Summer may be a season of sunshine and fun, but inevitably it also brings with it plenty of household pests. There’s nothing more frustrating than fighting a losing battle against bugs, whether it’s ants in the kitchen or spiders in the bathroom. Here are our top tips to protect your home from summer pests.
1. Seal Your Doors and Windows
The best offense is a good defense! Protect your home by sealing up the little cracks and gaps that allow many pests to enter in the first place. Windows and doors can easily become warped, and even a slight change can create space.
Check all screens as well and repair any tears or gaps. We recommend using a mesh with at least 200 holes per square inch. This will keep out even the tiny pests.
Remember that it’s not only windows and doors that can have cracks. Check your walls, both interior and exterior, to make sure that you don’t have loose siding or foundation cracks that are allowing pests to enter the home.
2. Keep Plants and Debris Away from the Home
Maintaining a clean space around the outside of your home will help to keep pests out. Any shrubbery on the porch or a stack of wood leaning against the wall can attract pests and give them access to your home.
Many insects like earwigs and spiders thrive in dark, damp spots. You should try to eliminate any areas like this near the home, including compost piles, damp mulch, and even garden beds near the house. If you do have an outdoor pest problem, address that as soon as possible. The fewer pests you have outside your home, the fewer pests you will find inside your home.
3. Keep a Clean Kitchen
This one may seem obvious, but even a kitchen that seems spotless to us can have little bits of food attracting. It’s not uncommon to wake up and find a line of sugar ants marching across an otherwise pristine countertop!
One tip is to move all open food containers into sealed jars or Tupperware. Ingredients like sugar and flour can attract bugs, especially if kept in unsealed bags. Do your best to seal off your trash as well. Use a tight-fitting lid on both your trash can and your recycling bin. And speaking of recyclables, make sure that they are scrubbed and rinsed thoroughly before tossing them.
If pests continue to be a problem in the kitchen, take the extra step to keep your recycling outside. The empty containers may be part of the problem. Take your trash out frequently and make sure that there are no hidden spills at the bottom of a drawer or cupboard.
4. Keep a Clean Bathroom and Laundry Room
Just like the kitchen, bathrooms can be the perfect home for pests that love a dark and damp environment. The first step is to make sure that your plumbing is not leaking and that your bathrooms have no damp areas.
It is also worth going the extra step to clean out drains. Sink and shower drains can be a hidden breeding site for small pests. Even if they aren’t slow, consider using a drain cleaner to make sure there aren’t flies there. You should also cover your drains as securely as possible, as they are a popular entry point for many pests like roaches.
Overall, you should check any place in your home where water could potentially create a breeding ground or living space for pests. Check all plumbing in your kitchen, bathroom, laundry room, etc. for drips. Pay extra close attention to pipes in dark spaces, like those in the cupboard under the sink.
5. Change out Your Lights
You’ve almost certainly seen moths swarming around your porch light at night. Many nocturnal insects are attracted to the standard mercury lights most of us use in and around our home. While putting lights up might make our spaces safer, it also can make your home a beacon for bugs.
Replace bulbs with sodium vapor or halogen bulbs. Tinted bulbs, especially yellow and orange, will be the least attractive. If you have lights on inside, always make sure that your windows are closed or covered with a screen. You may also want to consider moving any exterior lights. Moving them off of the house or even just away from the door can help keep pests from finding your home in the first place.
6. Try Natural Summer Pest Deterrents
You may be hesitant to reach for chemical bug repellents, but there are plenty of natural options to try first. For example, ants and other small pests can be easily deterred with vinegar. A quick wipe down with vinegar can do wonders for keeping bugs out of your cupboards.
Simple soap and water can be very effective as well. Wipe down areas with soapy water to kill ants and eliminate their scent trails, making it harder for more to enter. Try setting out a dish of soapy water with vinegar and sugar to attract and trap gnats and flies.
7. Spray for Summer Pests
While there are many ways to make your home less inviting, the most effective pest control is going to be insecticide. First, tackle any existing pests. Insect killer and traps can help control common pests like ants and roaches. Hang sticky traps to tackle a fly problem.
You can also spray for pest deterrent. Creating a barrier, either selectively at entry points like doors or around the property on the whole, will keep pests from returning once you’ve gotten them under control. Keep in mind that insecticide can be toxic, so use it sparingly if you have pets or children around.