Summer inspires dreams of the beach, warm weather, get-togethers, and fun! But summer often brings terrible friends with it as well: ants, spiders, flies, mosquitoes, mice, and more.
If you don’t want to invite them to your summer fun, then make sure you haven’t accidentally left them an invitation.
The most common pests you’ll see in your home in the summer are spiders, ants, flies, roaches, and mice. Most of these pests aren’t going to hurt you but, certainly, they are annoying. The best way to keep them out is by keeping surfaces in and around your home clean. Continue reading below for a few tips on how to keep these pests off the guest list.
- Keep surfaces in and around your home clean.
This direction means different things to different people. I generally consider myself tidy, but I leave the dishes until later in the day because the morning is so busy. I sweep once a day, but mop occasionally. We usually eat in the kitchen or at the dining room table but we do have a meal on the couch for movie night. We have pets and store their food in lidded containers, but we leave their bowls out during the day. We take the garbage out when it is full, but if the can is full, we leave the garbage bag next to it. Does this sound like you too?
All of these, seemingly, harmless behaviors are actually invitations for bugs and mice.
Keeping the surfaces clean in your home means:
- Washing dishes immediately following a meal.
- Eating in one location, so that crumbs and sticky residue can be cleaned up directly following a meal.
- Sweeping and vacuuming high traffic, crumby areas (i.e. couches, kitchens, and, yes, beds)
- Picking up and washing pet bowls after they are finished eating (Mice love pet food and can chew through rubber bins. The smell of the food in the pet dish lure them inside your home. If they find a bin of food stored inside, it invites them to set up shop in your house to feast at the giant restaurant of pet food stored there.)
- Spraying ant trails. (Ants send scouts in to look for food. These scouts leave a scent trail as they walk to help guide the other ants to the food. If you see a scout ant (one or two ants in the kitchen, for example) don’t just kill or remove those ants, see where they walk and where they come from so that you can spray and remove the entire ant scent trail)
- Storing food in bins or ziplock bags helps to keep the crumbs at a minimum.
- Removing the debris from your yard.
Find out where the ants are active and leave bait traps for them. You may initially see an increase of bug activity as they feed on the delicious bait, but soon you won’t. They take the bait back to their nest, and feed their friends and family the fatal poison, thereby eliminating the issue.
2. Spraying certain unwanted scents, removing attractive smells, and planting certain herbs is a way to keep flies and mosquitoes at bay.
Flies like to come inside to cool off, spraying peppermint daily around your door frames will help to hold them off. Flies also like poop, so if you let your dogs go in your yard, make sure to pick it up at least once a week.
Mosquitoes aren’t fans of garlic, eucalyptus oil, citronella, and basil. Spraying your yard and yourself or burning these scents in your yard can help hold them at bay.
3. Making sure your screens are in good working order can keep them from finding a way in also.
Though this list may seem long, keeping your house free of pests boils down to not inviting them in the first place. It is as simple as that. No crumbs, no bugs, no spiders to eat the bugs, no restaurant for the mice, no need to come inside. Keep your guest list small and enjoy the summer.
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