It’s nearly impossible to avoid bugs outside in the summer – and your well-stocked lineup of citronella candles, bug spray, and fly swatters will attest to that – but you can at least get a respite from them inside your home. Here are three simple ways to make sure your home stays bug-free this year.
Block Their Entry Points
The easiest way to keep your home free of pests is to make it impossible for them to get inside. Of course, since they can fit through even the tiniest of openings you might not be able to block every entry point, but you can check the most common culprits: Make sure doors and windows close tightly with no gaps, that screens don’t have holes in them, and check the exterior of your home for gaps in the foundation or structural holes where creepy-crawlies can crawl right in.
Remove the Temptations
Since you won’t be able to keep out every single bug or insect that thinks your home should be his home, your second line of defense happens inside. The key is to make your home as uncomfortable as possible for pests. Keep kitchens, family rooms, and dining areas clean from crumbs and make sure your pantry items are stored securely so the bugs won’t find a food source (this includes pet food, a favorite of many pests); eliminate clutter piles where insects could hide or nest. Remember that trash counts as food for bugs, so empty your cans regularly.
Call for Reinforcements
You don’t have to be on your own when it comes to bug-proofing – and no, we’re not talking about exterminators (although they can help if you have massive infestations that you can’t get rid of on your own). Encouraging natural predators to make their home in your backyard can dissuade insects from settling in, or at least control their numbers. How Stuff Works suggests keeping trees and bushes healthy so birds that eat small bugs have a place to build nests, and putting in a bat house to help the nocturnal animals stay close so they can feast on wasps, scorpions, mosquitoes, and other unfriendly bugs.