Keep Your Home Bug-Free This Summer With These 9 Tips

No matter where you live, summertime means one thing: bug season. Warm weather creates an environment for bugs to thrive, and most insects also breed during the summer, making it even more difficult to keep bugs at bay.

Protecting the inside of your home from pesky insects and pests isn’t impossible, but it does take some effort. One of the easiest ways to get bugs out of your home is to spray, but there are steps you can take to prevent an infestation from occurring in the first place.

Protect your home from summer pests with these nine tips.

Eliminate Clutter — To bug-proof the inside of your house, the first step is to eliminate their favorite hiding places. Get rid of clutter such as piles of papers, which make the perfect breeding ground for insects. Clean out closets, cabinets and in corners where critters may hide. Look up to light fixtures for cobwebs and under furniture for dust mites. Store food in airtight containers and keep unsealed foods in the refrigerator. Clean up spills and crumbs quickly and keep dirty dishes washed. Don’t forget to keep pet food put away in an airtight, bug-proof container.

Take Care of Your Trash — Garbage cans are a playground for insects, particularly ants and cockroaches. Be sure any food trash is tossed in your kitchen garbage can, rather than in trashcans around the house. Place kitchen garbage in cans with a lid, and take the kitchen trash out each night. Ensure the lid on your outdoor trash receptacle closes tightly and clean it regularly to help keep pests out.

Clean Up Outside Your Home — Remove any piles of leaves or brush near your home as these make an attractive nest for unwanted insects and other pests. Be sure any unused flowerpots are empty and eliminate any other places where water may pool, creating a prime breeding spot for mosquitoes. If there are spots where water collects in your lawn, aerating the lawn (a.k.a. poking holes in the lawn) can help the soil better absorb water. Standing water may also indicate a problem with drainage, which may require regarding or leveling.

Keep Your Foundation Clear — Because the foundation of your home is closest to the ground, it is also one of the most common entry points for bugs. Keep the area around your foundation clear and protected to prevent an infestation of termites, ants, fleas, spiders or other pests. Check under the bottom row of siding to be sure it is sealed securely.  Use caulk or foam to fill any gaps between the siding and the foundation. Boric acid and diatomaceous Earth are two non-toxic, natural substances that can be spread at the base of your exterior walls to deter pests.

Inspect Gutters, Drains, Fountains and Pools — Clear out leaves, grass clippings and debris from drainage channels, gutters and drains to ensure they operate effectively. Change the water in birdbaths and fountains twice a week to keep mosquito eggs from hatching in them. If you have a swimming pool, keep it chlorinated and filtered. Taking care of the structures outside your home can help protect the inside of your home from an unwanted infestation.

Double-Check Doors, Windows and Screens — Give your windows and screens a close inspection, keeping an eye out for any cracks or holes where insects might find their way inside. Install a sturdy steel or aluminum threshold under doors to keep insects from crawling in. Add a door sweep and weather-stripping for extra protection against bugs.

Seal Utility Installations — Any place where cable lines, Internet or phone wiring or satellite lines penetrate your home are potential entrance points for insects and other pests. Inspect all holes drilled in exterior walls and even your roof where installers may have run utility lines, including water, gas, electrical and air conditioning piping. Small gaps or cracks can be filled using sealants or caulk. For larger gaps, use expandable polyurethane foam.

Cover Large Openings — Even openings, such as your chimney or air vents can mean an open door for insects. Use hardwire cloth — a fine wire mesh — to cover large openings and keep bugs and bigger pests out. The wire mesh can also be installed over vents, registers and crawl space holes.

Use Insecticide Inside and Out — Contact a professional pest control company that knows how to safely apply insecticide inside and outside your home to help keep unwanted pests away. Ask your pest control professional for recommendations on bug killers and pesticides that are safe if you have children or animals.

Don’t wait for the infestation to begin. Take proactive steps to keep pests at bay during the summer months.

Are you planning to purchase a new home this summer? Contact a PrimeLending home loan expert to get prequalified for a home loan.

From the PrimeLending blog by Mandy Jordan