There are a plethora of bugs that want to make your home their home, especially in the summer. Many types of bugs, after all, are in their glory throughout the summer months - gorging themselves with ample food sources, breeding like rabbits, basking in the warm, beautiful sunshine and sniffing out those sizzling patties on the barbeque and well-thought-out picnic lunch for that special someone.
Some of these bugs are small (such as the fruit fly), whereas others are tiny (like the gnat). You can find them in a multitude of colors - black (oriental cockroach), brown (marmorated stink bug), silver (silverfish), red (ladybug), yellow (wasp) and gray (moth) - and sizes. The American cockroach, for example, measures around one-and-a-half inches long, whereas the carpet beetle is quite little, with a body length of one-eighth inch long. Regardless of whichever bug it is or where it’s found in your home - from your plants (aphids) to your grains (pantry moths) - they’re all pests, and none of them should be there.
What are nine tips to help keep bugs out of your house this summer?
1. Use a box fan: Place a box fan near the front door (and back door) and have it blow outwards. The strong air current created by the fan can create a barrier that deters flies from flying in, as flies are not strong fliers and struggle to navigate against strong air currents. You can also use a tower fan.
To use: To maximize effectiveness, it's recommended to position the fan in a way that covers a majority of the entire doorway or entry area. You may need to experiment with the fan's speed and angle to find the optimal setting that creates a sufficient air current to deter flies without causing inconvenience for people entering or leaving the house.
2. Have the range hood on while cooking: The range hood, also known as the kitchen hood, stove hood or kitchen exhaust hood, serves to ventilate the cooking area by removing steam, smoke, odors and airborne particles generated during cooking. By having the fan on and expelling these elements, you are creating an environment that is less attractive to pests.
3. Trim back shrubs and vegetation: Shrubs and plants located close to your home can provide spiders with easy access to the exterior walls and openings. Spiders are skilled climbers and can use branches, leaves or other vegetation as pathways to enter your home. Keep vegetation at a safe distance from your home's exterior walls, aiming for a clearance of about one foot to create a barrier.
In addition, by removing this vegetation and maintaining a tidy yard, you can eliminate potential hiding spots and breeding grounds for other insects, including ants, earwigs and ticks. Proper landscaping practices can also improve airflow and sunlight exposure, making the area less appealing to certain pests.
4. Use natural pest control: Create a natural barrier as part of an integrated pest management practice to deter pests. Certain plants and herbs repel insects through tiny balls of essential oils, or globules, that are naturally produced on their leaves. Take advantage of these properties by planting marigolds around your outdoor living areas to repel mosquitoes, putting pots of fresh basil near each of your doors to ward off moths and growing lavender in your garden to discourage flies, moths, mosquitoes, beetles, ticks and fleas. Also, lemongrass and citronella grass, two beautiful grassy plants that have citronella oil in their leaves, are great mosquito, fly and gnat repellents. These can be planted along walkways or near your windows.
5. Use essential oils: Using a diffuser with certain essential oils can help repel insects from entering your home. Aside from actually planting these herbs, using their oils can be highly beneficial. Some examples include citronella, lavender, peppermint, eucalyptus and lemongrass. These oils contain natural compounds that bugs find unpleasant, which will deter them from entering your living spaces.
To use: Add a few drops of your chosen essential oil to the water (in your diffuser) and let it disperse its scent into the air. Place the diffuser near entrances, windows or areas where pests are commonly found.
6. Install door sweeps and weatherstripping: Seal gaps around your doors and windows with door sweeps and weatherstripping to prevent pests - including cockroaches, spiders, flies and ants - from entering your home. By creating a tight seal that minimizes gaps and cracks where pests can crawl or fly through, door sweeps and weatherstripping can significantly reduce the entry points for insects. You can even use a tutorial to make your own door snake.
7. Keep outdoor lights away from entrances: Position outdoor lights away from doorways and windows, as bright artificial lights can attract flying insects like moths and mosquitoes. In addition, consider using yellow, LED or sodium vapor lights, as they emit light in a different range of wavelengths that are less likely to draw insects to them. Additionally, consider placing the lights away from entry points and using motion sensor lights that activate only when needed.
8. Use Dust to Dust: Dust to Dust, a safe, toxin-free solution that can be used against both winged and crawling insects, eliminates more than 100 insect species including ants, cockroaches, ticks, fleas and silverfish. It can be used as a preventative measure both indoors and outdoors. With proven kill times of up to 50% faster than diatomaceous earth, it is a highly effective alternative (to diatomaceous earth.)
To use: Fill the Insect Buster three-fourths full with Dust to Dust, shake well, and puff. Puff around the perimeter of your home and your yard. In addition, puff around window sills, pipes, vents and utility openings - anywhere insects may be gaining entrance. Dust to Dust employs silica to break down the delicate wax layer that covers insects' exoskeletons. This wax coating is critical for these bugs as it helps prevent the loss of water from their bodies through the exoskeleton. The breakdown of this layer - caused by silica - ultimately leads to the insects' death through dehydration, which occurs when they walk across a thin line of this powder.9. See our entire line of non-toxic products. They are simple and powerful. They are scientifically backed, meticulously handcrafted and 100% safe for you, your family and your pets. Every purchase comes with a 100% Satisfaction Guarantee. If you’re not fully satisfied, neither are we. (We offer a replacement or refund for any dissatisfied customer.)