The dawn of spring marks the return of many things, including long hours of sunlight and warm temperatures in which to enjoy that sunshine. But homeowners know spring also marks the return of insects, unwelcome guests that can be difficult or expensive to control once they have entered a home.
As problematic as insect infestations can be, preventing such problems can be simple, especially when homeowners are proactive. The following are a handful of ways to keep insects out this spring and summer.
• Consider potential food supplies and cut those supplies off. Insects often enter a home in search of food, so cutting off potential food supplies is a great way to prevent insects from coming inside. Give dining areas a thorough cleaning after meals, vacuuming or sweeping the floors beneath dining tables each night before going to bed. (Parents of young children may want to sweep floors after each meal.) In addition, clean pets' bowls each night to be sure there are no food scraps left that may entice insects, and make sure pet food containers are tightly sealed after each serving. Sinks are another potential food source, so empty food traps after using the sink and run the garbage disposal as well to remove any food that might be lingering.
• Address potential shelters. Insects also seek shelter inside homes, and there are many areas in a home that can provide adequate shelter. Cracks around windows and doors and in the foundation provide both entry points and potential shelters for insects. Seal such cracks with caulk, testing the areas by feeling for any incoming air. If you still feel air coming in, there is still some sealing to do. Cracks in cabinets or counters also may provide shelter to insects, so address these areas as well.
• Reconsider exterior lighting. Exterior lighting may be inviting insects into your home. Insects tend to congregate around lights at nighttime, so avoid placing lights right outside entryways. Once doors are opened, insects can then fly right into your home. Keep exterior lights as far away from entryways as possible. If you need lights right outside your doors, install motion-sensing lights that only turn on when you come within a few feet of the door. This reduces the volume of insects that congregate outside your entryways, and lowers the risk that insects will follow you in when you arrive home at night.
• React quickly upon seeing insects. Insect infestations happen gradually, so homeowners should react quickly when seeing a single insect or a handful of insects inside their homes. The slower your response, the more likely one or two intruders is likely to turn into a large infestation. Immediately clean any areas where you see insects, and take more substantial measures if your initial efforts were not enough to prevent more insects from coming in.
The presence of insects inside a home can be a nuisance, but there are many ways to prevent such infestations and keep unwelcome guests at bay.