How to Prevent Insects in Slider Doors

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Slider doors can allow insects to get into your house..
Slider doors can allow insects to get into your house.. (Image: Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images)

Enjoy the ambiance of your room without having a creepy-crawly waving at you from within the slider doors. Insects, on the search for food or a mate, may become trapped in the slider doors. Their appearance signals their discovery of an opening in or around the outside frame that holds the doors in place. Perform some necessary maintenance to banish the bugs and keep them away from your slider doors. You won’t need any super-special tools for the job.

Things You'll Need

  • Foam weather-stripping
  • Caulking gun
  • Clear, acrylic latex caulk
  • Water
  • Clean rag
  • Putty knife
  • Screen patch
  • Screen wire

Seal any gaps you may find in or under your slider doors with 1/2-inch or 3/4-inch foam weather stripping. Weather stripping blocks passageways that a variety of insects may use.

Squirt a bead of clear acrylic latex caulk into any cracks, gaps, or spaces you find around the threshold. A threshold provides a track for the door to “slide” on, and the exterior edge of the threshold often separates slightly from the side of the building due to changing weather conditions. Clear caulk blends in well with all building materials and it cleans easily with a damp rag. Run a bead of caulk about the size of the tip of a crayon.

Inspect the exterior side and top edges of the slider door frame. These easily forgettable areas usually go unnoticed until insects use them for entry. Fill all cracks and crevices around the slider door frame with caulk.

Dampen your fingertip with water and press the caulk firmly into the cracks. Smooth off the remaining caulk with a damp rag. Large spaces may require a double bead of caulk and a putty knife to press the caulk into the crack.

Patch a tear in a slider screen if one exists. Bugs can use the smallest of tears to gain entry. Cut a piece of screen to overlap the tear about an inch. “Sew” the screen patch over the tear with screen wire to fasten it to the door screen. You can usually purchase screen-repair materials at a hardware store. Check the rest of the screen and apply patches where needed.

Tips & Warnings

  • Clear acrylic latex caulk adheres to most surfaces; for custom-made thresholds or framing materials, use a more specialized caulk.
  • Keep caulk away from high heat or open flame.

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