There are few things homeowners hate as much as a pest infestation. Insects in your home are not only a nuisance but they can easily become a health threat, too, with the diseases they potentially carry. Instead of trying to fight them when they are already inside your home, implementing a few preventive measures that will nip the issue in the bud will make your life less stressful. Here are 10 tips for keeping your house insect-free.
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The first important step to prevent insects from infesting your home is keeping the place clean. It does not sound like rocket science but the truth is that most of us have nooks and crannies that we rarely bother to clean. Start with the kitchen and the bathroom as these places are the first ones that insects will try to infest. Clean up food residues like crumbs and insects won’t have anything to feed on. Clean your drains regularly as well.
The next thing you should do is thoroughly decluttering your home. You cannot clean properly if there is clutter all over the place, but more importantly, stacks of boxes, old newspapers, and the like can be a magnet for bugs like cockroaches. Piles of stuff that you rarely move around are the perfect nest for bugs and by cleaning these areas up you will scare them away.
Store food properly
Insects are drawn to your home in search of food and shelter. So, try to keep food out of their reach and they will go elsewhere. Make sure you store all your food properly, in sealed containers. Use a bag reseller or reseller clips for opened bags of snacks. Refrain from leaving fruit out – it will attract fruit flies. If you have pets, don’t forget about using the same strategies for their food. Keep pet food containers sealed and wash your pet’s bowls regularly.
Keep trash at bay
A full trashcan is an insects’ paradise, so keeping trash at bay will prevent these uninvited guests from appearing in your house. Take out the trash regularly, and make sure that your trashcan’s lid can be properly closed. Don’t keep your trashcan too close to your house.
Seal any entry points
While it might seem like insects materialize out of thin air in our homes, the truth is that your house must have some sort of entry points if you notice their presence. So, another preventive measure that you should not skip if you want a bug-free home is finding these entry points and sealing them to the best of your knowledge. Look out for cracks, especially by doors and windows, and search for gaps at utility lines like pipes. Be sure to seal these gaps with a material that bugs will not try to chew through.
Check your screens
In the summer, chances are you leave your doors or windows open a lot. This means free entry for any flying insect, so be sure to equip your doors and windows with appropriate screens. You might already have screens installed – in that case, check them carefully. Screens tend to wear out in a couple of years’ time and start deteriorating. Bugs are really good at finding even the smallest holes, so mend or change your old screens if necessary.
Mind the light
At night, any artificial light will attract insects like a magnet. However, you cannot keep your house in pitch darkness. What you can do is place your outdoor lights strategically so you’re at least not leading them straight in. In addition, certain light colours are more attractive to insects like others. Going for pinkish or orange light will be less likely to draw a swarm.
It’s hard to notice small insects when one is not looking for them. Therefore, you should keep your eyes peeled and pay attention to your surroundings. One or two bugs may not be a reason to panic, but if they keep appearing repeatedly, it might mean that they have already nested in your home. If you notice the first signs of infestation, act immediately and call pest control.
Keep your garden orderly
It will be easier to keep your home insect-free if you control the number of bugs in your outdoor area as well. Trim overgrown shrubbery, minimize mulch and don’t let yard waste accumulate. Additionally, check for standing water regularly, as it can become a breeding ground for mosquitos.
Plant natural repellents
If you have some space to spare in your garden, then planting a few natural insect repellents is a good idea, especially if you tend to spend a lot of time outdoors. If your area has a lot of mosquitos, focusing on citrusy scents like citronella and lemon balm can keep them at a safe distance. Other great additions to any garden would be lavender, basil, and mint, among others – all of which have insect-repelling properties.
Prevention is always better than cure, so hopefully, these tips will ensure that you won’t have an insect problem in your home. If you find that these nuisances have still found their way inside despite your best effort, don’t hesitate to call outside help and spare yourself from stress.