Ways to Make Your Home Bug-Free This Summer:
Are you enjoying your summer so far? We sure are. Alas, so are all the creepy-crawlies with whom we share our planet, from the dangerous ones like ticks, to those like ants, centipedes, crickets, and cockroaches that are just downright annoying.
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So unless you like sharing your space with all those creepy-crawly (and in some cases, flying) critters, you need to know effective ways to keep them OUTSIDE your house, in the great out-of-doors. Where they belong.
Ready to get started? Then see these quick and easy tips to help you banish the bugs, once and for all!
This is a collaboration post. However, please know I stand behind everything written here, and only include links to products/services/resources I’m willing to recommend personally.
Keeping Your Home Bug Free, Step By Step:
#1: Secure your entry points
The harder it is for bugs to get into your home, the better. Here are some practical things you can do:
- Close any open vents to the out-of-doors, and check the seals around the edges of your doors and windows.
- Use caulk to fill in any small gaps in your home’s exterior.
- Check all the screens on your doors and windows. If you find any holes, patch or replace the screens ASAP.
If you don’t yet have screens, then install
screening protection around your doors and windows.
Even if you take these steps, you might still get one or two bugs invading your home. But taking care of these obvious entry points is the first thing to do to avoid an all-out invasion.
#2: Keep it clean
And I’m not just talking food, although that is a crucial place to start in the summertime!
If you ever needed any incentive to up your house-cleaning game, this is it. Bugs like messy homes:
- Cockroaches find paper and cardboard irresistible.
- Ants love crumbs and spills.
- Flies love food (especially if it’s starting to smell funky) and dirt.
So kick your cleaning up several notches:
- Clean up all spills promptly. Wipe down counters as often as needed – at least after each food-prep – with a quick spray of white vinegar, which serves as a natural bug repellant and disinfectant.
- Check the floors after every meal (especially if your littles are messy eaters). Clean up any spills right away, and vacuum up all crumbs.
- Make sure your trash cans are sealed shut. And if possible, ensure that outside cans aren’t stored right next to main entry points for your home.
If this is really NOT your forte, that’s OK; look for cleaning hacks that will help you power through the jobs faster. One of my faves is putting my kids to work. Especially now that they’re old enough to handle these jobs, they not only clear their own dishes straight into the dishwasher – they also have to check their spaces at the table after mealtimes, and promptly clean up any food that missed its mark.
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#3: No more bug buffets
As noted above, certain bugs are attracted to food, so don’t tempt them in with any of your summer offerings. As examples, ants love sugary granules and other sweet treats, while wasps enjoy soft drinks. Fruit flies love both alcohol and fresh produce. And it’s not just the sight of the foods that does it for bugs; just a whiff is all they need to start marching toward your next meal or snack.
So cut the buffet line off before it even gets started:
- Don’t leave food standing around unattended. Either it’s on your plate and headed into your mouth, or it’s put away and covered up. Food-related wrappers go straight into the trash, which gets emptied as often as needed (sometimes daily or more during summer heat).
- Store any food items around your home, especially those that you don’t use constantly, in tightly-sealed containers (or the refrigerator, if that’s more appropriate.) There’s nothing worse than going to make pancakes or oatmeal, only to find that grain moths or related critters have gotten into that package up in the cupboard – and everything else in your cupboard that’s not sealed in plastic bags, inside closed plastic containers or tins.
- Be mindful of your pets’ food bowls, too. Unless you want a cavalcade of marching ants and buzzing flies entering your home, wash your pets’ dishes after they have eaten, This will cut down on those lingering smells that might attract insect attention.
#4: Call in the pros
These simple steps should give you a great start on keeping your home bug-free. But sometimes, even your best efforts don’t quite cut it. That’s when it may be time to call in the big guns. (Or perhaps you just want to preempt the possibility of unwelcome house guests, before you have an insect problem.)
When it’s time to choose a pest control service, choose carefully. Many of the options out there use various chemicals to keep your home bug-free. But there are also a growing number of companies that use greener natural pest control methods, which can be a better choice both for your family’s safety and the environment.
Is the area where you live prone to insect problems? How do you keep them at bay? Let us know in the comments!
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