Bugs are incredibly annoying, unsanitary, and they can be harmful. In Alabama, they are widespread due to the humid subtropical climate. In the southern part of the State, the Gulf of Mexico adds to this problem with increased precipitation and humidity.
The following tips can make the irritatingly prevalent pest issue much less of one for the household.
Tip #1: Cover and repair openings
Make sure to survey around the outside of the house, looking for openings around outside outlets, vents, and meters. Often, these openings attract bugs due to their easy access. Inspect all weather stripping on doors and windows while making sure that all tears, holes, and gaps are repaired on all screen doors.
Tip #2: Keep the home dry
Damp surroundings are an insect magnet, so make sure to fix any kind of water leak. Specifically, check for leaks around sinks and tubs and fill them with caulk. Inspect the basement, paying attention to any kind of water stains on the floor that may indicate leaking from above.
Tip #3: Keep the yard clean
If there is a pet, make sure that to clean up its droppings and throw them away in a sealed can. Make sure to trim all branches and shrubs, keeping them from touching the home (bugs will use these as they trail into the house). Rake the leaves and debris from the yard and throw them away or burn them.
Tip #4: Keep the kitchen clean
Keeping a clean kitchen is imperative to keeping insects away. Bugs feast on any kind of leftovers, so keep clean all areas where food is eaten or prepared. Clean all of the counters, wash the dishes, vacuum and mop the floor, secure all food tightly, refrigerate or freeze all applicable food, and rinse any kind of recyclable before storing them.
Tip #5: Keep the door shut
If you have kids or pets, they sometimes run in and out of the house, cracking open doors. Needless to say, this is an open invite for pests to come in. Tell your kids to keep the doors closed and if you notice a cracked door, close it immediately. Also, consider investing in some screen doors for added prevention.
Tip #6: Store & dispose trash properly
Unsecured trash cans and bins are an open invitation for insects to feast. Dispose of all food inside the kitchen only, not in wastebaskets throughout the home. Regularly clean and sanitize all of your exterior and interior trash bins, inside and out. The lids of all cans and bins should be tight; even better if they have self-closing lids.
Tip #7: Embrace natural predators
Birds and bats consume insects as their primary source of food. This is excellent news for people wishing to keep their homes insect-free. Warblers and swallows are excellent mosquito killers. Bats also eat mosquitos, but they eat a much larger selection, including wasps, flies, spiders and scorpions.
To encourage birds, keep a fresh water supply in trees and bushes. Also add a birdseed feeder to really attract them.
If interested in attracting bats (don’t worry – they sleep by day and hunt by night), set up a bat house or roost in the yard.