A common problem, no matter where you live, are those many-legged invaders which are only too happy to contaminate your fruit, infect your home or simply get on your nerves – insects. How do we get rid of them? Usually, the go-to method will involve a bunch of harsh manmade chemicals or deterrents to place around the home, which may be fine in some circumstances but can actually pose just as many threats to you as they can the insects.
So what can you do instead? Read on for the top ten methods of keeping insects out of your home, without resorting to damaging chemicals!
1) Seal your House up
No opening is perfect; window, door, latch or vent – they all have small margins of exposure, and often this will provide either the ideal entrance or home for some nasty insects. For doors: install a draft excluder along the base of the door itself, this will plug up the most noticeable gap.
For gaps around window ledges or similar, try safe seal kits or rubber fillings to plug up the spaces.
2) Get rid of Moisture
Damp, dark environments are a haven for all kinds of pests; not to mention other issues such as mould. Try to keep things dry and well ventilated throughout the home, with dehumidifiers to keep creepy crawlies at bay.
3) Keep Food well secured
Keep all food well stored and sealed in containers when not in use. Flies and ants, amongst others, can be attracted to exposed food (wet or dry) in no time at all, so keep it locked away and airtight.
4) Make use of Meshes
Cheap, fine meshes over exposed vents or grills can be an excellent protection against some larger invaders such as rodents – which often carry insects themselves on their thick coats.
5) Seal cracks
Much the same as sealing doorways – cracks, no matter how minuscule, can act as a doorstep for insects, so make sure to regularly fill the cracks in your house’s exterior.
6) Find natural repellents
Many insects are deterred by natural substances, so seek out naturally based insect repellents to safely spread around the home (such as Repellex Bug-A-Tak).
7) Regularly vacuum
This is especially important if you have household pets – regularly vacuum thick carpets and furniture to keep surfaces clean and fresh. Many insects are difficult to see with the human eye, so a vacuum is always recommended.
8) Properly dispose of waste
Make sure bin bags are sealed tightly and disposed of correctly. If you are regularly recycling plastics and their ilk, properly and thoroughly rinse them before leaving to sit in a trashcan for days.
9) Keep wood, grass or mulch at a distance
Moist, dark, rotting environments such as mulch piles or grass welcome insects to lay their eggs – so keep materials such as this as far from the house as possible.
10) Obsessively wipe down kitchen surfaces
According to Earth’s Best Pest Control in Tampa you can get great use of disinfecting and antibacterial wipes in the home, the kitchen specifically, to reduce the risk of tempting unwanted critters into your home.
Earth’s Best Pest Control. Available: http://insectfree.com/green-tips-tricks
HowStuffWorks.com. 10 Ways to Bug-Proof Your Home. Available: http://home.howstuffworks.com/home-improvement/household-safety/tips/10-ways-to-bug-proof-your-home.htm#page=1
GreenDragonPestSolutions.com. 5 Steps to Bug Proofing Your Home for Good. Available: http://greendragonpestsolutions.com/5-steps-to-bug-proofing-your-home-for-good
Parents.com. Pest-Proof Your Home, Safely. Available: http://www.parents.com/health/injuries/safety/pest-proof-your-home-safely/?page=2
Health.com. Pest-Proof Your Home. Available: http://www.health.com/health/gallery/0,,20306699_2,00.html
Pete Kontakos is a blogger that discusses green living, sports and health. You can follow him on Twitter.