This How to Get Rid of Bugs at Home post is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Zevo. The opinions and text are all mine.
After the little bit of rain we had in April, we started to get A LOT of mosquitos in the house. I swear I was batting away a mosquito every five minutes, plus, every time we opened a door, more would fly in! We’ve also had quite a few annoying gnats flying around the kitchen. So, I decided to wage a war against all of them and I’m sharing how to bug-proof your home in case you too are fighting an insect war!
How to Get Rid of Bugs at Home
Seal Off Any Entry Points
So, I started my home bug proofing by sealing off any entry points. The weatherstripping underneath our front door came off during some renovations, so we’ve had a 1/4″ gap underneath our door for months! My husband told me a yellow jacket even flew under the door and into the house the other day! So that was the first thing I knew needed to be fixed. Unfortunately, we have a 42″ door which isn’t very “standard” and it’s taking a while for a brass door sweep to ship to us, but once it’s delivered, I’m installing it ASAP! You should inspect your doors and make sure there aren’t any openings around them. You can install a threshold, a door sweep, weather stripping, etc. to seal off any access points. By closing up any gaps, you’re also making your home more energy-efficient! Those gaps lose cold air during the summer and warm air during the winter, so you’re saving money with your energy bills by sealing everything.
Another area to inspect is the screens on all your windows. Check for holes or gaps. If there are holes, get the screens repaired and if the screen is loose and causing a gap between the screen and the window, adjust it back into place so bugs can’t fly in. We have new windows and screens, so I know they aren’t coming in through any holes in the screens, but I did go around and check all the screens to make sure they were all correctly installed and in place. Also, check for cracks and gaps around entry points for internet and phone lines, electrical cables, or even pipe penetrations. Seal any cracks or gaps with caulk to prevent bugs from entering the house.
Check for Standing Water
Next, check your yard for standing water. Mosquitos need a water supply to breed – it’s where they lay their eggs – so standing water is like a welcome mat for mosquitos! Get rid of it ASAP! Check for any pools of water around your yard – possibly in birdbaths, water fountains, fire pits, empty pots, trash cans, children’s yard toys, pools, etc. I’ve even seen announcements on the neighborhood app, Next Door, asking residents to check their yards because we’ve had so many mosquitos this year.
But, bugs are always going to find a way inside! Even when you just open the door when entering and exiting. So, here are my tips for fighting them when they do come inside the house:
It just so happened that while I was battling our mosquitos, Zevo Safe & Powerful Insect Protection reached out to me about trying their Instant Action Sprays and Flying Insect Traps. With the babies and Lucy, my cat, I’m not going to spray dangerous chemical bug sprays around the house, I hate the way hanging fly traps look, and I’m terrible with a fly swatter, so I was happy to try something new! They have formulas available for crawling, flying, and stinging insects.
Zevo Instant Action Sprays are made with common essential oils. The active ingredients are cinnamon oil, lemongrass oil, and geraniol. (Yeah, I had to look that last one up and I’m just going to link to the wiki article on geraniol here.) The sprays work by targeting a nervous system receptor only active in bugs which paralyzes and kills them. The sprays can be used to eliminate an insect on contact or as a preventative on hard surfaces like wood or tile floors and walls. Remember that Zevo is intended to be sprayed on surfaces, not on skin, or directly on people or pets. I love that I don’t have to worry about the smell or the danger of harsh chemicals around my babies and cat. Other sprays? They contain chemicals like imiprothrin, cypermethrin pyrethroids, butane, or propane. Zevo Flying Insect Traps eliminate flying insects, including house flies, fruit flies, and gnats without the use of chemical insecticides. Instead of repelling insects, the Zevo traps use insects’ natural instincts against them with irresistible UV and blue light bio-attractants to continuously attract and trap insects into a super-sticky adhesive backing you never have to touch. It works especially well in kitchens, bathrooms, and garages or in locations with non-competing light sources, so away from windows or lamps. Keep in mind that the trap is only for flying insects. Zevo recommends moving the trap around the house if you don’t catch any insects at first. Place traps in outlets that are easily accessed by flying insects. If you can’t see it, insects can’t see it. They are for indoor use only. I tried mine in the master bathroom and got nothing, but moved it down to the kitchen and got two bugs overnight. You can see them in the photo below.
I’ve read that bugs do not like strong smells including basil, mint, and rosemary, etc.. So, I purchased a basil plant that I’m trying to keep alive in my kitchen. Plus, I love putting basil on my pizza, so if I can keep it alive, it’s really a win-win! I’m keeping it near the sink and trash cans to try to minimize the flying gnats that usually congregate around there. If you have a green thumb, you can plant a mini herb garden in your kitchen to try to deter any gnats and use while you’re cooking!
Food Storage and Cleaning
Obviously, don’t leave food lying around. Flies and ants love food! So be sure to store food in airtight containers. Wash dishes immediately. And, put pet food away when your pet is not eating or invest in an automatic feeder. Avoid clutter like magazines, papers, etc. Roaches love the smell of paper, so try to get rid of that stack of mail in the kitchen regularly.
Store Trash Properly
Finally, be sure to keep food trash only in the kitchen and not in other parts of the house. Keep lids on trash cans. Clean and sanitize trash cans weekly or bimonthly, especially after a spill. Clean out kitty litter boxes regularly – I highly recommend the Litter Genie for cleaning out litter boxes! And finally, dispose of diapers into a diaper bin with a closed lid (I really like this brand for keeping the stink inside!) and be sure to empty diaper bins regularly.
Did I miss any tips or tricks? Let me know what you do to bug-proof your home in a comment below!