With the many bugs that can attack your home, it might feel like losing a battle since paying for a bug exterminator can cost you a fortune, not to mention your possessions that will be damaged in the process. However, there are things that you can do early on to prevent them from happening. The first one is knowing what can attract house pests and finding appropriate ways to avoid them. For more tips to bug-proof your home, here are some of the simple things you can do.
Keep Your Doors Sealed
Locked doors will not only protect you from intruders but also unwanted pests. If you carefully inspect your home, you might find numerous spaces, gaps, and crevices where bugs might pass through. For your door, you can choose to install an aluminum threshold under it or put a door sweep under it. You can purchase a door sweep in your nearest hardware store. This gadget will help you cover the gap in the door bottom and the threshold. Experts recommend choosing nylon brushes over neoprene and vinyl because they will provide you with the best protection.
You can also add a hydraulic device on your door which will automatically close the door for you if you ever forget to do so. Most door closers are affordable, easy to use, and easy to find. Additionally, you won’t need professional help when installing one.
While windows and doors will give you natural ventilation and fresh air inside your home, some risks come with it. Most notably during summer, pests such as fleas, bugs, and mosquitoes are bound to invade your home if you leave your windows open. Luckily, you can install screens and still enjoy the fresh air without the hassle of bugs entering your home. It is also easy to install and will only require you to use basic tools.
However, bugs can still sneak in when your current screens have tears and holes. To patch them up, you can:
- Use scissors or a screwdriver to push the wires back in place
- Put clear nail polish over the hole to seal it
- Use a splining tool or staples to reattach loose frames
Keep Your Yard Clean
When it comes to fleas and mosquitoes, you may find that keeping your yard clean may have a considerable impact. Since mosquitoes would need stagnant water to breed, you can eliminate all the pooled water you can find in your yard. You should also check out other areas where pooling frequently occurs. Here are some ways you can prevent pooling in your yard:
- Find possible areas where water might collect
- If you notice standing water, check for thatch buildup
- Aerate your lawn so that water is absorbed into the soil
- Check earth sloping in case of poor drainage
- Keep drains and gutters free from debris, leaves, and grass clippings
- Keep your pool filtered and chlorinated
- Change the water in birdbaths and fountains twice every week
Repair All Cracks You Find
There are also microscopic bugs that can enter your house through holes or cracks that are barely noticeable. Many experts recommend sealing all the breaks you can find in your home as a way to effectively bug-proof it. Remember that if a pencil can fit through a gap in the wall, then a mouse can also pass through and so will many other insects.
The first thing you should do is examine your whole house critically and look for damaged sections that have cracks, crumbling or loose brick and rotting wood. To keep the bugs from entering these crevices, you can:
- Use cement or mortar to patch the masonry walls and foundations
- Fill all joints using mortar
- Remove damaged bricks and replace them with new ones
- Replace all rotting wood sections
- Replace or repair damaged parts of cladding or siding
- Add a layer of cementitious backer board to all places susceptible to termite attack
- Add silicone or latex caulk to window frames, siding, and foundations
Seal All Pipe Penetrations
At one point during your stay in your house, there might have been an instance when you had a utility installed such as an internet service, telephone wiring, or cable lines. With this, the installers might have drilled holes in your exterior walls. While some installers are kind enough to add sealants around the installed lines on the house’s interior, you might still find that there are gaps outside. These holes are like an invitation for insects to infest your home. You may find holes outside your homes if you have any of the following installed:
- Air-conditioning piping
- Electrical wirings
If you decide to check your house, you might find these openings along the roofline or in the ground level. For easier checkup, you can follow the telephone and cable lines from the poles outside your house and trace the path it takes to get to your home. While you are at it, you should also check the electrical outlets and outdoor faucets. To fill them up, you can use caulk if they are small gaps or expandable polyurethane foam for larger ones.
Cover All Large Gaps
You may find that the largest holes found in your home’s exterior are difficult to patch up. To keep the bugs out of your roof vents or chimney, you can use hardware cloth. This fine wire mesh can be stapled over the holes if you want to keep the pests out. Aside from bug protection, it can also prevent raccoon and squirrels from entering your home, bringing with the ticks, fleas, and other insects.
Aside from the wire mesh, you can also use a pre-fabricated chimney cap. If you have pre-installed dampers in your vents, make sure to check that they are operating correctly.
Store Your Trash Properly
Your trash can is the number one place where pests such as cockroaches may have their feast. To prevent them from having their buffet extravaganza on your bin, make sure that you are handling and properly storing them. Keep all your food waste in your kitchen and not scatter them in the house. All your trash cans should have a lid and be empty daily. The bins you have outside your home should have a self-closing feature to keep the bugs out. All your trash cans should be sanitized regularly. If you have a compost bin, make sure that it has a secure lid lined with hardwire cloth.
For more effective and accurate prevention of pest infestation, try checking out Pest Wiki for more specific instructions on handling and preventing infestations.