If keeping bugs out of your house means a daily battle, where you arm yourself with toxic bug sprays and march with fly swatter in one hand and boric acid in the other, it could be time to get more permanent solutions to your bug infestations. Bugs, wasps, bees and mosquitoes are invading your premises for a reason. This multi-step plan of action will have the critters retreating with a white flag.
Things You'll Need
- General cleaning supplies
- Caulk gun
- Door sweeper
- Gardening tool kit (shovel, trimmer, weeder)
Cut off the bugs' food supply. Keep all food in the refrigerator or freezer. If food has to be stored outside of the fridge, seal it in a plastic container. Clean up spills and dirty dishes immediately. If you have pets, remove their dishes after feeding time.
Drain the bugs' water supply. Mosquitoes, mice, Palmetto bugs and a wealth of other nasty critters need a water supply to live. Replace all dripping faucets and leaks, including any in your yard. Check your irrigation system to make sure you aren't leaving welcoming pools of water anywhere on the grass or in the flower beds. Never leave standing water inside the house (like in the sink) or outside in the yard (in empty tires, cans, or other forgotten containers). Don't forget to remove your pet's water dish at night.
Dispose of garbage in sealed bags. Houseflies, fruit flies, cockroaches, and mice all love open containers of trash. Seal everything tightly, and store it as far away from your home as you can.
Seal every crack, hole, or opening you can. Check behind refrigerators and stoves for holes. Caulk around gaps in windows and around door and window frames. Remove cover plates from electrical outlets and caulk around the edge of the seal. If you are electrically minded, you can turn the power off, remove the switches, squirt caulk into the wire holes, and replace the switches. Check anything coming into the house (pipes, vents) and seal those too. Finally, install a door sweep under external doors to seal off the base of the doors from unwelcome mice and rats.
Clear away brush and weeds from your yard. Overgrowth not only angers your neighbors, it's like a welcome mat for bugs. Keep your lawn as short as possible, so insects have nowhere to hide.
Trim shrubs back at least one foot from your house. Trim trees back carefully. Overhanging trees provide an idea way for critters to gain access to your house.
Choose your flower bed plants carefully. If you want to keep bees away, plant herbs and bushes, not flowering plants. Basil can provide an effective way to repel mosquitoes.
Tips & Warnings
- If you have large trees, the cutting back should probably be left to a knowledgeable professional; cutting trees incorrectly can invite pests and disease.
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