10 Easy Ways to Keep Bugs Away From Your Home

Alison Kasch
Written by Alison Kasch
Updated March 25, 2022
An open-plan kitchen with large windows
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Prevent bugs from entering your neck of the woods

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1. Examine the Doorways and Windows

Doorways and windows can become hidden entrances for bugs if they’re not perfectly intact. Inspect all of your home’s windows and doors, checking for holes that can usher in tiny insects. Look for damage on the screens and repair or replace them if you spot any.

Aside from holes, worn-out caulking and weatherstripping can also present a welcome mat to bugs. After it gets dark, step outside and check doors for any light coming in from underneath—this is a big indicator that the door needs a new threshold or weatherstripping. Also, look for cracked or missing caulk around windows or doors, replacing it with fresh caulk if needed.

2. Scan Both the Outside and Inside Perimeters

If you’re unsure where the insects are getting in, do a complete home inspection around the perimeters. Small holes, cracks in the foundation, and other imperfections can all be potential entry points. Repair these as needed with caulk or expanding foam. It’s a good idea to perform your inspection in the late afternoon when the sun’s intense rays won’t cast shadows and obscure any trouble spots.

3. Try Homemade Pest Control Solutions

Getting rid of bugs doesn’t mean you have to resort to harsh solutions. For instance, many believe that some essential oils can make effective pest deterrents. Citronella oil is a known repellent for mosquitoes, while peppermint oil can keep away a number of other insects. For killing cockroaches and other pesky bugs, boric acid is a gentler alternative to some other store-bought solutions, though it’s not considered “green” and can be toxic in large quantities. 

Remember, though, that these solutions can work to prevent bugs or tackle a few critters here and there, but if you have any active infestation, it’s always best to call in a local pest control service to bid “bon voyage” to the bugs.

4. Check Around the Attic

A cozy bedroom in a house’s attic
Photo: John Keeble / Moment / Getty Images

While you’re walking around the house, pay close attention to eaves and attic ventilation grates. Many have screens that might have rotted away or become damaged over the years. Holes in this area can leave your home open to insects such as wasps and roaches, so it’s important to repair them ASAP.

5. Rid Your House of Bug Munchies

Bugs enjoy as good PB and J as much as you do, so don’t allow them to chow down on the remnants. What’s more, if one or two ants find a tasty morsel, they’ll alert their buddies, and you’ll have a constant food stakeout around your house. Clean up crumbs and spills right away, store food in sealed containers, and rinse your dishes off thoroughly before putting them in the dishwasher. Don’t forget to clean the area around your pet’s food bowls as well.

Pro tip: If your furry friend doesn’t finish dinner right away, place their bowl in a pie pan filled with shallow water. Since ants can’t swim, this will keep them out.

6. Don’t Forget the Big Garbage Can Outside

Food particles can draw summer bugs inside, but your big trash can outside is what might draw them to your home in the first place. Keep all food waste in sealed trash bags and ensure the lid stays tightly secured at all times. This precaution will also help keep pesky raccoons and other scavengers away.

7. Maintain a Clean and Clutter-Free Home

If you keep your home swept, vacuumed, mopped, and decluttered, bugs are much less likely to find it hospitable. Roaches love to hang out in piles of magazines, junk mail, and whatever other paper goods you have around. Other messes can provide food or refuge for sneaky insects, so keep things as clean as possible.

8. Keep Water and Moisture to a Minimum

A bright eco friendly spotless kitchen
Photo: Switlana Symonenko / iStock / Getty Images Plus / Getty Images

Any source of standing water outside, such as birdbaths and containers that collect rainwater, could be a potential breeding ground for mosquitoes. Moisture and standing water are very attractive for bugs looking to take a sip or even breed inside your home. 

Avoid leaving sinks filled with dishes, clean up spills, and take care of leaks as soon as you can. If you’re having most of your trouble with moisture-loving insects such as earwigs, silverfish, and millipedes, consider investing the cost of a whole-house dehumidifier to make the space far less appealing.

9. Avoid Having Bug Habitats Near Your Home

Having bugs near your home is a slippery slope that can quickly lead to an infestation in your home. Avoid placing potential habitats nearby, such as compost piles, firewood, and mulch. Also, prune any tree branches that contact your home, as their buggy inhabitants can easily march from their space to yours.

10. Consider a Pest Control Service

While preventative maintenance and on-the-spot management can go far, sometimes you’re just plain outnumbered. Where there are bugs, there is usually a source that might be difficult to pinpoint with an untrained eye. 

One of the best reasons for hiring a pest control service is to get rid of those bugs—and where they’re coming from—fast. If you feel like you’re fighting a losing battle, consider investing the cost of a pest control service to get those creepy-crawlies gone for good. 

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