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How To Keep Bugs Away This Summer

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Cockroach crawling on a plate of food

A few tips to keep insects from ruining your summer fun.

Temperatures are rising, and with warm weather in the forecast, we’re opening our windows and doors to some fresh summer air. Unfortunately, those breezes can also come with annoying pests like mosquitoes, ants, spiders, roaches, and moths. Before you grab the bug repellent, cover yourself in mosquito netting, or call an exterminator, take a look at a few tips that could help solve the problem before it starts and keep your summer bug-free.

Inside the Home

1) Make sure windows and doors are well-sealed

Fix any gaps or cracks and check to be sure window screens are in good condition.

2) Keep a clean kitchen 

Make sure food is stored properly and countertops kept clean. Don’t leave dirty dishes in the sink, and keep the garbage disposal clear.

3) Check the basement and attic

Clean and tidy basement

Examine these areas of the home for cracks, open vents, leaky pipes, etc. Caulk all openings around pipes, laundry vents, and chimneys. (Bigger openings can be sealed with steel wool.) Pests are often attracted to areas with moisture, so be sure no leaks are coming from pipes or roofing.

4) Use natural insect repellants and traps

Ants – Keep a spray bottle of white vinegar and water to use around window and door frames. Ants hate the scent, and although the smell dissipates quickly for humans, ants aren’t likely to come back soon.

Spraying vinegar around window frame to repel ants

Fruit flies – If you make the mistake of leaving fruit or veggies on the counter, you may find that fruit flies suddenly appear and multiply. Try putting a small dish of white wine on your counter. Fruit flies are attracted to the smell and find it intoxicating enough to drown themselves in it. Once they’re trapped, toss the whole thing out and toast yourself for a job well done.

Moths – Put some chalk in the closet or hang a lavender sachet.

Organized walk-in closet

Spiders, mosquitoes, and mice – These pests hate the minty-fresh scent of peppermint. Use a diffuser with a solution of peppermint essential oil and water, or spray the mixture around doors and windows.

Fleas – These pests can be extremely hard to get rid of once they enter your home, but like mosquitoes and moths, they’re repelled by the scent of lavender. Try an essential oil diffuser or keep sachets in areas where pets sleep.

Lavender plant on a backyard patio

5) Leave termites to the experts

Termites can cause extensive damage to your home. If you suspect you have an infestation, don’t try to treat it yourself. Homeowners are generally required to have a termite inspection by a professional exterminator and a contract for yearly treatments. Annual maintenance may seem like a needless expense, but termite damage can be a lot more costly to repair.

Outside the Home

Backyard with a water feature and a sitting bench

1) Avoid standing water where mosquitoes can breed

Mosquitoes are not only annoying, blood-sucking monsters, but they can also spread some scary diseases such as West Nile and Zika viruses. It’s smart to eliminate them any way you can.

After a rain, be sure to check for standing water in containers, puddles, barrels, planters, and ditches. This is where mosquitoes breed and multiply. If you have a container to collect rainwater, be sure to cover it.

Bonus tip: Inside and outside the home, an oscillating fan can help deter mosquitoes from landing on you. They may be good at biting, but they’re really not that good at flying, and a breeze will throw them off course.

2) Use plants that repel bugs

What we find beautiful, bugs can find repulsive. For instance, mosquitoes detest the scent of lavender, marigolds, rosemary, sage, and peppermint. Use them in flower beds or planters around seating areas.

3) Keep food covered while barbecuing

The smell of your cooking should attract neighbors like flies, but let’s not actually attract flies by leaving food or condiments uncovered. Screened domes or silicone covers that are easy to place over food can be found in stores or online.

4) Keep landscaping tidy

Overgrown shrubs, grass, and densely wooded areas are great places for insects to set up camp. It’s best to keep things trimmed and invite them to live somewhere else.

5) Use citronella candles

Citronella candles placed in a backyard to repel mosquitos

As with some of the plants discussed earlier, mosquitoes hate the scent of citronella. Keep a few candles on hand to use near seating and cooking areas, and enjoy a soft romantic glow that keeps mosquitoes away.

6) Keep doors closed or use a door screen

With kids and pets going in and out, it’s hard to keep track of the door being open, and at times you may want to communicate between spaces. Make sure the screen on your sliding patio door is in good shape. And if it’s an entry door, you can add a storm door with a screen option to allow ventilation and keep out pests.

7) Attract bats and birds

Think of bats as your friends. Those little swooping evening visitors are gobbling up thousands of flying insects. Put up a bat house near your home to invite them to feast on your foes.

Birds also love to eat all kinds of bugs. Attracting them with feeders, birdhouses, and birdbaths can add song and color to your outdoor setting while you enjoy free pest control.


While you’re checking your entry doors and windows for any cracks or openings that invite bugs into your home, you may want to consider some replacement ideas. New replacement windows are easy to clean, easy to open, and screens invite breezes inside while keeping insects out. Your friends at Window World would love to discuss your ideas with a free consultation in-home or virtually. Find a Window World store near you today.   

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