Bugs and pests are the sworn enemy of any homeowner. These little buggers can invade your home anytime, and once they’re there, it can be tough to get rid of them. Sadly, sometimes we pave the way for these unwelcome houseguests by doing things that attract them in the first place.
Leaving the lights on at night is like sending out a beacon that says, “Come on in; there’s a party going on!” And then we cater to them with an all-you-can-eat smorgasbord of food that we carelessly leave out.
The good news is that we are in complete control of our homes, and with a few simple changes, we can make them much less inviting to bugs and pests.
So, let’s hunt down those problem areas and eliminate them for good.
Get help from a professional
Some bugs and pests are just too tough to get rid of on your own. If you’re in Tennessee, it’s bedbugs for you. Fun fact: according to US News, Knoxville and Nashville were in the top 35 cities for bedbugs in 2022. If you think you have bedbugs, don’t try to get rid of them on your own since they’re quite stubborn.
In this case, you must call the masters of extermination – your local pest control company. Professional bug removers can identify the type of intruder you’re dealing with and recommend the best course of action. If you’re looking for recommendations, Ecoforce bedbug services Tennessee can help.
Seal up cracks and openings
Bugs and pests can squeeze through some pretty tiny cracks and openings. These could be cracks in your home’s foundation, gaps around doors and windows, or even small openings where wires and pipes enter your home.
Caulk cracks in the foundation and around doors and windows to keep them out. You can also use door sweeps to seal the space between the bottom of your door and the floor.
If you have any openings for wires or pipes, fit them with screens to keep the critters out. And just like that, you’ve bug-proofed the entrance to your home!
Leave no food on the kitchen counter
The kitchen is full of food scraps and crumbs, a menu that ants can’t resist. Plus, it only takes one ant to invite the entire colony to share the feast. Each ant that comes in leaves a pheromone trail that guides the rest of the colony to the food source.
To keep them out, ensure you regularly sweep and vacuum the floors and wipe down the counters. Take the trash out every night so bugs don’t have a chance to feast on the leftovers. And be sure to keep food in sealed containers so ants can’t smell it from outside.
Don’t forget about the bathroom
Dampness plus darkness equals the perfect breeding ground for all sorts of icky bugs. So, it’s important to keep your bathroom clean and dry to prevent an infestation.
Make sure you regularly clean the tub, shower, and sink to prevent mold and mildew from growing. Wipe the walls and floors, and don’t forget to clean under the sink. You must also keep the toilet clean and disinfected.
Some effective cleaning supplies that are available in the pantry include baking soda, vinegar, and hydrogen peroxide. You can also use these ingredients to make your cleaning solutions. We also recommend installing an exhaust fan to help ventilate the room and prevent moisture from building up.
Keep your yard pest-free
Pests and bugs love standing water. Plain and simple. So, if you have any pools of water in your yard, get rid of them. It includes puddles, bird baths, and kiddie pools.
You should also regularly mow the lawn and trim any bushes or trees touching your home. It will eliminate hiding spots for bugs and make it harder for them to get inside.
Finally, don’t forget about your gutters. Be sure to clean them out so water can drain properly and bugs don’t have a place to breed. Mosquitoes and fleas are the main tenants of dirty gutters, so you don’t want them setting up shop in your yard.
Cover large openings on the exterior of your home
Do a walk-around of your home and look for any large openings that could be potential entrances for bugs and rodents. These are usually found around the chimney, vents, and pipes.
The best way to lock them out is to cover the openings with a wire mesh with small holes. That way, bugs can’t get in, but air can still circulate. You can find this mesh at your local hardware store.
You can also opt for a pre-fabricated chimney cap or screen. These are designed to fit snugly over the opening and may be more effective than the wire mesh.
Use essential oils to deter pests
Essential oils are a natural and non-toxic way to keep pests out of your home. For example, peppermint oil, eucalyptus oil, and tea tree oil effectively deter bugs.
You can pour some drops of oil on a cotton ball and put it in areas where bugs are a problem, or add some to a spray bottle filled with water and use it to spray the area. And for a mass-killing session, pour some essential oil into your bucket of soapy water when mopping the floors.
However, keep the cotton balls or spray bottles out of the reach of children and pets. If ingested, essential oils can be poisonous.
Use bay leaves to keep bugs away
Bay leaves are not only good for cooking, but they also make an effective insect repellent. You can place them in cupboards, near food storage areas, and in any other room where bugs are a problem.
You can also make a bay leaf sachet by placing a few leaves in a small cloth bag and tying it shut. Or, if you have a lot of bay leaves, you can make a bay leaf wreath to hang on your door. What a brilliant (and fragrant) way to keep bugs out!
Take off your shoes
This one is simple but effective. Bugs and pests can hitch a ride into your home on your shoes. Maybe you stepped on an ant outside or tracked some mud in from the garden.
To prevent this, make it a rule to take your shoes off when you come inside. You can also place a doormat at each entrance to help trap any dirt and debris on your shoes. Besides keeping bugs out, it will also help keep your floors clean. Oh, and no dust allergies!
Your house is yours, and you should be able to enjoy it without worrying about pests. They are disgusting, dangerous, and a huge nuisance. Not to mention the diseases and allergies they can carry. So, don’t wait until they become a problem to take action. Instead, get to work at first sight of a bug chilling in your home. And be sure to share this blog post with your friends and family so they can keep their homes pest-free, too!