Summer at home is about outdoor get-togethers, alfresco dining, and gardening.
If you’re bugged by insects indoors and out, use these tips to create pest-free, enjoyable living spaces.
Close off entry points.
- Fill cracks or holes in foundation with a vinyl concrete patcher.
- Repair holes in siding with silicone caulk.
- Repair holes in windows or screens.
- Fill gaps around pipes with steel wool.
- Use weather stripping and door sweeps, also good for keeping out drafts.
Keep kitchen clean and tidy.
- Keep food stored in tightly sealed containers, including pet food.
- Whenever possible, purchase smaller food packages that are eaten quickly.
- Remove pet food and clean food bowls before going to bed.
- Clean spills well and immediately.
- Wipe down counters and shelves regularly; sweep/vacuum floors often.
- If recycling, thoroughly rinse any items before putting in bin; keep bin outside.
- For fruit flies, mix apple cider vinegar and dish soap in Mason jar. Cover top with plastic wrap, punch holes in plastic. The flies like the vinegar but can’t escape once inside.
Silverfish and house centipedes prefer damp conditions – dry them up.
- Check for leaky faucets, pipes, or drains and fix them immediately.
- Check appliances (washing machines, air conditioners) to ensure they are working correctly.
- A dehumidifier will help remove moisture in any spaces that tend toward dampness.
Keep your yard tidy to keep bugs from finding cozy havens.
- Cut back tall grass, brush, and weeds.
- Prune branches touching your home; avoid built-up clutter of leaves/grass clippings in your yard.
- Keep outdoor woodpiles as far from the home as possible; check any wood brought indoors for any tiny, unwelcome guests.
Add bug-deterring herbs to your garden for natural repellants.
- Basil - flies and mosquitoes.
- Bay Leaves - ants, flies, and moths.
- Lavender - fleas, flies, mosquitoes, and moths.
- Rosemary - flies and mosquitoes.
- Thyme – mosquitoes.
- Sage - ants, flies, and mosquitoes
Eliminate sitting water
- Empty stagnant water from planters, buckets, and trashcan lids; this helps prevent mosquitoes from laying eggs.
- Clean birdbaths and pet water bowls regularly.
- Moving water repels mosquitoes, like koi ponds or waterfalls.
Switch out lighting.
- Spiders feast on bugs that like bright white or blue-ish light outdoors.
- Change bulbs that produce a yellow light that is less appealing to insects.
Birds are natural exterminators in your backyard.
- Feeding local birds requires mindfulness and proper methods. Visit Wild Birds Unlimited in Redondo Beach for excellent information on how to responsibly feed birds and encourage return visits.
- Small trees and twiggy shrubs also act as a natural home for birds.