For many people, summer is the best time of year. You can enjoy the fresh air and explore the great outdoors, or simply relax in your garden. There’s just one problem. Bugs and mosquitoes! If pests are ruining your summer, check out the following tips.
Install an insect mesh
Insect mesh may not be the most aesthetically pleasing window treatment, but it gets the job done. Installing one will be a real lifesaver especially if you live in areas that are notorious for summertime pests, such as those close to forests, lakes or rivers. It will keep out the larger insects, such as mosquitoes and flies, and installing it also makes for an easy DIY project.
Get a bug zapper
Bug zappers work by electrocuting insects, which are attracted to the light. It’s best installed outside, in your garden or patio, especially if you’re worried about the zapping buzz keeping you awake at night. There is, however, a downside to them. While they’re efficient at getting rid of flies, mosquitoes and other flying insects, they also run the risk of killing beneficial insects. A bug zapper racket could work as a more eco-friendly alternative.
Keep your sink and rubbish bin clean
Prevention is always the best cure and keeping your kitchen tidy will prevent pest problems further down the line. Ants, flies, cockroaches, and fruit flies are attracted to food and leftovers, and once they make it in your home, they may be difficult to dispose of. An easy way to stay ahead of the game is to refrain from leaving dirty dishes in the sink, and also make sure that the rubbish disposal areas are tidy and not overflowing.
Fill in the cracks
Small, crawling insects such as ants will always find a way through small cracks in the wall or windows. Make sure that your home is properly sealed, and pay close attention to the basement and attic. If you have leaky pipes, get those checked as well, as they too can be used as an entryway into your home.
Store food correctly
You’ve probably noticed that if you leave fruit out for too long in summer, they start attracting little fruit flies. And although they’re harmless, fruit flies aren’t exactly what you’d have around as a house pet. Ideally, store your fruit and vegetables in the salad drawer in the fridge — it will also make them last longer. Remember that your pantry can also be very attractive to ants and cockroaches, so keep your dried groceries in sealed containers.
Avoid standing water
A lot of insects are attracted to pools of water for laying their eggs, especially mosquitoes. One easy way to prevent your home and garden from becoming a mosquito nursery is by removing standing water. Don’t leave water pooling in your sink, bathtub, or even plant pot trays. If you live in a house, check your gutters, ditches, buckets, and if you have containers for collecting rainwater, make sure to put a tight lid on them when not in use.
Set up an oscillating fan
You wouldn’t think it as you’re lying in bed at night surrounded by buzzing, but mosquitoes are actually terrible at flying. It doesn’t take much to disturb their flight pattern and throw them off course, which is why an oscillating fan can really make a difference. Not only will it keep you cool at night, but also help you get a peaceful, bite-free sleep.
Use pleasant fragrances
Having a home that smells nice is always a plus, especially when it also keeps the insects away. Mosquitoes are notoriously repelled by the scent of citronella, flies are repulsed by cinnamon, while cockroaches detest peppermint. Other scents that keep insects away are eucalyptus, lavender, lemon balm, rosemary, and lemongrass.
Grow pest-repelling plants
If you have a garden, or even just some spare spot on your balcony or windowsill, growing pest-repelling plants is an eco-friendly way to get rid of bugs. Some of the best plants to grow are lavender, marigolds, sage, rosemary, tulsi, garlic and peppermint. And the best part is that you can also use these plants in cooking, or even for their medicinal properties.
Consider pest control
You’re probably saving this as a last resort, but if you feel that you are beyond pestered by insects this summer, perhaps it’s best to consider pest control. DIY insect repellents can help, but their effectiveness only goes so far. Some insects are difficult to get rid of, especially if you have an infestation that has gotten out of hand, such as cockroaches, ants, or even spiders. Others, such as bed bugs or termites, are always best handled by professionals, especially if you want to make sure that they don’t come back to bug you again.