Bugs in the Sand Box

Updated on May 19, 2009
S.M. asks from Milwaukee, WI
6 answers

Ok, so we have a rather large built in sand box attached to our deck. We've had it covered with a tarp and nocited that it is infested with bugs after taking it off. Large spiders, worms, rolly polly bugs, and many others that I can't even identify. Now I understand that bugs will be around and they cannot be completely eliminated, however at any given time you can visably see at least 25 to 30 of them. None of the kids want to play in it because of the mass amount of insects and I prefer to not take all of the sand out and replace it because of how large it is and how costly it would be. Is there anything we can do aside from removing all of the sand and starting over to resolve the issue? Your help would be greatly appreciated. Thank you.

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answers from Milwaukee on

Uncover your box regularly to let the sun bake it. Can spray a mixture of peppermint oil and water onto the sand and the cover. Mix up the sand and keep spraying, the bugs will come out. Spray once in a while with the peppermint mix. Will also help keep the mold from growing and smelling as well. If you empty your box, spray it with the peppermint before putting sand back in. bugs dont like the peppermint!! Keeps ants from walking over the doorstep into your home too if yo rub the oil directly on the door entrance area!



answers from Des Moines on

We purchased wide screen wire, stapled the screen to a 2 x 4 board on 2 sides, laid the screen across the sandbox and weighted the 2 boards down with a rock on each side (light enough that kids can pick up and remove). This works well for us because it keeps out cats, tree debris, etc., but lets in sunlight & allows the sand to dry out. You have bugs because it is dark & moist. If your sandbox is too large for one piece of wide screen wire, you may have to make several strips and overlap them.



answers from Minneapolis on

Hi S.,

You can get a sifter from the kitchen supply section of any store like Target. Basically it's a bowl-shaped screen with a handle. Then you can scoop the bugs out and the sand will just fall through back into the sand box. Works for leaves and other debris too!




answers from Fargo on

Do you have some kind of barrier between the ground and the sand? If not you may need to take the sand out and put in the barrier -- like sheeting or plastic. This will prevent all those critters from getting in there from the ground. If you do take the sand out I would put some mesh over a wheel barrow or big box and sift out all the bugs. A big job, but worth getting the bugs out. Hope it all works out for you!



answers from Davenport on

I think the only option would be to take the cover off. The bugs like it in there because it is dark and moist. Maybe if you could find a mesh cover that allows light to go through so the sand can dry. We do not cover ours (we have no cat issues) and we only have an occasional spider here and there.



answers from Green Bay on

S. I agree with the other lady about not covering . I am guessing the sand got moist and it was dark and little critters like that . Uncover it and there might be some thing you could do like take the sand out and put some kind of screen on the sandbox so when you put the sand back it may block the bugs from getting in . I am just guessing off the top of my head . When and if you do that put a tarp down for the sand so it is easy to scoop back up .
Good luck

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