Please Bug Off: 10 Ways To Keep Insects Out Of Your Home
Do you have unwanted guests bugging you at home? The reality is despite your best efforts there's no way to fully bug-proof your home. The little buggers can sneak through even the smallest of cracks and thoroughly enjoy making nests in your nest. Once you have an infestation, it can be challenging and costly to remove them.
The good news is there are several ways you can prepare and hopefully prevent insects from entering your home. Here are 10 helpful tips keep bugs out of your home.
1. Keep Your Home Clean: By keeping a clean and tidy home, you're making it less attractive to pesky bugs. The most important room to keep clean is the kitchen. Insects enjoy feasting on crumbs and gunk stuck to stoves and microwaves so make sure those spots are kept tip-top. Additionally, make sure dirty dishes are washed, counters are wiped down, food is sealed and put away properly and the floors are swept.
2. Don't Leave Fluid Behind: Soak up any residue left in sinks, bathtubs, and showers. If you have any leaks, now is the time to fix them! Bugs love water and need it for survival. By removing excess fluids, you're significantly reducing the chances of an unwanted friend making your home their home.
3. Seal Doors and Windows: Creepy crawlers can crawl between small spaces under doors and windows. If you notice you've got tiny gaps, get yourself a tube of caulk. Caulking is inexpensive and can be found at handy stores or even grocery stores. It's a good idea to look over your entire home, inside and out, for open spaces and cracks. Whether it's your walls, baseboards or windows, if you can feel a breeze or see a glimmer of light, seal it up!
4. Install Screens: An easy way to enjoy some fresh air and circulate airflow through your home without inviting unwanted guests is to install screens over your windows and doors. If possible, use fine mesh with the smallest holes to prevent the majority of insects from entering. If you already have screens, do an annual inspection to ensure no damage or holes have occurred over time.
5. Store Trash Properly: This applies to both inside and outside your home. Inside, trash should be kept in a bin and removed often. Tie up any food you're throwing away and try to take it out as soon as possible. Once outside, try to place trash in the shade when possible and ensure the lid is secured tightly. Additionally, clean and rinse your trash bins throughout the summer months (winter months too if you're in a warmer climate).
6. Plants and Flowers: There are certain plants and flowers that keep bugs away without you having to do much but water them. Here are a few favorites and where to keep them:
- Kitchen: Herbs - mint, basil, rosemary and oregano.
- Bedroom: Lavender
- Garden: Petunias, Marigolds, and Catnip (excellent for if you own cats)
Click here for a great list of plants that help insects out of your home.
7. Protect Your Pets: We know you love your pet but you probably don't love the fact they can bring fleas and other little critters into your home. If you take your animals outdoors, please make sure you are taking them to their yearly vet visits, getting them vaccinated and brushing their fur regularly. It might not hurt to add a bath here and there either...if your pet will allow it that is.
8. Pick Up After Your Pets: You may have seen the cartoons with flies buzzing around poop but the dirty truth is, that your pets gifts can bring a lot of unwanted attention to your yard. So if it happens, which it will, be prepared to pick it up immediately. Another place most people overlook is their pet's dishes. Bugs love all food pets leave behind, so give the water dish and food bowl a good weekly or even daily scrub.
9. Yard and Gardens: You know that beautiful yard you love spending all your time in? Well, you aren't the only one! Insects seek shelter, food and protection in long grass and bushy shrubs. Get your mower out and focus on the grass closest to your home as well as trim bushes and trees that touch your home as this is a direct route inside. For those who live in apartments or condominiums, check on outdoor flowerbeds and pots you have.
10. Natural sprays: We are all in agreement, no one likes or wants bugs in their home, but harsh chemicals may not the best way to get rid of them. They can destroy more than just insects and be dangerous to animals. A few great natural sprays include using the plants and flowers we mentioned earlier (ex. lavender, mint and catnip). The Wellness Mama has some easy, homemade recipes you can whip up in just a few minutes.
Surprise! Here are 2 additional tips for your reading pleasure.
11. Food and Recyclables: Remove old food, rinse your recyclables and take them to the depot. Bottles can sit in closets for months collecting dust and mold and leaving just a few drops of liquid is enough to feed a hungry family of critters.
12. Declutter and Donate: Spring cleaning doesn't have to only happen once a year, nor should it! Bugs are looking for places to hide so declutter your home, remove cardboard, papers, boxes, and old clothes. Anywhere that doesn't get touched or cleaned often could provide luxurious living accommodations.
Have you used other methods to successfully remove or prevent bugs from entering your home? Please share in the comments below!