How to Keep Bugs Away: A Basic Guide to Home Pest Control

4 min

Between spiders, flies, earwigs, and beetles, the insects and bugs are out in full force this time of year. Though scientists have been warning us of an “insect apocalypse” for a while, it doesn’t seem to be true when the summertime house bugs appear.

Not only are these bugs annoying, but their bites are painful and sometimes carry diseases. Insect apocalypse or not, If you’re struggling with a home infestation, the first thing on your mind is extermination.

In the market for some good DIY pest control tips? Read on for a quick guide on how to keep bugs away and get rid of common household insects.

Preventing Pests

The easiest way to get rid of bugs in your house is to prevent them from moving in. While there’s no way to keep your entire property insect-free, there are steps you can take to make your home less habitable to pests. Along with encouraging bug-eaters like birds and bats to live near your home, here’s how to keep bugs away as much as possible.

Outside Your Home

First, get rid of any areas with stagnant water. These make for perfect breeding grounds for mosquitoes. They multiply rapidly, so you may need a mosquito exterminator if any issues are not taken care of immediately. Be sure your yard has adequate drainage, especially around the edges of your house, and add a fountain to any small ponds to keep the water flowing.

Next, clear your yard of trash and natural debris. Anything that decomposes in your yard will attract pests, so keep compost piles as far from your house as possible. Once the area around your home is cleaned up, consider spraying it with a natural pest deterrent like essential oils, garlic extract, or neem oil.

Finally, inspect your home for any points of entry. Seal up cracks in the foundation, gaps in windows, spaces around pipes and doors, and holes in the roof.

Inside Your Home

Inside your house, try to keep things as clean and sanitary as possible.

Avoid letting dirty dishes and food waste pile up, as these attract flies. If you keep things clean but still have a fruit fly or ant problem, try keeping your produce inside the fridge or pantry instead of out on the counter. Make sure to keep all human and pet food in airtight, sealed containers.

It’s also time to get rid of any heaps of blankets or clothing—these are the perfect places for house spiders to cozy up. Wipe down counters, shake out blankets and rugs, and vacuum the floors often.

DIY Fly Traps

In many cases, getting rid of house flies and fruit flies is as easy as hanging a few sticky flypaper traps around your home. These traps are unsightly and annoying, though. If you’d rather take a more discreet approach, give this DIY flytrap a try.

The materials you’ll need include:

  • glass or plastic container with a lid (or aluminum foil)
  • water
  • vinegar
  • leftover fruit scraps (optional)
  • sugar
  • dish soap

Start by filling your container half-full with a 1:1 mixture of water and vinegar. You can use any type of vinegar (or even wine) for this, but cheap white vinegar works great. Stir in a spoonful each of sugar and dish soap.

If you have any scraps of leftover fruit, like old bananas or apple cores, drop them in the liquid mixture. These aren’t necessary, but they can help your traps attract flies more quickly.

Next, cover the container with the lid or aluminum foil and seal it tightly. Poke 5-10 holes in the lid that are just large enough for the flies to crawl through. Because the dish soap disrupts the surface tension of the liquid, flies will crawl in and drown before they can escape.

Then, place it on a countertop, shelf, or the top of your fridge—just be sure not to forget about it, or it may start to smell. Change out the trap each week or when it starts to get full.

Getting Rid of Cockroaches

Cockroaches are the bane of many a homeowner’s existence. They breed at lightning speed and can show up in even the cleanest of kitchens.

Ridding your space of roaches is all about consistency. German cockroaches, the type most often found in homes, reproduce every 30 days or so and can multiply exponentially. This means you’ll need to target roaches in every stage of their life cycle—otherwise, you’ll kill off all the adults and nymphs only to have a new crop of eggs hatch as soon as they’re gone.

Trying to squish roaches is a pointless endeavor. Instead, use a bagged vacuum to suck up as many as you can find. Then, place baited roach traps throughout your house to catch any stragglers.

Because most roaches live an average of 100 days, you’ll need to keep this up until it’s been at least three months since you last saw one. This long-term vacuuming and baiting strategy is also effective against ants.

How to Keep Bugs Away When DIY Methods Fail

In some cases, DIY traps and deterrents won’t be enough to get rid of the bugs in your house.

Perhaps you can’t find the source of your beetle problem and suspect it’s under your home’s foundation or inside the walls. Maybe you’re dealing with a hardy, fast-spreading pest like bedbugs. Or, as is the case with some types of wasps or spiders, your bug infestation is downright dangerous.

If you find yourself in any of these situations, it’s time to call on your local pest control services for help.

They can use insecticides to target large areas at once, reaching into places you wouldn’t be able to on your own. They can also assist you with prevention measures to keep the problem from coming back. According to the experts at, you should look for a company that uses non-toxic insecticides to keep your children and pets safe.

Enjoy Your Home, Without the Bugs

Everyone deserves to have a home free of insects and other pests. If you’re stuck waging a battle against the spiders and the flies, try these tips on how to keep bugs away to get rid of them for good.

Looking for more helpful home care advice like this? Take a moment to read through the other articles on our site.

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