As the warm months start to wane, you’re likely looking for ways to squeeze every last ounce of enjoyment out of your yard or patio. After all, with the coronavirus pandemic continuing to rage, the outdoors has offered solace and entertainment during such a stressful time. That being said, if you’ve got pests in your backyard, they can really affect how easy it is to reap the benefits of the outdoor spaces you love most. Here are five of the most common backyard pests you’re likely to encounter—and how to keep them at bay.

1. Mosquitoes

Mosquitoes can ruin a fun backyard get-together, cook-out, or bonfire. If you just want to relax, have fun with family and friends, and enjoy your outdoor living space, mosquitoes are the last thing you want to have shown up to your event. In addition to causing itchy bites that cause you to scratch, mosquitoes can also carry diseases, making it extra important that you have a line of defense against these unwanted blood-sucking pests. At the same time, you likely don’t want to smell like chemicals while you’re outdoors with friends or family, which is why the best backyard mosquito control is an all-natural solution. Natural mosquito repellants are perfect for any occasion, since they’re considered pet-safe, family-safe, and repel mosquitoes using natural ingredients not found in other sprays. In addition, it’s a good idea to plant citronella and rosemary around your yard, as these can also help keep mosquito bites to a minimum.

2. Geese

Figuring out how to get rid of geese can be a puzzle. After all, geese have normal migratory flight patterns which can make it hard to determine the best path forward for getting rid of these pests. While some might wonder why Canada geese constitute a pest, families with young children understand that geese can be mean and territorial, even chasing or frightening young toddlers. Beyond this, geese also leave droppings in your yard that can get your children sick (and are just gross). Eco-friendly liquid goose repellant can help address all of these issues, allowing you to keep your yard pristine and goose-free.

3. Groundhogs

Groundhogs, also known as gophers, can wreak all kinds of havoc to your yard, making them a major nuisance whether or not you have professional landscaping. Fans of the movie Caddyshack know about the damage a groundhog can cause on golf courses, and the same is true for homes as well. If you’re wondering how to keep a groundhog away from your yard, an all-natural way to keep groundhogs at bay is to use garlic, pepper, or even the urine of a cat or dog to deter them.

4. Ticks and Fleas

If you have animals that go outdoors, such as dogs or cats, you don’t want them catching fleas or ticks in your yard. What’s even worse is when they bring those fleas or ticks into your home, since, similar to mosquitoes, these bloodsuckers can carry diseases. Ticks can be especially dangerous, as they can carry Lyme disease. If you want an effective way to wash fleas and ticks off of your animals, try mixing water, white or apple cider vinegar, and liquid dish soap together and scrubbing down your pet monthly. This mixture does wonders for killing these pests on contact and discouraging them from returning.

5. Yellowjackets, Wasps and Hornets

Note that bees aren’t on this list, because bees are crucial pollinators and are thus important to keep around if you want your backyard’s foliage, garden, and flowers to grow. That being said, especially if you have children, other pests like yellow jackets, wasps, and hornets can be the last thing you want outdoors near your home. Not only do these bugs have the potential to sting you, but they can also bore holes in wooden fences or sheds. In order to keep these bugs away from your home, consider planting wormwood or using mint to deter them.