Feature: Your Home, Your World

Tips to Bug Proof Your Home

Author: Don Martelli
Published: May 15, 2012 at 3:14 pm
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Memorial Day is right around the corner and for those of you who are hosting a BBQ with friends and family, be sure to protect your home from pesky critters who might want to swing by for a crumb or two of food.

There are a slew of things you can do to protect your home, but here are five simple first steps to building your insect free fortress:

Close openings with screens: Use 20 mesh or finer screens on doors and windows that can be opened as well as on all ventilation openings. This will help prevent bugs from coming in.

Install sweeps or thresholds at the base of all exterior entry doors: A sign that you might need a sweep on a door is if you see light coming in. This includes the bottom of garage doors that could be fitted with a rubber seal. Or, for sliding glass doors, try sealing the bottom of them with foam weather stripping.

Door seals: Be sure to inspect all seals of doors including the tops and sides, especially double doors that lack a central vertical support.

Fill cracks: Those pesky critters are going to look for cracks around windows, doors and fascia boards. For small cracks, use silicone or acrylic latex caulk. Latex-type caulks clean easily with water and can be painted. For larger openings, fill with a strong material that matches the structure such as wood, cement, sheet rock or mortar.

Seal all utility openings: Include entry points of pipes and wires, around outdoor faucets, gas meters and laundry vents. Cracks should be cleaned and any peeling material removed. The hole can then be filled with a suitable sealant.

Repair leaky piping: This will reduce water availability to pests. Inspect plumbing regularly, as a problem may not be visible immediately. Water damage can also weaken walls creating additional entryways for critters.

Use airtight storage containers: This tip is especially true for pet or human food. Small ants can gain access into ordinary jars by following the thread so using tightly sealed containers will help.

Clean your house: The best defense against insects in your home is to be clean. Vacuum up all food crumbs; do not let soiled dishes sit out overnight. Dust under kitchen appliances and clean pet food dishes.

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Article Author: Don Martelli

Known on the social web as “BigGuyD,” Don Martelli is just a dad, moonlighting as a digital marketer, photog and civilian journalist. He's the executive editor for Technorati. Connect with him at www.donmartelli.com.

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