As a mom, you want to keep your children safe from any potential harm--and that includes creepy crawlies. Pest-proof your home and you'll have one less thing to worry about. After all, wouldn't you rather spend your time spending time with your family? Here are ten ways to bug-proof your home right now--inside and outside.
If you’ve got kids running around your house, you want to make sure they don’t encounter bugs! Keep your floors clear of ants, roaches, rodents, and other pests so you can have your children roam around the house with confidence.
1. Keep a clean house.
When it comes to rodents, roaches, and other indoor pests, the key to a healthy home is prevention. One of the most effective ways to keep pests out is to control trash--something that isn't always easy to do with children in the house. Try to use the kitchen trashcan (with a tight lid!) as much as possible rather than filling pails throughout the house. Empty the can and sanitize it every night!
Because pests need access to food and water, taking these steps can also help:
- Store food in airtight containers.
- Wipe spills and crumbs promptly.
- Put dirty dishes directly in the dishwasher.
- Fix leaky faucets.
- Keep counters and tables clear.
- Keep food in cabinets in containers (think flour, sugar, baking products, etc.)
2. Try DIY remedies.
Whether you have a current pest problem to treat or simply want to keep your home safe for your children, these recipes can ensure you get the job done:
- Ants: Mix 1/4 cup citrus solvent and 2 cups of water in a bottle and spray in affected areas. Cucumbers also contain a natural ant deterrent. Place slices near cracks or other entry points.
- Roaches: Add 2 tsp. garlic or peppermint oil to 2 cups of water in a bottle and spray in affected areas. Instead of using chemicals, you can also apply non-toxic boric acid at the base of kitchen and living room walls.
3. Keep bugs outside--where they belong.
These low-cost home repairs make keeping bugs out easy. Knock out one or two during your children's naptime or when they’re at school!
- Seal gaps in doors with weather-stripping so bugs can't get inside through the sides or tops of doors.
- Install aluminum threshold/door sweeps, available at hardware stores, to cover gaps between the threshold and door bottom.
- Keep doors closed with a hydraulic door-closing device that allows you to control speed.
- Add screens to all windows and doors (20-mesh or finer) so mosquitoes, fleas, and other pests can't gain entry.
- Repair torn screens with scissors and seal tears with clear nail polish.
4. Mow the Lawn.
Reduce the number of pests on your property--and decrease the number of pests who gain entry to your home--by mowing your lawn regularly. Plus, fresh air is great for kids and moms, and you'll feel better taking your little ones outside when your yard is in shape. Since yard work is probably one of the last items on your to-do list as a busy--and usually sleep-deprived--mother, consider calling a professional lawn care service to keep grass cut to the proper height and to trim trees and bushes.
5. Remove yard debris.
Pests will use debris such as toys, buckets, flower pots, and more as their habitat. A clean outdoor environment eliminates potential hiding places. Take action by:
- Clearing away junk
- Stacking firewood properly, off the ground and away from structures
- Cleaning up dog droppings
- Bagging up leaves and yard waste
- Cleaning out gutters
In addition to making your little ones uncomfortable, mosquito bites can be very dangerous. Mosquitoes can carry dangerous diseases such as West Nile virus, dengue fever, yellow fever, and malaria. As a mom, you also need to protect your child from ticks that can transmit Lyme disease when they bite. So how can you keep your children safe from backyard bugs?
6. Apply insect repellent.
Although bug sprays that contain DEET are an effective way to keep bugs at bay, you need to be very careful when applying them to children. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), you shouldn't apply repellents containing DEET until your children are at least 2 months old-- and don't use a product that contains more than 30 percent DEET. Rather than spraying repellent directly on your children's skin, apply it to the outside of their clothing.
7. Use repellent products.
There are many different products on the market to keep mosquitoes from getting in the way of time outside. Put Citronella candles and lanterns that contain allethrin around your yard--far from children's reach. It also helps to set up a fan outside because mosquitoes tend to stay clear of moving air.
8. Eliminate areas of standing water.
Mosquitoes lay their eggs in water so empty buckets, toys, and other places where water builds up. Also, change the water in birdbaths frequently. If you have a serious mosquito problem, you may need to call a pest control company that targets breeding areas to eliminate mosquitoes for good.
9. Prevent dangerous tick bites.
It's difficult to see ticks that live in leaves and bushes because they are so small. Nymph ticks that carry Lyme disease and are the size of a pencil point. Consider these tips for protecting your children:
- Dress all children in light-colored clothing so you can quickly identify ticks.
- Mow the lawn regularly.
- Remove leaves where ticks can hide right away.
- Keep playground equipment away from brush.
- Plant fragrant herbs such as sage, lavender and rosemary as a deterrent.
- Seek help from a pest control specialist who can implement a targeted treatment program.
10. Don't forget about pets.
You love your pets, but they can often contribute to a pest problem. If your dog or cat brings fleas into your home, you can stop the pests in their tracks.
- Pick up pet dishes from the floor after feeding time.
- Change water often.
- Put down towels where dogs and cats nap to collect flea eggs. Wash towels in the hot cycle.
- Vacuum areas where pets hang out during the day at least once a week and dispose of bags.
- Once a week, wash dogs and use a flea comb on cats.
Ensure pests stay out with professional treatment!
While these tips can help you protect your children from pesky pests, sometimes you need to call in a professional to keep bugs away for good. Here at Got Bugs, we implement eco-friendly integrated pest management techniques, many of which don't require any in-home applications--so you don't have to worry about your children and pets being exposed to harmful chemicals. If for some reason you aren't satisfied with our services, we'll even give you your money back, guaranteed.
If you want a safe home for your kids, let us help control the bugs!