Not a big fan of creepy crawlies and bugs? Neither are we, especially in the home. That dreadful moment when you spot an insect or two crawling across you floor, your first thought is likely, “How can I get rid of these bugs?” and “How do I keep bugs out of my house?” No need to freak out! We have the tips and tricks to prevent those unwanted house guests from getting in your home!
How to Keep Insects and Rodents Away from Your Home
The best way to prevent having to remove insects and pests from your home and having to repair possible insect and mice damage is to keep them out altogether. Life can get hectic and sometimes those daily chores start to slip away, but that’s when little bugs or critters can take advantage of your busy schedule. Here are some ways to keep those pesky pests from getting in your home:
1. Eliminate Water and Food Sources
By eliminating water and food sources, you make your home less inviting for pests. Here are some important tips to keep from attracting insects and rodents inside:
Keep your kitchen counters and floors clean of crumbs
Store food in sealed containers
Regularly remove the garbage from your home
Rinse out your recyclables like plastic bottles and food containers
Avoid leaving dishes in the sink
Fix leaks and clean up spills as soon as possible
Don't leave pet food or water out overnight
Even improper water drainage outside your home could attract pests if the water causes anything around your home to start rotting. Also, make sure to set up any bird feeders far from your house as the food may attract more than just birds.
2. Close Off Pest Entry Points
Prevent pests from damaging your home by keeping them out. We advise these regular maintenance tips and checkups to keep entry points blocked:
Fill caulk cracks around baseboards, cabinets and windows
Install door sweeps on doors that lead outside
Check any boxes or packages for insects before bringing them into your home
Check window screens for holes
Only take out screens to clean around your windows, then place them back in
Keep your garage door closed when not in use, especially at night
In addition, always remember to inspect and clean any second-hand items like clothing and furniture, your belongings after traveling and items you’ve had in storage before bringing them fully into your home.
3. Avoid Providing Hiding Places and Homes
Get in the habit of taking a few extra minutes a day to clean your home, which may involve these tasks:
⦁ Vacuum and sweep the floors regularly
⦁ Remove any cobwebs you come across
⦁ Avoid leaving piles of clothing—spiders especially like to make these their home
⦁ Reduce clutter around your home
⦁ Don’t leave dishes out or in different rooms
⦁ Make sure areas of the home you don’t visit as much like basements, crawl spaces or attics stay ventilated and dry
⦁ Check pets for fleas and ticks and use a flea and tick prevention method for their wellbeing and your home’s health
⦁ If you use firewood for your home, store it outside, away from your home and off the ground
⦁ Place storage items in plastic containers or bags to keep insects and vermin out
Natural Insect and Pests Repellents
If you've noticed a few critters crawling around your home, you've probably already pulled out the pesticide, but before turning to chemical compounds that could be harmful to you, your pets and the environment, try a few natural remedies for these common pests:
⦁ Ants: Place cucumber peelings where ants are likely to enter your home.
⦁ Flies: Plant mint and basil near doors and windows to deter flies from coming inside.
⦁ Mosquitos: You may be familiar with citronella being used, but catnip is also a strong natural mosquito repellent that compares with DEET’s effectiveness.
⦁ Spiders: Combine vinegar and water in a spray bottle to repel spiders and infuse it with orange peels if you want to dilute the smell; it’s a win-win as spiders hate citrus smells. (Remember, while we aren’t fond of spiders inside, outside they can help by eating insects.)
⦁ Wasps: Plant mint, rosemary, thyme and sage around your home as a wasp repellent. (Wasps, like bees, are important to the ecosystem as pollinators, so these plants can help ward against them without killing them.)
⦁ Rodents: Spray peppermint or clove oil mixed with water around your home to help deter mice.
Insects and pests belong outdoors, so use these insect prevention tips to keep pests where they belong – outside of your home. If you do ever have an infestation, consult with a professional exterminator to help take care of your bug or mouse problem. In the meantime, check out our other homeownership tips.