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Leftovers, Screen Doors & More: 7 Easy Tips for a Bug-Free Home

With warmer weather already underway, those pesky flies and mosquitoes are on the lookout for ways to invade our homes. They are not just a nuisance, they are also a health hazard. Here are some tips you can use to alleviate that buzzing and biting.

Short of moving to a climate so dry or cold that bugs can't thrive, what can you do for greater protection against the insect hordes? This is important not only for personal comfort, but also for family health, as insects can bite skin and contaminate foods. If you have insect allergies, you already know how serious this can be.

While an aerosol can of insect spray might seem a likely choice for defense, there are many reasons to avoid them. These are harsh chemicals, and you do not want their residues on food or food preparations surfaces. Also, the cost really adds up, as do the cans in the trash and eventually in our landfills.

There are healthier, greener solutions for a bug-free indoors. Here are seven great tips you can use this summer and beyond to keep the mosquitoes, flies, cockroaches, ants, bees, and so on, from invading your home.

1) Do not leave food exposed. That means store all food, including pet food, in closed containers. While serving or eating, put a lid on the serving dishes, and afterwards, put leftovers away as soon as you finish eating. Wipe up spills and rinse out the kitchen sink. Wash dishes immediately or put them in the dishwasher and close the door. You will attract fewer pests if you do not tempt them with tasty treats!

2) Forget the arty fruit display. A fragrant freckled yellow banana or other mature fruit not only attracts us but also the neighborhood flies, ants, bees and more. Use these fruits promptly or store in covered containers or in the refrigerator.

3) Use screen doors and windows. If you don't have a screen door, or if you have a busy family that is always leaving the screen door open, opt for one of the hands-free instant screen door models made up of a tension rod with a magnetic screen mesh with a simple slit for entry and exit. Installation is a cinch. Great for renters because you can take these instant screen doors with you! Also repair any torn window screens.

4) Keep garbage cans lidded and clean. Whether inside or outside your home, keep that garbage can tightly closed. Also remember to wash them frequently to get rid of odors that attract the pests.

5) Get rid of any stagnant water. A pool of water can quickly become insect nurseries, as these are well known breeding grounds for mosquitoes. This means keep buckets empty as well.

6) Patch up any secret entryways. Check around windows, doors, dryer vents, and so on for any openings, then fill them in using the appropriate material. It's amazing how bugs seem to enter and then go back to the colony to lead them inside your home!

7) Tidy up the outdoor environment. Carefully trim back shrubs and trees that touch your home. Any leafy branch becomes an insect highway to your home.

You'll find these tips are both economical and environmentally friendly in keeping your home bug-free so that you can enjoy the great weather without uninvited guests.

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