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Keep bugs and other nasty pests out of your home



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The only creature to sleep in your bed is you.


Josh Miller / CNET

No time is right for a Pest Invasion whether you are at home or someone else. Bedbugs are particularly insidious in your home, in hotels and even in Airbnbs but fruit flies, cockroaches and mice can also become big problems if you are not vigilant. If small creepy-crawlies are your least-preferred visitor, here are some tips to keep your home naturally free of pests.

Bedbugs

The very thought of this beetle makes my skills crawl. Once you get bed bugs, they are super hard to get rid of. The best way to keep bugs in check is to never go anywhere and never let furniture get into your home. But as this is not very practical, there are other ways to prevent the infestation:

  • Bedbugs love to hide in – you guessed it – beds. Use a zippered cover that wraps around your entire mattress and boxspring bed to keep it away from the fabric. Due to the bright color they are also easier to recognize.
  • Check all types of upholstered furniture before entering your home. This applies to new furniture as well as used and second hand shop finds. Bed bugs like corners where you can hide, so look under pillows, around seams and even under tags.
  • Wash clothes from overnight stays and excursions to a hotel immediately after returning home. If you set your dryer to high heat, bugs are killed according to EPA before they have a chance to invade.
  • Daily vacuuming.
  • If you use a laundrette, do not let your clothes touch anything after it has come out of the dryer. Put it directly in a clean laundry bag and take it home. Wrinkled clothes are better than itchy ones.
  • Make a door swing at your front and back doors. It literally sweeps bugs out when the door closes.
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Wash your fruit as soon as it gets home to prevent fruit flies.


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Fruit flies

Fruit flies attract sweet, juicy fruits and tend to hang around. You can not see them, but some of the products you buy have fruit fly eggs on them that hatch when you get home (rough, right?).

That's why it's important to wash your products as soon as you put them in the door. A simple mix of water and baking soda removes not only eggs, but also pesticides . Just fill your sink with water and sprinkle some baking soda into it. Let the product rest for 8 minutes in the mixture.

Most likely, fruit flies come to your home when a door or window is opened. The key is to eat or freeze fruit before it begins to ferment, because that's what attracts the flies inside.

If fruit flies are already a problem, there is a simple natural trap to catch them. Pour apple cider vinegar into a jar and attach a square plastic wrap with a rubber band over the opening. Then put a small hole in the plastic wrap. The flies are attracted by the scent, go through the hole and are trapped under the plastic wrap.

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Bay leaves can be the key to keeping cockroaches out.


Getty Images

Cockroaches

If you live in homes or near other houses, you may have had to deal with cockroaches before. You probably already know that it is best to keep your home clean and clear away food to keep insects out of your home. But that does not always stop them. Sometimes cockroaches invade homes in search of water.

I hate chemical sprays. They give me a headache, so I use something more natural. The only thing I have found that can keep a home free of cockroaches during the dry season is laurel leaves. Yes, all these leaves can be found in the herbal section of the grocery store. Just put a few sheets behind bookcases, in cupboards, behind appliances and under the sinks. For some reason cockroaches hate laurel leaves.

Mice

Although my cats love when mice come to visit, I do not. The best way to keep mice out is to seal cracks and holes in walls and floors. Mice will even use tiny holes as their personal entry point. Do not you think that you have any holes? Check the environment of pipes under sinks, behind your washer and dryer, near areas where gas pipes enter the house and garage to make sure.

Remove the trash daily and store the food in the refrigerator or in sealed containers. This will make your home smell less attractive to rodents.

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