Quick! While the Bugs are Away...

Tuesday, December 20th, 2016 by James Hartkorn

As odd as it sounds, winter is the perfect time to prep for keeping the bugs away. The old adage of, "out of sight, outta mind" definitely applies to insects and Nebraska winters. But as much as you want to forget about what happened this summer and constant annoyance of little critters in your home, don't do it. Cleaning up your home and applying a few of the following prevention tips will go a long way in defending your home against bugs before it warms up again.

1. Seal Your Entryways

Let's start with the doors. It's how most people get into your home, isn't it? The big difference is that bugs won't knock, they just help themselves right in. So, take a look at your home's doorways to see what stands in their way. If you can see any daylight whatsoever or there seems to be a breeze, you've got work to do.

Measure your door and then get yourself to a hardware store and upgrade your entry way's threshold and door sweep. Chances are you have a threshold in place, but if not, pick one up. As for the door sweep, a nylon brush sweep is the best for bug prevention.

Door sweep illustration

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To go a step further buy some weather stripping or door-seal kits to completely seal around the perimeter of your door. Use a clear caulk to seal the joint between where the door frame meets the wall.

2. Repair Cracks around windows

The first step to take is to seal the perimeter. Get to your local hardware store or home improvement store and pick up some multi-purpose caulk and a calk gun if you do not already own one. Take a slow tour of your home and remove any old window glaze or caulk that may be peeling or cracked. Apply the sealant to areas of concern. Caulk windows and exterior cracks.


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3. Seal around pipe or cable penetrations

Take a tour around your home and look for any possible wire, cable or pipe that has been installed in your home at some point in its history. Double and triple check that the area around the cable or pipe is sealed completely. If there is any doubt, and I mean any whatsoever, you should seal it. For smallish cracks or gaps, you can use a pipe sealant or caulk. For larger openings, look for expandable polyurethane foam.

4. Clean and Declutter Your House

This one has probably been on your "to-do list" for quite some time, but it never seems to get crossed off. Now is the time to get it done. Decluttering your home not only makes it more livable from an organization standpoint, but it helps keep those bugs from getting comfortable.

The most important area to clean and declutter is your kitchen. Start in the pantry or where you keep your food. Take everything out and give it a good solid cleaning. Bugs love even the smallest morsel of food, so make sure your area is spic'n'span. Placing things in bins and or tupperware containers may be a good idea. Open bags or boxes of dried food can spill and act as an invitation for bugs. Making sure everything is sealed up tight is a great preventative measure.

Labeled pantry baskets

5. Keep foundations clear

Before the first snowfall make sure to eliminate wood-to-soil contact in or around your home's foundation. Even though you've checked for cracks around your foundation, bugs love any sort of damp wood or grass clippings, so make sure your foundation is clear of these items.

If you have a fire place and keep your firewood next to your home, make sure it isn't directly on the ground. Instead, elevate it with non-organic material. Also, make sure to examine it before you bring it inside.

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