The summer months are one of the best times to get outside and enjoy the sun. However, this season is also responsible for bringing even more pests to your home. Whether you’re hanging indoors or out, you’re certain to find a number of pests bothering you during the summer time. A lot of people spend a fortune on dangerous poisons or even exterminators to deal with such a problem. There are actually many ways you can help keep pests out of your home without spending a fortune though. So, get ready to do a little DIY pest control to improve on the quality of your summer.
1. Inspect Windows and Doors
One of the first steps you should take every year is to inspect your doors and windows. You can do this first by feeling around the frame of the door and window to see if you feel a draft coming through. This can mean that your insulation isn’t working properly and needs to be replaced. Damaged insulation not only costs you a fortune in heating and cooling costs, but it can also let bugs into the house without the door or window even being opened. Another major problem is holes in screens. If you have a damaged screen in a door or window, then there are ways to cheaply mend this problem. You might also consider replacing screens every few years to prevent insects from getting into damaged areas. By looking over these elements, you should help reduce the number of bugs in your home.
2. Keep Everything Clean
Although at times it is hard to keep things entirely clean, especially with children and pets, this is one of the best ways to keep bugs away from your home. One of the first steps you should take is to clean your trash bin and to do it on a regular basis during the summer. Also, having a trash can that has a lid can also keep pests away. This is perfect for flies and cockroaches. Open foods, such as chips, breads, cereals and more should be kept in air tight bins or at least closed efficiently to keep bugs away. You might also consider storing fruit in a covered basket to keep fruit flies and gnats at bay. Sweeping and mopping daily can reduce the chance of bugs too, especially ants that like to feed on crumbs. Wiping down cabinets and tables can also keep bugs away from the home. Of course, vacuuming, dusting and other common chores will also help you keep bugs far from your home.
3. Plant Flowers
Believe it or not, but gardening can actually help you keep bugs away from your home. On top of actually improving the environment in your home, certain plants can work to detour some of the pests that drive you crazy and pose health problems. One plant to consider is lavender. This plant works to keep mosquitoes away from the home while encouraging bees to be more present. Citronella plants will help to detour many of the bugs that drive you crazy. Both of these plants work to keep fleas away too. Fleas aren’t fans of catnip, peppermint and marigolds too, so plant these to your heart’s content. Flies are actually detoured by many of the herbs you might consider growing like basil, rosemary and lavender. Chives can also keep cockroaches away from the home. Even bedbugs are detoured by some of the herbs you might grow, so you may consider bringing these plants into the house too. If you plan your garden accordingly and plant near windows and doors, you may find your pest situation has increased substantially.
4. Utilize Vinegar
Bugs and vinegar tend to not go hand in hand, which is why you might want to incorporate vinegar into your cleaning regime often. You can use vinegar as a natural cleaner for many areas of the home. However, some places are better suited for vinegar than others when it comes to the home. For instance, you might want to start by rubbing vinegar on your base boards and around doors and windows. This will certainly detour most bugs, including ants that are particularly frustrating during the summer months. Of course, if ants are your problem then you might also want to spray vinegar on ant trails and holes to keep them from your yard and sidewalks too. This simple trick should work wonders in the home and will save on cleaning supplies.
5. Reduce Water Sources
Like humans, a lot of the pests we encounter need some water to keep going. Thus, open water sources are an open invitation for a pest party in or around your home. One of the largest culprits is fountains, particularly when placed outside. You might want to let these decorative items go dry for the summer or at least keep them running continuously so that the water doesn’t stagnate, which tends to increase the presence of mosquitoes. Bird baths and decorative ponds are another common pest attractor, so be careful there as well. If you have a pool, then add a cover when its not in use. Indoors, you should make sure water sources are cleaned up straight away. Pet water should be changed frequently too, to decrease the chance of your pet drinking gnat eggs.
6. DIY bug traps
Bug traps are often a popular choice when it comes to getting rid of pets. Some of the more popular traps are for cock roaches and flies though. You can usually find these items at a fair price in most stores, but its even cheaper and often less hazardous to make your own trap at home. On of the easiest ways to go about this is to place some sticky liquid, like sugar water in a container. You can also do this trick by putting a sticky and sweet paste on paper or cardboard. Bugs will be attracted to it and will become stuck or drown. For cockroaches, you can add borax, cocoa powder and flour to a container. The cockroaches will quickly go for the mixture. These are just a couple of examples though. You can find a DIY trap that suits you and the pest you are having problems with.
7. Essential Oils
Over the past couple of years, essential oils have become very popular in the home. These oils are actually known to keep bugs away from certain areas of the home too. So, you might try this method if you’re having problems. Oils such as peppermint, tea tree, citrus and so on are amazing when it comes to detouring most pests, including spiders. Using a simple oil diffuser for these can help spread the scent of the oil throughout a room, so you can help keep bugs at bay. Of course, another option is to put a few drops of an oil in a cleaning bottle and spray it on your mattress, window screens and base boards. This should help keep bugs at bay for a few days, so make sure to repeat often. Essential oils can be dangerous for babies and pets, so exercise precaution when using them.
8. Clear Yard Debris
Debris around the home can also draw in quite a few bugs, which can cause a huge headache. Before summer begins, you might want to clear out any leaves and other plant debris that might have accumulated over winter and spring. These items allow bugs to easily hide and the smell can even draw them in. Your gutters can also really attract bugs like mosquitoes, so you may want to clear them out as soon as you can. This can help with any summer storms you might encounter too. Luckily, you shouldn’t have to do this often during the summer but monitoring the gutters will certainly help with pest problems. Wood piles can also bring in bugs, so try covering them or storing wood elsewhere when not in use.
9. Spray the Yard
In some cases, particularly in places that stay warm all year, you may have to invest in getting the yard sprayed. In these cases, the weather never cools down long enough to get rid of the fleas from the previous year. Thus, they come out at a greater number. Flea and ticks are not only a problem for animals, but they can also spread disease to people. Even if they aren’t an epidemic in your area, fleas can cause your pets to develop worms which is unhealthy for the whole family. A simple spray of the yard and flea prevention for your pets can help keep your home flea free all summer long.
10. Be Aware of Public Places
Unfortunately, summer is one of the peak times for bed bugs, which can cause you a lot of frustration, sleepless nights and money. Bed bugs tend to not just appear in standalone homes, so if you’re careful you can avoid them. One of the first steps you should take is to be aware of your surroundings. Bed bugs are small and often hard to see, but checking where you sit down, what you lean against and more can help cut back on the chances of your bringing them into the home. You may want to avoid using public lockers too and if you do then wash and dry clothes and fabric that was left in the locker on the highest setting whenever you return home. Make sure you check your mattress when you stay in hotels and leave luggage on hard surfaces. Also, check your luggage before you bring it back in the house. This should help you steer clear of bedbugs this summer.
Pests don’t have to make your summer horrible. These quick and easy tips should help to keep pets away from you and your home, so you can enjoy more of your summer fun and less of the nuisances that drive you crazy. With these tips, you should also save a lot of money in the process!