We are all so happy when Spring finally rolls around that sometimes it’s easy to forget the parts of warmer weather that we aren’t so fond of—namely, the bugs.
Nobody cares much for having creepy crawlies around their house or buzzing around their heads while out enjoying some summer fun; but in the first days of Spring, we aren’t thinking about the mosquito bites and ant armies that lie in the not-so-distant future.
Bugs may not be on your radar quite yet, but there are a few ways that you can prepare for the possibility of pests—and perhaps prevent annoying insects from spoiling the carefree days ahead of you.
Here are a few pointers for keeping the pest population around your home at bay.
The kitchen is one of the primary areas of the house that attracts and houses the most bugs.
Because the kitchen has food, water, and trash, it’s going to be a spot that bugs are naturally fond of. You can start by keeping your kitchen as clean as possible.
Start by wiping down your counters after each meal with a solution of 1 part vinegar to 1 part water to remove food particles and odors. You can also use an all-purpose spray consisting of one tablespoon of peppermint castile soap mixed with a gallon of water. Keep floors swept and your trash in a can with a lid. Seal your food in closed containers and make sure to rinse food jars and containers before putting them in the recycle bin.
Fix your faucet if it leaks or drips. Bugs are attracted to water, so keep surfaces dry. Make sure to keep drains free of food and clean them out by making a mixture of ½ cup baking soda mixed with ½ cup vinegar and pouring it into the drain.
After 5 minutes, pour boiling water down the drain to clean it out.
Keeping on top of your weekly cleaning is another way to make sure bugs do not establish themselves in your home.
A weekly vacuuming session will help keep all crawling insects away. You can suck up and trap bugs without having to squish them (bonus!).
In addition to weekly vacuuming, spend 15 minutes a week clearing out piles of newspaper or junk mail and removing piles of clothing from your floors. All these things serve as nice, dark hiding places for insects.
A tube of silicone caulk can be your best weapon when it comes to pest prevention.
Pay attention to all windows and door frames, the seal around your external dryer vent, anyplace where pipes enter or leave your home, and anywhere TV or cable wires come inside. Stuff some steel wool into larger holes, or cover them with wire mesh, before sealing them up.
Install a door sweep.
A door sweep blocks the gap between the bottom of your door and the ground. You can buy one at any hardware store, and for an easy fix, buy the kind that simply sticks onto the door with an adhesive strip—no drilling needed.
Essential oils have strong smells that bugs dislike. Before pests start coming near you or your home, send a strong signal that will send them in a different direction by using essential oils on your body and around your home. The following is a list of suggested oils for repelling pests which you can order online or find in your local grocery.
The following is a list of suggested oils for repelling pests which you can order online or find in your local grocery.
To make your own bug repellent, mix 30-50 drops of essential oils with 4 oz water and 3 oz witch hazel in a spray bottle. You can use this spray as often as needed, and it is safe for children and pets.
When bug season rolls around, one way to be prepared to keep little critters from making themselves at home is to use a few things you have on hand to discourage them from coming near in the first place.
For ants, you can keep them away by sprinkling coffee grounds around your windows and doors. Another way to control ants is to mix 1 cup borax with 1 cup sugar water. Pour the mix into small jars and poke holes in the lids. The sweet smell will lure the ants in.
Are fruit flies swarming in your kitchen? Fight these tiny nuisances with apple cider vinegar. Fill a glass with 2 inches of vinegar, cover with plastic wrap, and poke holes. The fruit flies will be attracted by the sweet smell.
If spiders are creeping you out, mix equal parts vinegar and water in a spray bottle. Coat cracks, openings, and entrances with the mixture, which is safe for humans and pets, but repels spiders.
While keeping beer in the fridge might draw more friends to your house, it won’t attract cockroaches, who can’t stand the stuff. Place saucers of beer near entry points to your house to keep them away.
If you have problems with silverfish slinking around moist areas in your home, sprinkle boric acid, a low-toxicity mineral, on the floor in areas like the kitchen and bathroom.
To make your zone as pest-free as possible, you can surround your home with a garden of plants that keep bugs away. You can also plant them indoors, like a tabletop herb garden made from pallets.
The plants that are best for deterring insects are citronella, horsemint, marigolds, catnip, basil, and rosemary.
Policing for pests is a year-round job, but the toughest time of year is during the Spring, Summer, and early Autumn. Using these tips to discourage bugs from scoping out your space for their future home will ensure you the great enjoyment of this coming season of nice weather and outdoor fun.