Ah summer; warm days, sunshine, and barbecues, sounds good right? There’s only one major drawback, those pesky pests that seem to come out of nowhere. From wasps and mosquitoes to ants and roaches, there’s no shortage of bugs and creepy crawlies that can put a dampener on things.
Fortunately, there are many ways you can preempt these pests, and keep them away from your home and garden this summer. Check out our top tips below.
Proper preparation prevents poor performance, or so the saying goes. It’s certainly true when it comes to keeping pests out of your home. Before summer really begins, it’s a good idea to give your home a once over. Check doorways and windows for any gaps, and get them filled in. You’re aiming to make it as difficult as possible for bugs to get in, so check any screens for holes, and repair them as needed. It’s also worth fitting screens to any vents that lead into your home.
Keep it clean
Bugs generally want to come into our homes to feast, and in most houses, they’re spoilt for choice. By keeping your home clean, especially the kitchen and dining areas, you remove the attraction for a lot of pests. So, don’t let food stay on the floor, clean up those crumbs straight away! It’s the same in the garden, especially after a barbecue. Be sure to clean up any mess as soon as possible, and give the grill a good clean to keep any nasties away.
Use natural repellents
If you’re not overly keen on spraying pesticides around your home, there are plenty of natural repellents you can choose from. Strong smelling plants such as mint or rosemary are great for keeping the bugs at bay, and as a bonus, they can be used in cooking and cocktails. Also, look for plants that contain citronella oil, such as geraniums or lemongrass — bugs cannot stand them. Birds such as sparrows and chickadees will also eat their fair share of insects and can be encouraged into your garden with nuts and suet cakes. Likewise, bats, geckos, and spiders are useful allies to have.
Among the most unwelcome pest of all is the wasp, an angry, stinging foe who can soon wreak havoc on your party. There’s a simple trick to keep these pests away, however. Since they’re extremely territorial, they’ll stay away from areas they believe other wasp colonies to be in. Cunningly place brown paper bags in trees, and they’ll mistake them for other wasps’ nests.
Eat your greens
Well, not just your greens, but all of your fruit and veg. While a fruit bowl makes a nice centerpiece, in summer it’ll soon attract fruit flies. So, eat fruits and vegetables quickly, and don’t leave them lying around the home!
Beware of standing water
Mosquitoes are another extremely unpopular pest that is sure to bug you. You can make your home and garden less hospitable to them however, by removing any standing water, which serves as the perfect breeding ground. This requires a thorough check throughout your yard on a regular basis. Check hot spots such as blocked gutters and rain spouts, dripping air conditioning units, bird baths, and any toys or tools that may collect water, such as buckets and tire swings. If you collect rainwater, try to ensure the buttes are sealed up.
Pest-proof your pets
Many pests are unknowingly brought in from the outside by your pets. Fleas and ticks are two common hitchhikers, and once in your home, they can be difficult to get rid off. Be sure your pets are treated in advance, so that any bugs that do latch on, don’t survive the trip.
Keep on top of your yard
Overgrown bushes, trees, and undergrowth are ideal locations for bugs to breed, so be sure to keep on top of your yard work. Cut the grass regularly to prevent ticks from setting up shop, and trim back the branches of any hedges and trees that are near the house. Make sure you rake up dead leaves and other debris to prevent colonies from forming. When it comes to firewood, be sure to store it as far away from your home or shed as possible, and try to keep it off the ground. It’s a hotbed for termites and a plethora of other creepy crawlies, that will happily trade the firewood for the comfort of your home given the chance.