Few things are more gross than having a living space infested with a range of nasty-looking and potentially harmful bugs. However, if you take smart steps towards cleanliness, your home will be virtually bug free. Pest proof your home the safe and smart way.
Ants come from the soil under buildings, sidewalks, trees, and plants. Ants love warm and damp places like between walls, under floors, and near heating components. To rid your home of ants, be sure you don’t leave fruits, seeds, nuts, and sweets out in the open. Furthermore, find entry points and use caulk or petroleum jelly to seal gaps. Ants are repelled by cream of tartar, coffee grinds, chili pepper, and dried peppermint.
Bed bugs have flat, oval bodies and are brown or reddish. They are found all over the world and often reside in places where people filter in and out, such as hostels or hotels. Bugs can hide in luggage, bags, clothing, and bedding. If you think you have an infestation problem, wash sheets, pillows, towels, and clothing in hot water. Scrub your mattress with a stiff brush and vacuum the bedroom area. Pure essential oils, such as cinnamon, lemongrass, clove, and peppermint, repel these types of bugs. Spray such oils on your suitcase before arriving at transient destinations like motels and college campuses. Alternatively, Bed Bug Bully gets rid of bed bugs and is child and pet safe.
Bees like temperate climates but are found throughout the world. They build nests underground, in trees, empty structures, and chimneys. They love sweet odors and can be found near fruit trees or around garbage areas. Since bees are important to the ecosystem, it’s suggested to displace rather than kill them. Once the queen bee leaves a hive, fill the nest with dirt.
Chiggers are very tiny and red in color. They like to reside in wooded areas, pastures, and fields filled with tall grass. They attach themselves to people’s socks and waistbands. Wear long clothing when entering fields and wooded areas. If you walk in a chigger-infested area, take a hot shower after and dry your clothes with steam.
Fleas are reddish brown and have narrow bodies. They reside in the hair of humans or animals. Particular medications stop fleas from latching onto pets. However, once they have moved indoors, it’s difficult to get rid of them. Wash pets frequently and use traps that attract bugs. Lemon, citronella, wormwood, and rosemary can help get rid of fleas.
Flies are found in homes, barns, garbage dumps – just about anywhere. They flock to garbage, animal excrement, and rotting food. Take out the garbage daily, address spills immediately, and place screens on windows and sliding doors to prevent flies from getting in the home.
Lice are grey-white bugs the size of a sesame seed. Lice reside in human scalps though they can be found in other areas of the body. The best way to get rid of lice is to constantly wash and rinse your hair and body. Wash all clothes in hot water and soap. Use tea tree oil shampoo and then rinse with a mixture of vinegar and water.
Mites are too small to spot with the naked eye and reside in bedrooms and pet areas. Reduce the humidity in the home with a dehumidifier and be diligent about sweeping, scrubbing, and vacuuming your home. Wash bedding, curtains, and other textiles in the bedroom. Choose washable or non-fabric furniture, decor, and floor coverings, which makes it easy to manage dust.
Mosquitos lay eggs in still water and found near lakes, swamps, ponds, and marshes. Female mosquitoes bite humans and consume blood in order to lay eggs. To keep them out of the home, drain any standing water and keep the grass mowed in the yard. Mosquitoes are not strong fliers, so oscillating fans help keep them away from doorways, etc.
Cockroaches range from a half to an inch and a half long. They are brown with black markings on their heads. They reside in warm and humid areas such as bathrooms, kitchens, and basements. They eat paper, cardboard boxes, and food scraps. If you spot one cockroach, it’s likely that others are hiding out of sight. Keep counter areas clean, drain sinks, and store food in the fridge.
Spiders have eight legs and can be brown, black, grey, yellow, or beige in color. They eat smaller insects. While they are not pretty to look at, most spiders are harmless and actually beneficial, since they reduce the population of other pests. To get rid of them, clear away clutter in the home, trim long grass outside, and vacuum the home, especially storage areas. Spray spider nests with saline solution or a mixture of water and crushed chestnuts.
Jamie Dean is a mother of three and has been working in the pest control industry for over a decade. She writes product reviews around general home improvement products.