Warm weather may mean unwelcome visitors in the house. Learn what these creepy-crawlies are looking for and how you can stop them in their tiny tracks. Part of the charm of the summer is the
How to Keep Bugs from Bugging You
Warm weather may mean unwelcome visitors in the house. Learn what these creepy-crawlies are looking for and how you can stop them in their tiny tracks.
Part of the charm of the summer is the whirring of cicadas, the chirp of crickets, and the delight of ladybugs and fireflies. But when some of the less savory members of the insect kingdom find their way inside the house, it’s different matter entirely. If bugs have made an inroad into your home, there are three things they’re finding: food, water, and shelter. In the summertime, ants and spiders can be a real problem. And although stinging insects, like bees, wasps and hornets, aren’t usually inside your home, if they’ve taken up resistance around exterior, that represents a real danger. After all, stinging insects send more than a half million people to the emergency room every year.
While a full-blown infestation or handling stinging insects may require professional help, you can take steps to prevent and get rid of pest problems. Here is how to troubleshoot the most common and annoying summertime insect scenario.
Houseplants: Indoor plants can attract aphids, which feed on plant juices. Ants like the sticky residue aphids leave behind. Clean infected plants with soap and water, or discard them.
Sticky Counter: Spill you didn’t clean up? Ants constantly forage for food and are attracted to sugary substances. Wipe down counters with soapy water.
Recycling Residue: Leftover liquid drink containers can attract ants. Rinse them out before putting them in the bin, and frequently take out the trash.
Crumbs on the Floor: You might have overlooked the cracker crumbs, but the ants didn’t. Regularly sweep up even the tiniest bits of food.
Wood Piles: A stack next to your house is a perfect nesting place for ants. Move the pile at least 20 feet away from your home.
Open Containers: Pantry staples, such as sugar and honey, are irresistible to ants. Seal food in airtight containers.
Leaky Faucets: During summer dry spells, ands search for water. A drippy faucet gives them the moisture they seek. Find and fix any leaks.
Bird Feeders: Stinging insects are attracted to uncovered party food and the sugary liquids in hummingbird feeders. Move the buffet indoors and remove the feeder.
Exterior Cracks: Yellow jackets like to build nests in exterior crevices. Check the perimeter of your home for repairs.
Loose Siding: Yellow jackets like nesting in nooks and crannies such as under a flap of loose siding. Inspect your siding in spring to make sure it’s secure.
Roofs, Trees + Bushes: Wasps and hornets often make nests under a roof overhang or in trees and bushes. Have a professional remove the nests early , when hives are still small.
Exposed Garbage: Outdoor trash that’s not sealed is a food source for stinging insects. Keep a tight-fitting lid on your garbage bin.
Door Gaps: Some spiders enter a home simply by walking in. See the light coming in beneath your garage or other entry doors? Repair the bottom door sweep.
Used Furniture: Used goods, especially upholstered furniture, can carry spider eggs sacs. Vacuum and wash your purchases or have them professionally cleaned before bringing them indoors.
Clutter: Spiders build webs in dark, quiet places – garages, basements, attics. Remove the clutter, seal items in plastic bags, and vacuum up webs or spiders.
Bright Light: Spiders spin webs near outdoor lights: White or clear bulbs attract flying insects. Use yellow bug lightbulbs, which aren’t as appealing.
Cracks Caulk: Spiders slip through gaps around doors and windows. Seal spaces with new caulk.
Travel Bags: Bedbugs are excellent hitchhikers. If you recently traveled, you’re more at risk for bringing these pests home.
Hiding Spots: Don’t let bedbugs into your closet hamper. Immediately wash vacation clothes and put them through a hot dryer, which kills all stages of bedbugs and eggs.
Easy Access: When you return from a trip, store suitcases away from your bedroom, so the bugs can’t easily get to you and your family.
Food supply: Bedbugs feed all night – on you. Look at your mattress for the shells they shed, and fecal spots, which look like brown or black spots around the seams or buttons.
Pests are troublesome, but dealing with them is a necessary part of maintaining your home.
I was born in Krasnoyarsk, Russia, where I was raised in an athletic family and dedicated myself to track and field. In 2010 I came to the United States on full Track and Field scholarship to Vincenn....