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Keep your home pest-free. Photo: Considerable

Cockroaches, lizards, centipedes, earwigs, and other pests crawling throughout your home is weird, especially when you are in the middle of enjoying your delicious food. When almost all the corners of your home are shared by these often unseen invaders, they pose dangers to your personal hygiene and health.

They can even be poisonous if they manage to insert themselves in the process of food preparation. To make matters worse, small kids often do not know the dangers of these pests and might touch them or even try to catch them.

Here are simple steps on how to keep your home pest-free!

1. Keep your eyes peeled.

Sure, insects can appear to have otherworldly abilities — mosquitos can fly, cockroaches can supposedly survive the apocalypse — but they can’t materialize out of anywhere. Your best defense: Look for warning signs and problem areas to stop them from invading your space, according to Considerable.

For instance, ants send out “scouts” to scope the ant-friendliness of your home, so even an ant or two indoors can mean it’s time to get pest-proofing before those scouts invite over their friends.

Check outside and learn where bugs hang out. Firewood can be home to ants and termites so store wood at least 20 feet from your house. And standing water is a breeding ground for mosquitos, says Boyd Huneycutt, co-founder of pest control company Mosquito Squad.

2. Put out flowers, candles, and lights.

If you want to start small, try planting some bug-repellant flowers, like marigolds or calendula. Although they won’t keep away the most determined insects, they act as a modest form of natural pest control and you can’t deny their beauty.

In addition, some people recommend setting out citrus or citronella candles. Tiki torches with these scents work as well – but again, a candle or a lantern can only do so much. According to a technical advisor for the American Mosquito Control Association, “While the oil of citronella does repel mosquitos to some degree, it’s not very effective. As a matter of fact, it’s really not significantly more effective than any other candle would be” (source).

Finally, you may wish to purchase bug-repellent lights (which are typically yellow) so that your source of illumination doesn’t attract pesky insects. These lights take advantage of the fact that many insects struggle to perceive light with a lower color temperature. Although they won’t repel insects, they will make it more difficult for bugs to find you, as said from Mmcfencingandrailing.

Flowers, candles, and lights are all well and good, but they sound more like elements of a romantic date than effective bug-banishing tools. To really learn how to keep bugs away from your house, keep reading.

3. Get rid of standing water.

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Get rid of standing water. Photo: Restoration Local

Many bugs flock to standing water, so get rid of it if you can. Although you might immediately think of larger examples, like ponds and fountains, mosquitos love all stagnant water.

Gutters can collect standing water if they’re hanging incorrectly or contain debris, so be sure to clean and maintain them regularly. In addition, any loose containers (flower pots, children’s toys, buckets) can fill with rainwater if they’re left out. Finally, try to fix any areas where water collects on the ground, making sure that the water can drain properly.

4. Set up fans.

If you’re sick of coating your body in smelly bug sprays or relying on ineffective tools like citronella candles, try simply setting up outdoor fans. Not only will the fans keep you cool, but they will dilute the carbon dioxide you exhale and minimize your body heat and perspiration (all of which can attract bugs). Plus, some bugs will have trouble flying in the strong breeze.

5. Purchase a Screen Rail railing.

Although the tips above can help with mild insect problems, they won’t banish the bugs for good. To truly ensure that insects can’t bother you, consider adding a screened railing to your deck or porch. The complete barrier, constructed of heavy-duty aluminum and a protective screen, will block bugs who yearn to crash your party.

Check out ScreenRail, which gives you the option of either a structural balcony/railing system or a kick-panel system. Both options are surprisingly easy to install, require virtually no maintenance, and come with a lifetime-limited warranty. Most importantly, if you purchase this protective barrier, you won’t have to worry about how to keep bugs away from your house. In one fell swoop, you can tackle the entire problem.

If you're craving a mosquito-free evening on your porch or patio, think lemon. Lemongrass, lemon-scented Pelargoniums (commonly sold as scented geraniums) and lemon balm are some of the ones you can keep in pots or in the garden.

Lemon balm is a mint and like all mints, you'll never have to think about it again after planting—except maybe to cut it back to keep it under control. Speaking of mint, rubbing it on your skin is also an effective way to repel biting bugs. Another plant with outstanding mosquito-repellent properties that's effective against (ugh) cockroaches too is catnip. It's also great for keeping your cat entertained, as you probably know.

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