Summer is finally here! We can open our windows, enjoy the breeze, catch some sun, and desperately try to relax before it’s all over. It’s a welcome relief, but it’s not all good news. Warm weather also means more insects. We’ve compiled a list of 5 ways to keep your apartment bug free this summer, while keeping the itching, scratching, and biting to a minimum.
1. Seal Your Doors:
A drafty door might not be the most obvious source of insect infestation, but you’d be surprised! The same holes, cracks, nooks, and crannies that let in stray breezes and cold air in the winter also serve as a gateway for ants, mosquitoes, even bees and hornets. The simplest solution is an aluminum threshold beneath the door, which goes a long way towards keeping the creepy-crawlies out. Combining an aluminum threshold with a door sweep – little nylon bristles that hang beneath the door – is an even more effective solution, while still being cheap and easy to install.
PRO TIP: The same holes letting in bugs often let out your cool air conditioned air, so sealing your door jambs will help save on utilities, to boot!
2. Add Screens To Your Windows:
It’s summer, it’s hot outside – we get it. It’s only natural (maybe even essential) to want to open the windows, get some fresh air, and cool off without running the air conditioning 24/7. Open windows without screens are like highways for bugs, however. If you don’t already have screens in your windows, choose a 20-gauge or less wire mesh screen, to keep out all but the tiniest pests. Don’t forget, broken and torn screens also let in the insects. If there’s a tiny hole or tear in your screen, you can easily patch it up, or, for bigger holes, take the entire screen to your local hardware store and have them replace the screen mesh.
3. Don’t Leave Food Lying Around:
This goes without saying, and is true year round and not just in the summer, but leaving food around your apartment is a surefire way to attract insects, no matter what time of year. If you think the ant trail to that bowl of cereal under your bed is scary in the winter, you do not want to imagine what it’s like in the sweltering July sun! It is vitally important you not leave out sweets, which are like catnip for insects and are guaranteed to bring them, in hordes! Your roommates will be happier without the rotting food, spoiled milk, and crumbs on the counter, so that’s another side benefit!
PRO TIP: If the ants have already taken residence in your place we have found that the easiest and best treatment is these liquid ant traps.
Bugs love little nooks and crannies to hide in, anything from shag carpets to your Aunt Millie’s hand-me-down Christmas ornaments. Excessive clutter in and around your apartment gives fleas, mites, mosquitos, ants, centipedes, and many more even-less-desirable multi-leggers a place to live in comfort and style. To keep insects to an absolute minimum, keep their potential dwelling places to a minimum. Your roommates will love the tidiness as well, so one more of a reason to keep a tidy apartment this summer! For more tips and thoughts on tidying up your apartment, check out our other decluttering posts.
5. Prevent Standing Water:
If you happen to have a front or back yard, a balcony, or anything on your windowsills, it’s possible you might accumulate standing water somewhere around your apartment. Standing water is the biggest reason to end up with mosquitos on the premises. In fact, it’s one of the main reasons why humans and enemies are so intertwined, and such natural enemies. Humans create tons of standing water with our building and agriculture, creating prime conditions for the little bloodsuckers! Don’t leave marshes lying around your apartment, and you won’t be itching and scratching this summer, pure and simple.
P.S. If you bug situation is too much for your to deal with, contact your landlord and have them send a professional exterminator to deal with the problem.
P.P.S. Don’t forget to do a bug check before you sign the lease for your new apartment!