Do you share your home with ants? How about bees or wasps? Perhaps you donít want to admit to hosting roaches. You are in good company. Millions of homeowners struggle with evicting unwanted insects and bugs that invade their homes and take up residence, establishing colonies that can number in the thousands. Some bugs, like spiders, are relatively clean and do their share of chores by eating other insects, such as flies. But there are those that harbor bacteria or leave feces lying around that can stir up allergies or contaminate food left sitting out. Some flying insects can be downright lethal for those who are allergic to bee or wasp venom, should they be stung.
To keep your home pest-free as much as possible, follow a few simple tips like these to discourage bugs from moving in with you.
1. Keep food and beverages covered. While a bowl of apples and oranges sitting on the dining room table might prove harmless, donít let kids toss peels on the floor or leave cores lying on tables. Their sweet scent can attract bugs from quite a distance if the windows or doors are open, albeit covered by screens. Keep lids on the butter dish and cookie jar, and put away any food that will not be eaten soon.
2. Clean up promptly. Donít let sugar granules sit on the kitchen counter. Pop stains need to be blotted and then cleaned with soapy water. Empty pop cans or dirty dishes should be put in their respective receptacles immediately. Chip bags or cookie pouches need to be tightly closed and clipped or folded. Remember that the scent of food, though almost indiscernible to humans in these amounts just described, may prove irresistible to lurking ants, bees, or other types of bugs who are hungrily sniffing the air.
3. Eliminate standing water. Fix leaky faucets, unclog drains, and clean up yard puddles. Check under the sinks or in the tubs as well as around hoses or water tanks to patch leaks. Many types of insects are drawn to damp or moist areas, especially those that are located in the dark. Get rid of these watering holes to keep bugs at bay.
4. Seal cracks, holes, and openings. Inspect your homeís foundation outside and patch any openings where insects could get inside your home. Do the same indoors by checking around window and door frames, as well as baseboards and cupboards. Look through the basement and attic to see if you can find areas where bugs might be able to find an entrance.
5. Donít let pet food or snacks sit out in the open. Give your dog or cat just enough to eat for each meal, if possible. Certain insects, like flies, love pet food and will make every effort to reach it, attracted by the strong scent, in your garage or inside your home.
6. Keep the yard clean. Pick up fallen fruit from apple trees or other fruit-bearing plants, especially those located near your home. Keep garbage cans tightly closed and clean outside as well as inside, as much as possible.
Lacking food, water, and a welcome, most bugs wonít hang around very long. If they do, you can always resort to natural pesticides or bug traps.
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