending time outside without interruptions.

5 Additional Tips and Tricks

  1. Regular Cleaning: Regularly clean your outdoor furniture. Food residues or sweet spills can attract bugs. Use vinegar or a mild detergent to wipe down surfaces.
  2. Bug Zappers and Traps: Install bug zappers or fly traps around your outdoor area. These can significantly reduce the number of bugs and flies near your furniture.
  3. Outdoor Fans: Bugs have a hard time flying in strong winds. An outdoor fan can keep bugs away and keep you cool at the same time.
  4. Check for Cracks and Gaps: Bugs can enter through small cracks or gaps in your furniture. Inspect your outdoor furniture regularly and seal any openings with caulk.
  5. Use citronella: Citronella is a natural bug repellent. Light some citronella candles or use citronella oil on your furniture to keep bugs away. You can also plant citronella plants around your outdoor area for an added layer of protection.
Citronella is a Natural Bug Repellent

With these additional tips and tricks, you can effectively keep bugs off your outdoor furniture and enjoy spending time outside without unwanted visitors.

5 Things You Should Avoid

  1. Leaving Food Out: Leaving food on outdoor furniture can attract bugs. Always clean up after meals to prevent attracting unwanted pests.
  2. Standing Water: Bugs, especially mosquitoes, are drawn to standing water. Make sure to remove any water on your furniture after it rains or after cleaning.
  3. Ignoring Dead Plants: Dead plants can serve as a breeding ground for bugs. Regularly trim your plants and remove any dead ones immediately.
  4. Using Bright Lights: Bright lights attract bugs. Instead, opt for yellow LED or sodium vapor light bulbs, which are less appealing to bugs.
  5. Skipping Regular Inspections: Neglecting regular inspections can lead to bug infestations. Make sure to routinely check your furniture for any signs of bugs or damage. Routine inspection and immediate action can help prevent any significant bug problems.

By avoiding these common mistakes and implementing the additional tips, you can keep bugs off your outdoor furniture and enjoy a bug-free outdoor experience.


To sum up, there are several things you can do to keep bugs and other unwanted guests off your outdoor furniture. Regularly clean the furnishings, use insect repellents, apply orange oil to ward off pests, and make sure your surrounding area is cleaned frequently. Investing in covers for your furniture can help keep the dirt and bugs away whenever it’s not in use. These simple steps will help ensure you get plenty of restful nights out on the porch or patio without bugs getting in the way. Wrap up your grocery list today and start protecting your outdoor furniture immediately!

Hopefully, the article on how to keep bugs off outdoor furniture has provided you with some valuable information and tips. Remember to regularly clean your furniture, use repellents and fans, check for cracks and gaps, avoid common mistakes, and routinely inspect your furniture. Thank you for reading, and happy bug-free outdoor living!

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