Encourage Natural Predators
One of the simplest methods for bug-proofing your home is to rely on the insects' natural predators for help. Small insects are the main source of food for a large number of birds and bats. Warblers and swallows, in particular, are potent mosquito killers [source: Lyric Bird Food]. Bats eat a much larger variety of bugs and pests, including wasps, flies, spiders, mosquitoes and even scorpions [source: Carstens].
To encourage birds to help with your pest control efforts, it helps to provide trees and bushes where they can establish nests. Add a fresh water supply, and change it often so that it doesn't grow stagnant. You may also wish to add a birdseed or nectar feeder to supplement their insect-based diet [source: Gouge et al].
Many homeowners may be hesitant to encourage bats in their yard, despite their ability to help control insect populations. Fortunately, bats sleep during the day and only fly at night, which means you're unlikely to even notice them. As you're sleeping they'll be hard at work getting rid of bugs before they can crawl their way into your home. Encourage bats by installing a bat house or roost in your yard.
Related HowStuffWorks Articles
More Great Resources
- Amundsen, Lucie B. "How to Keep Animals and Insect Pests Out of Your House." Reader's Digest. May 2006. 7/29/09.
- Carstens, Bryan. "What Do Bats Eat?" Organization for Bat Conservation. 2006. 7/29/09.http://www.batconservation.org/content/Infobatarticles.html
- Garrett, Howard. "Termites." The Dirt Doctor. 2008. 7/30/09http://www.dirtdoctor.com/organic/garden/view_question/id/51/
- Gouge, David H.; Olson, Carl; Snyder, Jennifer L.; Stoltman, Alison J.; "How to Bug Proof Your Home. The University of Arizona. Date Unknown. 7/30/09.http://ag.arizona.edu/pubs/insects/az1320/
- Heloise. "How to Get Rid of Insects and Pests." Good Housekeeping. Date Unknown. 7/29/09.http://www.goodhousekeeping.com/home/heloise/pests/banish-insect-pest-jun06-2
- Lyric Bird Food. "Food Chain Tag." Date Unknown. 7/29/09.http://www.lyricbirdfood.com/adx/aspx/adxGetMedia.aspx?DocID=57,7,2,Documents&MediaID=39&Filename=lyric_lesson1_food_chain_tag.pdf
- Potter, Michael F. "How to Pest-Proof Your Home." University of Kentucky. August 1997. 7/30/09http://www.ca.uky.edu/entomology/entfacts/ef641.asp
- Ramsey, Dan. "How to Repair Windows." HowStuffWorks. Date Unknown. 7/30/09.https://home.howstuffworks.com/home-improvement/repair/how-to-repair-windows2.htm
- Smithsonian Institute. "Bug Info." 2009. 7/18/09.http://www.si.edu/encyclopedia_si/nmnh/buginfo/bugnos.htm
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