How to Get Rid of Flies and Keep Bugs Out of the House This Summer
Nothing ruins a meal like a fly. Even just one of the pesky pests can ruin appetites and send family pets, scared by the constant swatting, into hiding. Take actions both inside and out to keep flies and other bugs out of the house this summer.
How to Get Rid of Flies – Start Outside
Drain any standing water that might attract flies, as well as mosquitoes. If you have a compost heap, locate it as far away from the house and any entry points as possible. Do not let dog poop pile up and attract flies.
Reduce Entry Points
If you don’t already have screens on windows and doors you might keep open in nice weather, install them. Check every entry point in the house for gaps through which a fly might sneak through; seal any you find with caulk or putty. Also go in and out of the house quickly to keep flies from getting inside.
Flytraps come in a variety of types and price points, but one easy and cheap trap to try simply requires dish soap and a mason jar. Fill the jar with 1 inch of a fruit-scented dish soap and 1 inch of water, then wait for the flies to get trapped in the pool.
Clean Up Inside
If you haven’t yet spring cleaned, do so yourself or hire help. A thorough cleaning will get rid of attractants such as crumbs or gunk stuck to countertops crevices. Wipe counters after each use and sweep floors regularly to maintain your spic and span space. Keep all food in tightly sealed containers. If you recycle, wash all containers before placing in the appropriate bin. Pick up pet food dishes when not in use.
Hang pine boughs at entry points throughout the house, as flies dislike the smell of pine oil. You also can make fly-repellant sachets using tea bags and cloves, as well as set potted false indigo, lavender, elderberry, basil or mint plants at entry points to repel flies.
How to Get Rid of Ants
Ants can be just as annoying as flies and, depending on the type, they can be more painful a nuisance. The spring cleaning you do to avoid attracting flies, as well as the sealing of entry points, will help with ants, but control methods differ based on the type of ant making itself at home. Boric acid mixed with sugar water repels pavement (common little brown ants) and black ants, and it won’t prove toxic to small children or pets because of the small amount used (2 tablespoons for every 1 cup of water and ½ cup of sugar). Simply follow the ant trail to the entry point and pour an entry barrier, after vacuuming up the ants, of course. If you suspect a carpenter ant infestation, hire a professional because the nest will likely be in a wall and control will require drilling holes and applying both residual and aerosol insecticides.
Here’s to a bug-free summer! Indoors, anyway.
This post is part of our Bug Prevention Guide, which includes many tips on getting rid of insects.
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