Yes, summer is almost here, but so are the bugs! The harsh truth is that high temperatures bring along boring little critters – mosquitoes, bees, ants and many others. But, the question is: Why is that so? According to the studies bugs prefer wet and warm places and summer weather offers them all they need. Therefore, in most parts of the world, many insects spend cold winter months in some kind of hibernation. Some species migrate to warmer places where they wait winter to pass, while others find shelter from cold inside your home.
Whatever their method of surviving the winter is, they’re surely going to start their invasion as soon as the temperature rises. Due to all the fuss about Zika, West Nile virus and other diseases transmittable through insects, the protection from these small intruders has gained even greater importance. Luckily, there’re many ways you can keep your home bug-free this summer.
Despoil their habitat
Most biting insects including ticks, fleas and mosquitoes like living in uncultivated habitats where they can find shelter, shade and moisture. In order to protect your backyard from their infestation, you have to despoil their habitat. So, cut grass on regular basis, cut back brush that’s close to your house, trim tree branches that provide shade, etc. But, most importantly, deprive mosquitoes of standing water! Keep gutters clean, tire swings drained and pools empty when not in use.
Keep bugs away with natural bug repellents
In addition to despoiling insects’ habitat, you can also keep them away with natural bug repellents. What drives pests away are plants with strong smells such as herbs – garlic, mint, basil, rosemary and lavender. While some of them bother only mosquitoes, others can repel flies, ants and even mice. Apart from these herbs, natural bug repellents are also lemongrass, geraniums, marigolds and petunias. So, surround your house with some of these plants and keep it bug-free.
Invite their natural enemies
There’s a thing known as integrated pest management – a way of limiting insects’ population with their natural enemies. It’s a common knowledge that many birds like to have bugs for lunch. Therefore, build a birdhouse in your backyard and make sure you always have bird food around. Depending on where you live, it’ll attract bug-eaters such as sparrows, cardinals, swallows, titmice and many others.
Invest in insect screens
The good old way to prevent pests from invading your home is to install insect screens a.k.a. window screens, fly screens, bug screens, etc. Nowadays they come in the number of variations, but your choice mostly depends on the part of the world you live in. For example, insect screen in Sydney is recommended to be fire resistant since its area is prone to bushfires. On the other hand, if you live someplace where squirrels like to hang out, you might need insect screen which will stop them from chewing through. Whatever insect screens you have, you should keep them in good shape if you expect them to do their work.
Make a trap
Whatever you do to keep your home bug-free, somehow small, but a significant number of these boring critters still manage to find their way to creep in during summer. When that happens, try to make a trap. Cut a plastic soda bottle in half. Take the lower half and fill it 1/3 with sugar water to trap a fly, or beer to trap a mosquito. Place the upper half up-side-down into the already prepared first half. Once insects fly into the bottle to take a sip of the liquid, they stay trapped inside.
Fight the ants
Maybe only insects whose invasion you cannot prevent are ants. But, you can stop it. One of the ways to do it is to find their entrance and cover it with ground cinnamon, dry coffee grounds, chill pepper, mint or garlic. And they’ll stay away from their strong smell. In case this doesn’t pay off, surround their entrance with dish soap. When they get stuck in the soap, they die. And the colony will soon realize that the entrance isn’t available anymore.