Preventing bugs from coming into your house is important, because many insects carry disease. They can also damage your personal property, such as clothing and other items. While keeping pests out might seem difficult, by taking some simple precautionary steps, you can make sure your home stays bug-free throughout the year.
How to keep bugs out of your house
The most important part of getting rid of bugs is to make the environment in and around your home unattractive to pests. The following section provides a list of steps you can take to keep insects from taking up residence in your home in the first place.
Step 1: Seal openings. Start by sealing any openings to the outside, such as cracks, holes, or around window and door screens.
Use caulk to seal open areas and repair holes in the wall by patching them.
Step 2: Put away food. Next, clean up any food once you are done eating.
This includes throwing away any food trash in a garbage can. And make sure to take the trash out when it’s full.
Step 3: Clean up moisture. If you have a spill, clean it up.
Just like humans, bugs must have water, and providing an easy source of liquid can attract them.
If you have a moisture problem in your house, use a dehumidifier to try and remove some of the moisture from the air.
Also, make sure to clean up areas where moisture might accumulate, such as around water pipes, air conditioners, and in the bathroom.
Step 4: Create a barrier. You can also use bug barriers to keep bugs from coming in doorways, windows, and other openings.
Popular bug barriers include:
Step 5: Clean up debris. A final step is to clean up any debris outside your home.
Debris can give bugs a place to hide, and once the weather turns cold, the bugs move into your house. Prevent this by removing any debris and trash from around the perimeter of your home.
How to get rid of specific bugs
Keeping bugs out of your home is one thing, but removing them once you they have established a foothold is quite another. The section below gives a list of common bugs and ways of removing them from your home.
- Ants: Ants enter a home to find food, water, and shelter. When eliminating ants, make sure to keep your home free of excess food waste and moisture. In addition, you can lay out traps or spray to help discourage them from returning.
- Aphids: Unlike other bugs, aphids tend to feed on the plants inside and outside of your home. Some common ways to get rid of aphids include using insecticides, horticulture oil, and even flour, which constipates the aphids. In addition, catnip plants repel aphids, so you can plant some of those near your other plants to keep aphids away.
- Carpet beetles: While carpet beetles can’t harm you, the larvae they produce can do major damage to upholstery, carpeting, clothing, and books. The easiest way to remove this pest is to clean up any dirt and dust, wash all of your clothing, and treat your living area with boric acid, diatomaceous dirt, or insecticide.
- Centipedes: These scary-looking bugs tend to enter a home to feast on other insects. To remove them, spray around your baseboards and lay out traps. You can also remove any debris from around the perimeter of your house and dehumidify inside if you have a moisture problem.
- Cockroaches: The bane of mankind, cockroaches have become a problem pest around the world. The easiest way to get rid of cockroaches in your home is to use insecticides, traps, and bug bombs for really bad infestations. Just as with ants, keeping your home clean can discourage cockroaches from taking up residence.
- Earwigs: Though painful, the bite of an earwig is not dangerous. Earwigs are a household pest that feeds on other insects and the plants in your home. Like many other insects, boric acid works great when used along baseboards and cracks. In addition, you can use a vacuum to deal with any large colonies of earwigs you find. Just make sure to empty the canister or dispose of the bag after vacuuming the colony up.
- Moths: Moths can get in your closets and damage your clothing. An easy way to get rid of a moth infestation is to hang some moth traps in your closet. You should also wash any clothing exposed to the moths to remove any eggs. Also dry the clothing or place them in the freezer if you can’t dry them to remove the eggs.
- Silverfish: Silverfish eat fabric, paper, and cardboard, making them a menace to your personal items. To rid yourself of this persistent pest, lay out traps along their normal paths, or use insecticides, boric acid, or diatomaceous dirt. In addition, clean up any old cardboard or paper products laying around your home.
- Spiders: While beneficial because they eat insects, most people would rather not have spiders in their home. The easiest way to get rid of spiders is to spray down your home with peppermint oil, or place undiluted peppermint oil on a cotton ball and stuff it into a crack or place the spider might hide. In addition, Diatomaceous Earth is shown to be effective against spiders.
- Stink bugs: Stink bugs seek the indoors to hibernate when it gets too cold for them outside. Producing a stink if squashed or disturbed, the easiest way to rid your house of them is to vacuum them up or use toilet paper to catch them and then flush them down the toilet. If you use a vacuum, make sure to remove and dispose of the bag immediately, preferably away from your home.
While you can take a variety of steps to keep bugs out of your home in the first place, sometimes you might have to take specific actions against certain pests already living in your house. Just make sure to use pet-safe options if you have a pet or children, such as Diatomaceous Earth, when ridding your home of bugs.