Some people may be frightened by bugs, while others may find them fascinating. The one thing nearly everyone can agree on, though, is that bugs have no business being indoors.
The buzz of flies and the itch of mosquito bites are just two examples of how these pests can negatively impact hygiene and quality of life.
Insects like bees, wasps, and scorpions can inflict painful stings, while insects like fleas, mosquitoes, and ticks can spread disease to humans and pets.
The common cockroach, in particular, can play a significant role in triggering allergic reactions and asthma attacks in children.
The good news is that once you figure out what draws insects to your home, you can start making adjustments that will eventually drive them away for good.
Intent on making progress right away? If you want to start bug-proofing your home, read on.
What Are Bugs?
Bugs are a diverse group of insects and other small arthropods that are found in almost every ecosystem on Earth.
There are over a million known species of bugs, and they come in a wide variety of shapes, sizes, and colours. Some of the most common types of bugs include ants, beetles, butterflies, bees, moths, spiders, and mosquitoes.
While many bugs are harmless or even beneficial to humans, others can be pests or carry diseases. For example, mosquitoes can transmit diseases like malaria and West Nile virus, while termites can cause extensive damage to wooden structures.
Overall, bugs play important roles in the ecosystem as pollinators, decomposers, and as food for other animals. They are also a fascinating subject of study for scientists and naturalists.
What Can I Put Around My House To Keep Bugs Away?
There are several things you can do to help keep bugs away from your house:
1. Plant Insect-Repelling Herbs:
Yes, planting insect-repelling herbs around your house can be an effective way to keep bugs away. Here are some examples of herbs that have insect-repelling properties:
- Lavender: This fragrant herb is known for its calming effect and ability to repel mosquitoes, flies, and moths.
- Mint: The strong scent of mint is effective at repelling many types of bugs, including ants, mosquitoes, and spiders.
- Basil: This flavorful herb has a strong scent that can repel mosquitoes, flies, and other insects.
- Rosemary: The pungent scent of rosemary can help repel mosquitoes and other flying insects.
- Lemongrass: This citrus-scented herb is known for its ability to repel mosquitoes and other flying insects.
- Catnip: This member of the mint family is known for its ability to repel mosquitoes and other biting insects.
- Citronella: This grassy plant is commonly used in candles and outdoor sprays to repel mosquitoes and other flying insects.
Planting these herbs in pots or a garden around your house can help keep bugs away and also provide you with fresh herbs for cooking or making tea.
2. Use Essential Oils:
Yes, using essential oils can be an effective way to repel bugs. Here are some examples of essential oils that are known to repel insects:
- Peppermint oil: Peppermint oil has a strong, refreshing scent that can help repel mosquitoes, flies, and other bugs.
- Citronella oil: Citronella oil is a common ingredient in bug-repellent candles and sprays. It has a lemony scent that is effective at repelling mosquitoes and other flying insects.
- Eucalyptus oil: Eucalyptus oil has a strong, fresh scent that can help repel mosquitoes and other bugs.
- Tea tree oil: Tea tree oil is a natural insecticide that can be effective at repelling ants, spiders, and other crawling insects.
- Lemongrass oil: Lemongrass oil has a citrusy scent that is effective at repelling mosquitoes and other flying insects.
To use these essential oils as bug repellents, you can add a few drops to a diffuser, mix them with water in a spray bottle, or apply them directly to your skin (diluted with a carrier oil like coconut or almond oil).
It’s important to note that essential oils can be strong and may cause skin irritation, so it’s important to use them safely and with caution.
3. Seal Up Cracks And Gaps:
Yes, sealing up cracks and gaps in your house can be an effective way to prevent bugs from entering. Here are some areas where bugs commonly enter and where you should check for gaps and cracks:
- Doors and windows: Check for gaps between the door or window frame and the wall. You can use weatherstripping or caulking to seal these gaps.
- Foundation: Check for cracks or gaps in the foundation of your house. You can use concrete or mortar to fill these gaps.
- Pipes and wires: Check for gaps around pipes and wires that enter your house. You can use expanding foam or caulking to seal these gaps.
- Vents: Check for gaps around vents that lead to the outside of your house. You can use mesh screens to cover these vents and keep bugs out.
- Attic and crawl spaces: Check for gaps and holes in the walls or roof of your attic or crawl space. You can use mesh screens or foam insulation to seal these gaps.
By sealing up these entry points, you can help prevent bugs from entering your house and reduce the need for bug repellents or pesticides.
4. Use Screens:
Yes, using screens on doors and windows can be an effective way to keep bugs out of your house while still allowing fresh air to circulate. Here are some tips for using screens to keep bugs away:
- Check for damage: Make sure your screens are in good condition and free of any tears or holes that bugs could get through.
- Use the right mesh size: Use screens with a mesh size that is small enough to keep bugs out but still allows air to circulate. For example, a mesh size of 18×14 is commonly used for window screens.
- Install screens properly: Make sure your screens are installed properly and fit tightly around the edges of doors and windows to prevent bugs from entering.
- Use screen doors: Consider using a screen door to keep bugs out while still allowing fresh air to circulate.
- Clean screens regularly: Clean your screens regularly to remove any dirt or debris that could attract bugs.
By using screens, you can enjoy fresh air in your house without having to worry about bugs entering.
5. Keep Your House Clean:
Yes, keeping your house clean can be an effective way to prevent bugs from entering and reduce the need for bug repellents or pesticides. Here are some tips for keeping your house clean and bug-free:
- Sweep and vacuum regularly: Sweep and vacuum floors and carpets regularly to remove crumbs and other food debris that could attract bugs.
- Clean up spills promptly: Clean up spills and stains on floors and countertops promptly to prevent them from attracting bugs.
- Store food properly: Store food in airtight containers to prevent bugs from getting in. Don’t leave food out on counters or tables, especially overnight.
- Take out the trash regularly: Empty the trash regularly and store trash in a lidded container to prevent bugs from getting in.
- Keep your house dry: Fix any leaks or moisture problems in your house to prevent mould and mildew growth, which can attract bugs.
- Don’t clutter: Keep your house tidy and uncluttered to reduce hiding places for bugs.
By keeping your house clean and free of clutter, you can help prevent bugs from entering and reduce the need for bug repellents or pesticides.
6. Remove Standing Water:
Yes, removing standing water around your house can be an effective way to prevent bugs, especially mosquitoes, from breeding and multiplying. Here are some tips for removing standing water:
- Check for areas of standing water: Walk around your house and look for areas of standing water, such as puddles, bird baths, or empty planters.
- Drain the water: If you find standing water, drain it away or dump it out.
- Clean gutters: Clean out your gutters regularly to prevent water from pooling and becoming a breeding ground for mosquitoes.
- Fix leaks: Fix any leaks in your plumbing or outdoor faucets to prevent water from accumulating.
- Fill in low spots: Fill in any low spots around your yard or driveway where water can collect.
By removing standing water, you can help reduce the number of mosquitoes and other bugs in your yard and around your house.
7. Use Bug Repellent Products:
Yes, using bug-repellent products can be an effective way to keep bugs away from your skin and clothes. Here are some types of bug-repellent products you can use:
- Insect repellent sprays: Insect repellent sprays containing DEET, picaridin, or oil of lemon eucalyptus can be effective at repelling mosquitoes, ticks, and other insects.
- Insect-repellent lotions: Insect-repellent lotions containing DEET, picaridin, or oil of lemon eucalyptus can be applied directly to your skin.
- Bug zappers: Bug zappers use UV light to attract and kill flying insects.
- Citronella candles: Citronella candles and other products containing citronella oil can help repel mosquitoes and other flying insects.
- Bug-repellent clothing: Some clothing is treated with insect repellents such as permethrin, which can help repel ticks and mosquitoes.
When using bug-repellent products, be sure to follow the instructions carefully and avoid getting the products in your eyes, mouth, or open wounds.
Also, be aware that some bug repellents may not be safe for use on children or pregnant women, so always check the label before using them.
Bugs can be a nuisance and sometimes pose health risks, but there are many ways to keep them away from your home and yourself.
Some of the most effective strategies include using bug-repellent products, sealing up cracks and gaps, using screens, keeping your house clean, removing standing water, and planting insect-repelling herbs.
By taking these steps, you can help reduce the number of bugs in your home and yard and make your living environment more comfortable and enjoyable.
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