It’s not that you have a problem with bugs. It’s that you have a problem with bugs in your house.
We get it. You’ve spent a lot of time making your house a haven – the last thing you need is squatters, especially the kind that live in your walls, eat garbage, and spread disease.
On second thought, your problem with bugs is totally justified.
If you’re figuring out how to get rid of bugs, you’re in the right place. Here are a few tips to keep in mind.
First things first: don’t panic.
When you see bugs in your house, especially nasty ones like cockroaches or bed bugs, it’s easy to want to burn everything you own and douse the house in bleach.
Take a moment. Step outside. Take a deep breath.
Bugs are disgusting and killing them won’t be fun, but panic won’t help. If anything, it makes the whole situation worse. You’ll end up ruining furniture that could have been saved and potentially spreading the infestation to other areas of the house.
Minimize the Spread
On that note, your first priority should be to minimize the spread of the bugs.
If you live in an apartment or condo, notify your landlord of the bug problem. The last thing you need is an infestation spreading to other units (and if there’s already an infestation in other units, your landlord needs to get on top of the situation ASAP).
From there, try to isolate infested furniture and areas. Vacuum any infested areas, including carpets and baseboards, empty the vacuum bag into a plastic bag, seal it, and dispose of it outside.
If you can’t get bugs out of your furniture, dispose of the furniture responsibly. When you dispose of the furniture, rip it, remove the stuffing, or spray it with the words “bed bugs” or “cockroaches” to avoid someone else trying to salvage it.
Remember the last time you got up for a midnight snack?
Turns out, bugs like to feast on the same midnight snacks you do. The difference is that they’re just as happy to make do with crumbs and food that’s been left out on the counter.
Different bugs go after different things. Ants, for example, love sweet stuff, while flour beetles are equal opportunity snackers.
All of your food should be stored in sealed containers. If you can, buy smaller packages that can be used in a shorter period of time. And don’t forget about pet food – plenty of bugs will eat that too.
Keep in mind that some bugs hide in filth, but they aren’t attracted to it. Cockroaches are simple (if disgusting) critters attracted to three things: food, warmth, and shelter. They’re attracted by food that’s been left out on the counter.
Bed bugs, on the other hand, don’t care about filth. They’re parasites – all they care about is a host whose blood they can feed on. That said, filth makes it easier for them to hide.
Not sure if you have bed bugs? Think again. Experts at CustomBedBug.com say that small dark specks on your sheets that resemble ground pepper may be bed bug fecal matter.
Seal Your Doors
A locked door can keep intruders out. A sealed door can keep pests out.
The problem, of course, is that bugs can fit into a much smaller space than an intruder. So you have to make sure they don’t get an opening.
To keep insects from crawling through your door, install a sturdy aluminum threshold and a door sweep to cover the gap between the ground and the door.
Don’t forget your weatherstripping either. Bugs will take any opening they can get.
And remember, none of this will work if the door doesn’t stay closed. If you have forgetful family members, get a door closer.
Maintain Your Yard
Of course, your maintenance tasks don’t begin and end with your house. You need to maintain your yard as well to minimize the number of openings that bugs can take.
For starters, keep your yard free of debris. Firewood and compost bins are perfect places for bugs to hide.
Store these things away from your home. Keep your firewood elevated from the ground and always check firewood for bugs before you bring it indoors.
If your yard has any standing water, try to get rid of it – standing water is a magnet for mosquitos. If you have any plants near the house, keep them pruned away from the foundation.
Enlist the Pros
If you’ve got a serious infestation (or an infestation of difficult critters, like bed bugs) it’s time to call in the professionals.
Professional exterminators know how to kill various types of infestations and preserve your furniture in the process.
Bed bugs, for example, can be killed with heat treatments. However, these treatments require industrial heating equipment and supervision by a professional to reduce the risk of fire hazards while ensuring that every last bug gets roasted.
Figuring Out How to Get Rid of Bugs
If you’re figuring out how to get rid of bugs, the most important thing to remember is that the problem is manageable. You don’t have to burn everything you own to kill an infestation.
And once you deal with your pest problems, you’re now prepared to keep the infestation from coming back.
If you need more tips to make your home even more stylish, check out our blog for more useful posts.