The last thing you want, when you are lounging in your home or making dinner, is to have insects flying all around you. Between the buzzing, food contamination, and constant swatting, insects are quite irritating. Bugs are inevitable when you are outside, but having them inside is just plain annoying; especially when something can be done to prevent the infestation.
1. Left Out Food
The kitchen is the perfect place for insects to hang around, particularly if it is dirty. A few leftover crumbs may not seem like a big deal, but to insects, that is a whole meal and can lead to a much bigger insect infestation.
To make sure you avoid inviting these unwanted guests in, follow these food and cleanup rules:
- Make sure all food is packed in tight containers or zipped-up bags.
- Always have lids on drinks such as wine, liquors, sodas, and other sugary drinks when left out. AKA don’t leave your opened soda on the counter for 3 days.
- Although no one loves cleaning dirty dishes, try and clear them out sooner rather than later. A sink full of dishes is a food haven for bugs.
- Make sure your trash is in an enclosed trash can. If you throw away food products in your trash regularly, make sure to take out the trash on a regular basis. The same is true if you compost. A lid is your best friend when you don’t want bugs in your kitchen.
- When shopping for packaged food, make sure to check for damage on the packaging where insects could have entered.
- After cooking, wipe down your surfaces with a natural all-purpose cleaner. This can be a super quick pass of your kitchen counters that will pick up any leftover food or juice residue that might attract those creepy crawlers.
- Run your disposal. Just because that food is down the drain and out of sight doesn’t mean it’s gone. Unless you want a sink full of bugs, run your disposal after every use.
If you don’t want to share your food with insects, make sure it is packed neatly and that spaces are clean.
The nature of bugs is that they are outside and are bound to be around your fresh produce. To prevent the insects from eating your fresh fruits and vegetables, make sure to properly wash and store the produce. Insects love fresh produce just as much as we do, but just like our other food, we don’t want to share. While you are shopping for produce, whether at the local farmers market or at a grocery store, be on the lookout for insects that might already be crawling around the food and follow these tips:
- Choose unripe or “almost-ripe” fruit. This can help limit the insects.
- When you get home from shopping, rinse and wash all your produce immediately.
- When your produce does begin to ripen, store it in the fridge or freezer in a sealed container. This will help keep your produce good longer and will help keep the insects away.
Following just these 3 simple tips can help you limit your creepy crawlers.
3. Holes, Doorways, and Windows
The average size of an insect is smaller than six millimeters, which is one-fifth of an inch. Insects being that small means they can fit through even the smallest cracks under a door or in a window. The bigger the hole, the more insects will find it.
- Check the screens in your windows and doors to make sure they do not have any holes.
- Inspect the exterior of your home for cracks. If they exist, then properly seal them.
- Feel for drafts that may be coming in through windows and doors. If air can sneak in, so can bugs. (Bonus – eliminating the draft will save you money on the electric bill.)
It’s important to keep an eye out around doorways, windows, and cracks so that they can be patched up before an infestation occurs.
Bugs hitchhike a ride on your pet all the time. Insects are drawn to blood, so they are big fans of animals. They are bound to make the trip inside with your furry friend, but there are a few things you can do to prevent the insects from becoming a problem.
- Shampooing your pet is the best option to keep your pet safe. Keep in mind that if your pet has thick fur or layers, scrub extra hard to keep them safe.
- On that same note, regularly brushing them helps keep them clean and keeps the bugs away.
- Insects are most active early in the morning and in the evening, if you can arrange for your pets to go outside away from these times, it can limit their exposure to insects. If you can’t avoid going out early or late at night, then stick to a short walk on the sidewalk to avoid heavy brush.
- Make sure your lawn is kept up with. A kept-up lawn will limit the insects, and therefore, prevent them from attaching to your pets.
- Tick and flea prevention is the key! Not only do you want to use flea and tick prevention for the health and safety of your furry friend, but it can save you in the end as well.
- If your pet goes for a romp in the tall grass or a run through the trees, make sure to inspect them thoroughly including behind the ears, between their toes, and under their collar. All of those are places pesky critters like to attach and hide.
Overall, checking your pets frequently for insects hiding away in their fur will be beneficial to preventing insect infestations in your home, and for the safety of your pets.
Similar to pets, insects also love humans!
- There are different scents that are said to keep insects away such as lemon, eucalyptus, peppermint, and even vanilla (which the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has classified as a repellent.)
- Use an insect repellent, or if you are looking for a more natural alternative, use peppermint oil and lemongrass oil.
- Have fans around your house! This makes it harder for any insects that can fly to get near you.
- The best option for when you are outside is to cover as much of your skin as possible.
- Also, be sure to check yourself frequently.
Keeping an eye out for yourself will also help take care of your home to avoid pesky insects from taking over.
Pest Prevention and Pest Control Is Key to A Pest-Free Home
While there are always best practices you can institute into your everyday life to help keep the bugs outside and away from your home, the best way to prevent an insect infestation or just those pesky few in your kitchen is to work with a pest control expert. Limit the pests in your home with General Pest Control’s general spraying. This is the best preventative care you can institute to prevent an insect infestation. Save time and money, and work with General Pest Control.