April showers bring May flowers, and with the flowers, so come insects. While insects play an important role in the ecosystem, we need to find ways to keep them outside instead of in our homes. We can’t make our homes completely airtight and bug proof, but we can make it less inviting to them.
Inside our homes, making sure that we keep our living spaces clean is the best defense. Don’t leave food out. Food attracts all sorts like flies, ants, cockroaches, and more. Put food in airtight containers and wipe down all surfaces after prepping food. Dispose of trash frequently and get rid of clutter like boxes and newspapers.
If you brought fruit flies home in your bananas, your best bet is to set a trap for them. There are reusable fly traps, or you can make your own. In a shallow bowl, mix apple cider vinegar or wine with a squirt of dish soap. Cover it with a piece of plastic wrap with a small hole poked in it. The fruit flies fly in the hole but can’t get out. The dish soap changes the surface tension of the vinegar which traps the fly. Fruit and drain flies love to lay their eggs in drains. Use a wire brush and drain cleaner to stop eggs from hatching.
Keep insects outside by making sure that all holes in screens are patched and all gaps around window and door frames are filled. Fill those gaps with expanding and flexible caulk, which can bend and flex with our houses as they cool and warm. If you notice a hole in your foundation, cement or mortar would address the problem. Clear away any rocks, compost, firewood, and debris from your house, and plant aromatics instead. Houseflies hate the smell of lavender, peppermint, witch hazel, rosemary, and more.
If you have pets, make sure that you’re treating them for fleas and ticks. Keep their bedding area clean and wash bedding frequently. Make sure you’re vacuuming and sweeping your home thoroughly and empty the dustpan or vacuum bag outside. Cedar and sulfur can act as deterrents to fleas, as well.
To keep mosquitoes at bay, make sure you’re eliminating places for them to lay their eggs. Empty bird baths and fountains at least once a week and keep pools chlorinated and filtered. Mosquitoes can lay their eggs in as little as a ¼” of water! Without water, mosquitoes cannot thrive. If you take away water, you interrupt their entire life cycle.
There are approximately 1.4 billion insects per person on this planet, and we need all of them. Insects play a vital part in the food chain, help recycle nutrients back into our ecosystem, and so much more. Taking small steps like these can help make it easier to coexist. If you have any questions, please stop in. We don’t mind your questions. We don’t mind ‘em at all!