Bugs in the house are never good news, no matter whether you’re afraid of them or not. Insects belong outside and not in a home. They create unsanitary conditions, and they are simply just annoying, making noises, flying, or crawling around. To make matters worse, some may even sting and carry diseases that may infect humans or our beloved pets.
What to do then if you want a bug-proof house? In this article, the team from Habitat for Humanity Restore has created a comprehensive list of ways to help you keep bugs out of your house.
Seal The House from Bugs: Start With The Doors
A properly sealed house from bugs is the best way to keep them out. That said, start with your entranceways.
Get started by installing sturdy aluminum or steel thresholds under your doors, and consider adding a door sweep for added protection. The latter is an especially handy and inexpensive device that can help you keep your home bug-free.
You can also add weatherstripping to the seal kits to keep bugs from getting in along the sides or the top of the door.
Still, don’t forget that these techniques only work when the doors are closed. If your children tend to be forgetful, consider installing a door closer. The hydraulics n the device will close the door automatically and can be installed with a few tools you probably already have at home.
Keep The Yard Clean
Properly maintaining your yard is one of the best ways to keep bugs out of your home. To reduce the mosquito population around you, eliminate pooled water in the yard, as these insects require water to breed.
Once you find standing water in the yard, look for ways to get rid of it. If you have thatch buildup, aerating the lawn may allow the water to absorb into the soil more efficiently. If you have problems with poor drainage, try adding fill dirt to solve the problem, or hire professionals.
On that note, keep your drains and gutters clean from grass clippings, leaves, and debris. If you have a pool, ensure that the water is filtered and chlorinated, and change the water in your birdbaths and/or fountains every two weeks.
Consider Using Screens
Consider installing screens on your doors and windows to keep the bugs out of the house. They can be highly effective at keeping insects out while, at the same time, providing natural ventilation.
On that note, opt for a 20-mesh or finer screen to ensure no insect enters the house. Also, remember that these tiny insects can easily sneak through in small tears and holes in your existing screens, so make sure to push the broken wires back into place with either scissors or a screwdriver. Then, add either clear nail polish or a coat of household cement to the hole.
Repair Any Cracks
Sealing any cracks on your home’s exterior is another excellent way to get rid of bugs in your house. And just how meticulous should you be? Think about it this way: if a regular pencil can get through the gap or crack, a young mouse may also get through, and probably, 98% of all insects.
So, be thorough when examining your home’s exterior. Look for foundation cracks, rotted wood, crumbling bricks, and missing siding sections.
To bug-proof your house, use cement or mortar to patch the foundations and get new bricks to replace broken ones. If wood rot is a problem, replace the rotten elements and repair the damaged sections of your cladding and siding. Exposed wood sheathing and foam insulation should be coated with a layer of cementitious backer board.
Address Large Openings
If you should repair all the small cracks, you should also cover larger openings. Don’t get us wrong; we’re not trying to persuade you to fill up your roof vents or chimney with caulk. Instead, to totally bug-proof your hose, consider using hardwire cloth, a type of fine mesh that will keep the bugs out but will also eliminate raccoon and squirrel infestations.
Seal The House from Bugs: Seal Around Pipe Penetrations
Like most homeowners, you’ve had to deal with some type of utility installation at some point. Phone wires, internet service, cable lines – you name it. And while most installers will add either caulk or sealant around these drilled holes and lines, chances are, you might have at least a few pipe or utility penetrations where insects may get in the house.
First, check the exterior of your home for any openings. Often, you will be able to follow the telephone or cable lines into the home from the outside. Also, check outdoor electrical outlets or faucets.
Smaller gaps can be easily dealt with with some caulk or pipe sealants. For larger openings, consider using expandable polyurethane foam and use copper mesh or steel wool as the foam’s base to deter insects that may get through the foam.
Properly Store Your Trash
Store food waste exclusively in the kitchen, refraining from placing it in wastebaskets spread across the house. Make use of a lidded container for the waste, ensuring its nightly disposal. For outdoor waste bins, opt for those with self-closing lids and airtight seals to effectively deter insects. Regular cleaning and sanitization of indoor and outdoor trash receptacles and recycling bins are essential, particularly if they’re exposed to spills.
In the case of a compost bin, it’s crucial to have a securely fitting lid and to line it with sturdy hardwire cloth to prevent bugs from accessing the contents. Regular removal of fully composted materials should occur every three to six months to maintain their effectiveness and cleanliness.
Don’t Give Them Reasons To Stay
The best way to eliminate bugs from your house is by destroying their most preferred amenities. Eliminate unprotected water and food sources, along with any clutter.
An environment filled with clutter provides a convenient breeding site for insects. Concealed within stacks of newspapers or within densely packed cupboards, these pests can multiply extensively before their presence is even detected. Once noticed, eliminating them becomes an arduous task. Minimize clutter to prevent the initiation of infestations before they even start.
Furthermore, insects require a consistent food source for their survival. Prevent them from feasting in your living space by stowing all food in containers with airtight seals and transferring unsealed food items to the refrigerator whenever feasible. Concentrate food consumption on a specific area of your home and promptly wipe up crumbs or spills. Adopt the practice of washing dishes immediately after use or placing them in the dishwasher.
Learn More from Us
Making the house bug-proof often isn’t a plain task, but it also doesn’t have to be overly demanding either. With the right tools, knowledge, and attitude, you can easily keep these unwanted guests out of your home. If you want to learn more excellent strategies to keep your home bug-free, consider contacting us. And while you’re here, you may as well learn a few nifty tricks and skills be helping our cause.