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As much as summer is about pool parties, backyard barbecues, and long hikes, it’s also a time when pesky insects come out in full force. Whether it’s the buzzing mosquitoes, swarms of gnats, or an army of ants, these little critters can quickly kill the vibe outside—at least in certain areas of the country. According to a recent study by lawn-care company TruGreen, some cities may have it worse than others this year. The brand released its list of the buggiest cities in the U.S., and a new destination has taken the top spot for 2023: Los Angeles knocked Dallas-Fort Worth from number one. Check out the rest of the list here:

  1. Los Angeles
  2. Houston
  3. Dallas-Fort Worth
  4. Atlanta
  5. Tampa-St. Petersburg-Sarasota, Florida
  6. Detroit
  7. Cleveland-Akron
  8. Orlando-Daytona Beach-Melbourne, Florida
  9. Minneapolis-Saint Paul
  10. Pittsburgh

Brian Feldman, senior director of technical operations at TruGreen, says that a shift in this year’s weather patterns points to wetter-than-usual months ahead. “This could potentially mean a buggier spring and summer for us all,” he notes. Because none of us are guaranteed a pest-free season, we’ve rounded up our best bug-battling tips to try as the temps rise. 

Start From the Ground Up 

Give your lawn some extra love and you might be able to head off the swarms before they start. Made with natural ingredients like lemongrass and cedar oil, this spray not only eliminates mosquitoes, ticks, and fleas on contact, it provides protection for up to 28 days.

Divert Them With Plants 

The best natural repellent might already be in your flowerpots. Whether you have a sprawling backyard or just a balcony, you can create an eco-friendly barrier with the right selection of greenery. Herbs like basil and rosemary work double duty, driving away bugs and keeping your kitchen stocked with fresh ingredients, while lavender is another fragrant plant that will kick unwanted visitors to the curb.

Style With a Dual Purpose in Mind 

From sprays inspired by French perfumes to coils that double as decor, we’ve tested more than a dozen products that keep the bloodsuckers away and look darn good doing it. These twinkling bistro lights, for example, are dotted with pods that keep bugs at bay while creating a cozy ambience for all the alfresco nights ahead.