Here’s what you can do to keep your home safe from pests and bugs
Insects do not belong at home. They are unsanitary, bothersome and most have the potential to cause certain diseases in the human body. While common insects like flies can be annoying with their buzzing, mosquito bites are itchy, bees, scorpions and wasps can sting quite badly. Ticks, white fleas and mosquitos act as carriers in disease transmission. Surprisingly enough, cockroaches too can trigger allergic reactions as well as asthma attacks in children.
Following are ten ways in which you can keep your home safe from pests, bugs, and everything creepy crawly in between. Let’s get started.
#1. Seal Your Doors
Unsealed gaps are an easy entrance path for pests. To stop insects from crawling under your door, seal your doors by installing an aluminum or steel threshold under your door. For an added layer of protection and to foolproof your efforts, add a door sweep with a threshold. Opt for nylon brush sweeps over vinyl or neoprene as they offer the best protection.
If your door is being used often and there is a chance that it will remain open, door closer is your safest bet to ensure it remains closed. Hydraulic devices are the best ones to opt for as their closing speed can be controlled.
#2. Install Screens
Natural ventilation is great and often something most people gravitate towards especially during the summer when it can get quite hot and humid. As pleasant as an open window may sound at this time of the year, summer is also the time when insects such as fleas, flies, mosquitos, and others make their way into homes.
It is a good idea to install screens for your doors and windows. A finer 20-mesh screen helps keep most insects out, and its installation is quite simple too. Seal all the tears and holes using cement, clear nail polish or something similar to prevent entry.
#3. Yard Maintenance
Yard maintenance plays a crucial role is keeping bugs out. Eliminate pooled water from your yard to prevent mosquito colonization. To do this, keep an eye out for areas where water tends to pool and build a thatch. Poor drainage is a commonly encountered problem as well. To fix it, fill dirt or get your yard regarded to fix the drainage. Keep your drainage clear from any leaves, grass clippings and debris to prevent blockage and ensure smooth operations.
In the case of a pool, have it filtered and chlorinated on the regular. If there are any piles of debris lying around, make sure to get rid of them early on as they are the perfect hiding spot for many of these creepers.
#4. Fix any Cracks
Sealing any cracks that may be on your home’s surfaces is the best way to ensure that bugs stay out, considering their minute size. Keep an eye out for cracks in foundations, rotted wood, crumbling bricks and more. Patch foundations and replace old bricks with new ones.
Replace rotted wood or trim it and in places where there is a risk of termite damage, add a layer of cement backer board. Bees and wasps usually make their homes in the roof line so be mindful of that too. For the small cracks, use caulk for repair with latex and silicone caulks being your best options.
#5. Seal Pipe Entrances
Every house has lines running through holes in walls; be it for pipes or wiring. Add sealant or caulk around your home’s interior as well as the exterior. We often tend to direct our focus towards the interior only and leave out the exterior portion. For larger openings, use expandable polyurethane foam. Often steel wool or copper mesh is installed underneath the foam to deter the entry of insects further.
#6. Cover Large Openings
For this purpose, employ the use of fine wire mesh often referred to as hardware cloth. This can be stapled over these larger openings to keep out pests as well as smaller animals like squirrels and raccoons that can carry with them fleas and ticks. Chimney caps are also a good alternative along with dampers.
Cut out all the clutter because it will help keep the bugs out. End the infestation before it begins by making sure to keep your house space clean and your amenities down to a minimum. Store your food in airtight containers and keep the unsealed food in the refrigerator. Clean up after your crumbs and spills and wash the dished immediately after use.
#8. Proper Trash Storage
Trash is where it all starts in most places. Proper trash handling is crucial if you want to keep bugs away. Store your food trash in the kitchen instead of wastebaskets. Make sure the lid is always intact, and the trash is emptied every night. Regularly clean your bins and sanitize them. For a compost bin, ensure that it has a secure lid that is lined with hardwire cloth to prevent the entry of bugs. Remove composted materials every 3 to 6 months.
#9. Clear Foundations
Foundations are the most common entry spot for bugs so keeping them protected and clear should be your priority as it can significantly reduce the risk of infestation. Make sure to keep any moisture away from your foundations as it will disable any breeding grounds for ants, fleas, spiders, termites, etc. Similarly, keep debris, wood, leaves, and mulch away from the foundation to prevent termites.
Seal any gaps in your foundation using caulk, trim or foam. Instead of treating your foundations with termiticides or chemical insecticides, opt for boric acid or diatomaceous Earth as the walls’ bases as they are natural, non-toxic and do not harm anyone.
#10. Attract Natural Bug Predators
A simple way to bug-proof your home from the outside is to attract natural predators such as birds, bats and more to take care of the bugs. Install bat houses or nests and leave out food and water for them to feed on.
Bug and pest proofing one’s home is very challenging; therefore, an excellent place to start would be to understand what attracts them. Once you get to the source, the rest of the task will work out on its own. Insects survive using all of the same resources as us. If you are looking to get rid of bugs for good, you need to make certain changes that will ensure their permanent departure.
Evie harrison is a blogger by choice. She loves to discover the world around her. She likes to share her discoveries, experiences and express herself through her blogs. Find her on Twitter: @iamevieharrison