Keeping Insects Out
on October 12, 2015
on October 12, 2015
Insects can be drawn to many things in your home, such as a steady supply of food, a source of water, or a dry little spot to set up a home of their own. It’s not enough to just kill them and their eggs – you need to reduce their reasons for entering your living space in the first place.
Common Insect CulpritsEvery season is insect season in your neighborhood, but certain species of insects are especially drawn to homes because the house/building plays host to everything required for their survival.
- Mosquitoes – there is no shortage of humidity here in the South and this climate is perfect for winged annoyances to thrive and reproduce.
- Cockroaches – these critters may move out of their damp tree homes and into your nice dry dwelling during damper days. Pet food or human food that has been left out is often considered an enticing meal.
- Flies – they will live in almost any climate where humans do, too, typically thriving on roughage and pet waste.
- Ants – they may be small, but ant colonies can be massive – sometimes with hundreds of thousands residents. These pests are looking for a regular supply of water and food, much like cockroaches.
Make Your Home a FortressOf course, not even the most ardent entomologists want to share their home with such annoying (not to mention potentially dangerous) insects. There are several ways to protect your home from these small intruders.
- Eliminate their food sources. Seal grains, sugars, and cereals in airtight kitchen containers, and keep your eating and food storage spaces tidy and free from crumbs that could attract roaches and ants.
- Pick up after pets. Keep pet feeding areas clean, and wash their food and water bowls regularly. You may want to take up your pet’s food when they aren’t eating it to further deter pests. Regularly clean up pet waste from your yard or inside your home; this includes litter boxes for cats.
- Take out the trash. Fruit flies and gnats love your trash, so take it out frequently.
- Discourage their entry. Inspect and maintain the screens on your windows and sliding doors. Have a professional repair any rips or holes that could let in bugs. You may also want to consider installing insect-proof mesh on air vents and in crawl spaces to further protect against unwanted house guests.
- Seal the doors. If light and air are coming in between your door and the door frame, chances are bugs are getting in that way, too. Consider installing weather stripping or having a professional repair the stripping that already exists. Creating a strong barrier will prevent many bugs from getting into your home.
- Keep a tidy yard. Low-hanging branches that press against your home’s exterior are highways for bug activity. Make sure your trees and shrubs are properly pruned, and that yard waste that may house pesky insects is cleaned up and properly disposed of.
- Dry it up. Keep bird baths clean to discourage mosquitoes from breeding in the water, and store empty pots upside down so they don’t collect water. This advice is especially crucial during the rainy season, when some places see several inches of rainfall in a short amount of time.
- Check for cracks. Have a professional seal any cracks in the foundation of your home with a silicone caulk to keep pests out. Request that they check around dryer vents, gas lines, or even phone lines, for cracks as well.
- Keep it clean. Bugs and insects love clutter because it gives them places to hide and thrive. Keep your floor clear of unnecessary untidiness and throw out or recycle old cardboard or newspapers that can provide a haven for bugs.