Summer’s here, which means so are the bugs. Vacationing visitors, BBQs, and late nights spent on the patio all make this season one of our favorite times of the year. However, bites, stings and bug infestations have a way of ruining the fun. Don’t worry—we’re not letting that happen to you. Follow these 5 tips to bug-proof your home without harsh chemicals.
Maintain Your Home
Ants, fleas, flies, termites, roaches, mosquitoes and other common household bugs can all be deterred by taking the proper precautions—prevention is always the best form of pest control. Follow these simple preventative measures to keep bugs away from your home:
- Keep your home clean and free of clutter—particularly the kitchen, flooring, window sills and counter tops. Without a source of food, bugs will have no reason to enter your home.
- Seal all food in tightly closed containers. Keep all food storage areas free of crumbs and food residues (Tip: wipe off all jam, sauce and honey containers, too).
- Never leave food remains or dirty dishes in the sink.
- Take out the trash regularly, and keep all trash cans clean and sealed.
- Most bugs are prone to moisture loss, and enter our homes to seek water and cool down. It’s important to remove any standing water and other sources of moisture, such as leaky plumbing, basements, crawl spaces and A/C units (do this outside, too).
- Do not store lumber or firewood inside or right outside your home. Doing so attracts various types of bugs, including termites.
Seal Your Home
Most insects require only the smallest of openings to gain entrance into your home. Checking both inside and outside, use caulk or other appropriate materials to fill all cracks and holes in baseboards, windows seals, doorways, light switches, outlets, fixtures, basements, roofing, utility lines, piping, attics, walls, foundations and the like. Screens or seals should be used to ensure windows and doorways remain firmly closed as well.
Wild animals like birds, squirrels, possums and mice carry bugs such as mites, fleas, and ticks. Properly sealing your home will prevent these creatures from carrying additional pests into your home
Use Non-toxic (Indoor) Bug Sprays
In the spring and summer months when bugs are particularly active, a regular indoor pest control regimen is recommended. Non-toxic Indoor pesticides are your best option, as they are both highly effective and safe for use around family and pets.
Use these insecticides as both a spot killer and as a preventative solution. Regularly spraying window sills, doorways, baseboards, counter tops, attics, basements and other possible entry points will create a repellent barrier against insects and other bugs (we recommend doing this weekly during spring/summer months, or as needed).
Treat Yourself and Your Pets
Pets and people are a common vehicle for bugs to enter our homes. Before (and after) going outdoors for walks, hikes, dog park visits, etc, it’s important to guard yourself and your pet against biting bugs like fleas and ticks (always check your pet for ticks, too!). Carrying a small bottle of pet-safe bug repellent in your purse or pocket makes this easy.
Treat Your Lawn & Garden
Where do most bugs come from? You guessed it: your yard! Not surprisingly, bug-proofing your yard is one of the most important steps to bug-proofing your home. During the spring and summer months, sticking to an outdoor pest control regimen is essential.
We recommend treating your yard with an non-toxic, plant-safe outdoor pesticide monthly or as needed. Cedarwood chips can also be used to create a repellent perimeter around your lawn and home. Simply sprinkle the chips along your home’s foundation and fence line, as well as any insect trouble areas. (Tip: Cedarwood chips can also be used inside dog bed coverings to deter biting insects, or hung in stockings and placed within closets to repel damaging bugs like moths).