A Quick Guide to Keeping Insects Out of Your Home
Few things are more annoying or frustrating for householders than discovering insects around the home, especially during the summer months when they seem to descend en masse. Ants raiding cupboards, mosquitoes interrupting restful sleep, cockroaches raiding your pantry, and buzzing flies around the kitchen – these are some of the things we’d all prefer not to have to deal with. Thankfully, you have some easy measures you can take all year round to prevent and eliminate these annoying insect encounters. This article aims to show you the best ways to insect-proof your spaces for greater comfort, hygiene, and liveability around the house.
1. Seal the doors
The spaces under and around your doors give ants, flies, and other critters easy access to your interiors, so you’ll want to start by sealing the entry points in your home. Check your doors for gaps. As for sealing options, you can use aluminium or steel thresholds under the frames. You could also use door sweeps, which are designed to shield the gap between the bottom of your door and the threshold.
Alternatively, use a door-seal kit, which includes caulking for filling in tops and sides of door frames to cover gaps. Finally, consider door closers, which will shut your doors automatically if someone forgets to close the door behind them. Sealing your doors and making them self-closing won’t just keep the insects out; it can keep your energy bills down by boosting energy efficiency when you have the heating or cooling system turned on.
2. Repair cracks
Cracks are another easily overlooked avenue of entry for insects. Take a look around the exterior of your house and do an inspection for any gaps and cracks. Note any damaged or missing elements like siding, gaps in the brick, or splits in wooden boards. The areas around window frames, exhaust grilles, doors, and fascia boards should also be checked.
Even a small gap can allow insects like ants and cockroaches to gain access to your property. Use cement, mortar, or other appropriate materials to patch up any gaps. Replace brick and patch up rotten wood where necessary. Make sure any damage in your siding and cladding is rectified, especially where it meets your roofing and foundation.
3. Dispose of rubbish properly
Insects are attracted to rubbish as a source of food, so eliminate feasts for the flies and other bugs by storing your rubbish properly. All food waste inside your house should be stored in your kitchen, in a self-closing bin with a tightly fitting lid. Never store food waste in open bins. Don’t overflow your kitchen bin to the extent you can’t shut the lid. Clean your indoor and exterior bins on a regular basis, especially if they’re used to store food waste. Your council-issued bins should also be cleaned regularly.
Compost bins should have secure lids and ideally should be lined with a hardwire cloth to keep out the bugs. Bury food into the centre of the compost pile to minimise odours that could attract insects. Follow a regular turning routine for your compost so as to discourage nesting insects. Don’t forget to harvest your compost regularly. This might be at least once every three months as a general rule of thumb.
4. Trust nature
Trust nature and use it to your advantage when it comes to keeping the insects out. Keeping insects out of your home is important for hygiene and other reasons, but bear in mind not all bugs are a bad thing in the home and some can be beneficial. Natural predators can assist you with getting rid of those pesky bugs. For example, Daddy Long Legs Spiders are common around Australia. The next time you see one sitting in the corner, don’t be tempted to clear away its web and evict the spider. They’re actually excellent predators that catch ants, flies, and moths. So you’ll want to let the spider and its web keep doing the good work in your house.
Outside, introduce bird-friendly features like birdbaths and seed and nectar feeders. Make sure you have plenty of bushes and branches to encourage birds to nest. If you have a cat, keep him or her indoors if possible. The birds that visit your yard will enjoy the seeds and pick up a few insects during their feeding. Mosquitos, flies, spiders, and wasps all make excellent snacks for the local birds. If you have an area with bats, put up a bat box, plant night-scented flowers, and build a pond to help it along.
5. Install pleated insect fly screens
Your doorways and windows let you ventilate your home with fresh air, but when they’re left open, they can allow mosquitos, flies, and other insects into the home. Pleated insect fly screens enable you to let the fresh air in while keeping out the insects. They also open up your house to unimpeded outdoor views for added liveability and enjoyment.
When choosing a product, make sure you opt for a quality screen that’s sleek, space-efficient, and wind resistant, like Artilux’s pleated insect screens. Our versatile, functional screen systems incorporate a free-sliding function that requires no effort for extension or retraction. The accordion or concertina design makes for a smooth, sleek, and stylish screen product that combines elegance and discretion with functionality.