Find out how to get rid of insects at home using these fail-safe methods – from natural remedies to prevention tactics.
Creepy crawlies like cockroaches and ants visit us indoors when the temperature drops, and they cause real headaches when a few sightings turn into a full blown infestation.
Your first port of call could be to seek the services of your local pest control expert, or consider bringing out the big guns yourself with artificial repellants, sprays, or bait – which can be toxic, if not fatal, but can have breathing problems and pets too Cause skin irritation.
Fortunately, there are a number of things you can do to prevent, discourage, and treat insect infestations without spraying toxic chemicals or coughing up for a large bill from Rentokil.
“When it comes to any form of insect infestation, get rid of it as soon as possible. Insects can get into your home through a number of entry points, so preventing them from entering is always a good place to start. Eating is.” Usually this is the main reason insects invade homes, so proper and safe food storage can solve the problem. Maintaining a clean kitchen also gets rid of insects. You can do this by simply using dish soap and warm water on surfaces and adding the mixture in a spray bottle to reach areas where insects can enter, “explains Alice Shaw-Beckett, Head of Content at Cleanipedia.
Without further ado, let’s identify some great ways to rid your home of these little space invaders and keep them tight in the great outdoors.
1. Make your own natural insect repellent spray
You may already know a thing or two about how to get rid of insects at home, but have you already made your own bug spray?
It’s pretty simple, and you can spray it in pretty much any corner to ward off little nasties – just make sure you check out how each ingredient affects your pets, if you have any.
How to Make Your Own Critter Spray:
- Use essential oils that insects don’t like, like peppermint, basil, clove, lavender, mint, or lemongrass, or create a nice scented mix.
- Mix with water until it smells to your liking.
- Et voila, spray it around your kitchen and around doors and windows to keep your home smelling nice and to keep these animals from entering an entrance. It’s a win-win situation.
(Photo credit: Daiga Ellaby at Unsplash)
2. Keep your home clean and tidy
This is a no-brainer, but it’s still important to explain why you should keep up with your chores. Beetles of all kinds love dirt, and the dirtier the environment, the better.
Keeping your home clean and tidy is the best way to prevent pests from lurking, especially in your kitchen where crumbs or bites are a tempting treat.
(Photo credit: Unsplash / Jan Canty)
3. Keep an eye out for the warning signs
Okay, insects have quite a few abilities – flies have ninja-like reflexes, mosquitos can fly, spiders can jump, and cockroaches can supposedly survive the apocalypse, but what they can’t do is teleport into your home.
The only way to really defend your space is to stay vigilant and look for warning signs and potential problem areas to prevent the creepy crawlies from even entering.
- If you’ve spotted a few ants in your kitchen, it’s worth noting that ants will send out spies to search your room. This might be the first pest-proof sign before inviting their friends.
- Another top tip is to look around your yard and learn where these animals like to live. For example, stagnant water is the breeding ground for mosquitos, ants and termites like to hang around / in wood, and flies love rubbish.
Keeping your garden in good shape has never seemed so important.
(Photo credit: Edgar Castrejon at Unsplash)
4. Close the bug buffet
When the snacks are gone, the party is over – and that goes for pesky pests too.
Make your home as inhospitable as possible by putting all your maggots away and storing them in sealed containers or back in the refrigerator.
Their fresh fruit display may be a pretty centerpiece, but insects of all kinds, especially one of the most stubborn fruit flies, are drawn to them.
Don’t forget those dog bowls and litter bins, too – keep them clean and covered when you’re not in use.
(Photo credit: Arno Smit on Unsplash)
5. Drain off standing water
Wet areas can serve as both drinking fountains and breeding grounds for insects.
Dirty dishes in a full sink should be your first port of call, but also think about less obvious places like leaking pipes under your kitchen sink or sink and get a plumber out to fix this.
Moisture can also be found in basements and attics, and is a great environment for creepy crawlies to take refuge, especially cockroaches and mosquitos.
If you find signs of moisture in your home, set up a dehumidifier to take in excess moisture in the hardest hit areas.
(Photo credit: Malcolm Menzies © Future)
6. Protect your home from the great outdoors
Your job is to keep insect invaders out if you accept it.
Any area that connects you to the outside world can be problematic. Think windows, doors, vents, chimneys, and pipes – these are just a few of the many places that insects can crawl through.
If you notice damage to these entry points, repair or replace them if necessary, and use mastic or sealant for small cracks and steel wool to fill in any gaps.
(Image credit: Bloomscape)
7. Take care of your indoor plants regularly
If you are an indoor plant enthusiast, you will likely have to deal with plant pests at some point. It just works with the territory. You can sneak into new plants, compost bags, open windows and doors, outdoor plants, and fresh produce.
Tiny beetles or mites feed on leaves, stems, and / or roots, and indoor plants can be more vulnerable during their dormant months in winter, when the humidity is lower than in the warmer seasons.
If you discover pests on your plants, you must first isolate the plant from others in the household and clean its leaves with an insecticidal soap or a mild liquid soap (always do a stain test first on sensitive plant varieties). Make sure you clean the pot and tray including the bottom.
To make sure these tiny insects don’t make a comeback, try applying neem oil to the plant as a natural insecticide.
8. Call the professionals when things get out of control
So you’ve tried everything and it feels like you’re having a losing battle, getting bugs and chasing around. We feel your pain
They went out of their way to keep them at bay, but sometimes there is nothing left but to call in the professionals in the form of pest control experts if you suspect you have a major infestation on your hands.
For example, if you are covered in bites in bed or notice termite droppings, we recommend having an experienced exterminator on the speed dial.