Get Rid of the Creepy Crawlies with these Simple Tips
With all of the great things about summer, like ice cream, warmer weather, and suntans, there are also a few not so great things. The humidity. The heat. The insects.
Insects are polarizing creatures–some love them and others are terrified. But most people will agree that bugs should not be in your house.
Bugs can be annoying when they fly around your head, but they can also cause real problems. Mosquitos can create an unsightly bite that itches like crazy, Bees, wasps, horse flies, and scorpions can cause agonizing stings, and fleas, mosquitos, and ticks can carry diseases that may cause life-threatening illness in recipients.
Other than wearing a bug spray, there isn’t much you can do about the bugs when you are outside. But when you are inside, you don't want to be followed by a swarm of creatures that want to suck your blood!
Here are some tips for you to bug proof your home in order to lessen the number of bugs that fly in.
Make sure your Windows have Screens on them
It’s natural to open your windows during the cooler evening nights to cool your house. But make sure your windows have a screen installed so that you don’t also let in bugs with the cool air. The screens should be 20 mesh or finer in order to keep even the tiniest of critters out. Make sure you always have your screen on the window whenever the window is open since the lights inside the room will attract all sorts of bugs. And don’t forget bugs can get in through tears in the screens so keep window screens properly maintained.
Ensure your Door Fits Properly
An ill-fitting door can allow bugs and other creatures to get into your home. Your door should fit tightly into the frame of the door. Check your door carefully during a sunny day and you might be surprised at the number of places you can see the outside.
Weatherstripping can help to seal small cracks between the door frame and the door. In addition, a door sweep can eliminate the space where bugs can walk right in.
If necessary, purchase a new exterior door to ensure bugs can’t get in through any small cracks. A properly sealed exterior door will also ensure you don’t waste your expensive air conditioning.
Close the Door when it’s not in Use
Weatherstripping means nothing when the door is left open for long periods of time. If you need fresh air, consider a screen door that will block the bugs.
You can also install an automatic door closer so the door closes automatically. This is a great option for those who have small children who often forget to close the door.
Repair Cracks in your Foundation
Insects can get in through cracks in your foundation, so check it periodically. Use mortar or cement to repair the cracks that appear over time. Replace broken or loose bricks and replace rotting wood. Add caulking around windows or doors.
If your area is susceptible to termites, consider adding a layer of cementitious backer board.
Don’t Keep Food Out
Insects love to eat, and if they aren’t eating you, they want your food. Over-ripe fruit can attract tiny fruit flies, so keep food inside of your refrigerator or a closed cupboard. Once it’s no longer fit for consumption, get rid of it. Wipe up spills immediately and throw away your trash often.
Maintain your Yard
There are things you can do in your yard in order to keep the bug population at a minimum. Mosquitos breed in water, so avoid areas of standing water. Watch for areas where water pools in your yard and build it up.Change water in birdbaths frequently in order to cut down on the number of places mosquitos can breed.
Keep eavestroughs free of debris such as leaves in order to allow proper drainage.
Piles of grass clippings and leaves are the perfect nesting ground for insects to breed.
Encourage Insects Natural Predators
Every creature has a natural predator. Consider making your yard a haven for purple martins, warblers, and swallows, who love to eat mosquitos. Bats also eat a large number of insects, such as wasps, mosquitos, flies, spiders, and scorpions. If you aren’t sure about attracting bats to your yard, remember that they only fly at night.
In order to attract some of these natural predators, plant trees, and shrubs, install bird feeders so they can supplement their diet, and add a fresh water supply.
Don’t let insects ruin your summer! By following a few of these tips, you can ensure your home stays bug-free all summer long.