For all the wonderful things about a British summer – the heat, the beach, the BBQs, the longer days – there are one or two small things we could do without. Very tiny things actually – insects! Now, don’t get me wrong, they are a very important part of the ecosystem and we should support their vital role in protecting the planet, but they’re not doing that from inside our homes, are they?
Every year, many of us revel in the days when we can finally throw open the windows to let in the sunlight and the beautiful summer air. Yet, the instant we do, in parades the armies of ants, in flutters the moths and in buzzes the flies, who proceed to continuously bang back into the windows for the following hour or two. So, what are the best ways to get them out, or better still, stop them coming in at all?
Why Do Insects Come Into The House In Summer?
Insects come into our homes to escape the heat. They need to regulate their body temperature and there are always a couple of weeks in a UK summer that are scorching hot. This is when you’ll find them creeping indoors.
If you’ve ever watched a fly or bee dart about you’ll probably have noticed that they don’t appear to have the sharpest spacial awareness and don’t understand glass, so once in it’s not easy for them to leave.
Obviously, the best way to keep insects out of your house is to stop them from coming in, but in summer you will need to have windows and doors open to keep your home cool. So, we have to be a little more creative as to how we keep insects out of the house in the summer months. Here are some of our best ideas:
Insect screens are far more common in hotter countries. In the UK, we don’t need them for most of the year and so most people are looking for temporary removable insect screens that won’t break the bank. Insect screens are very effective and they don’t block light or limit airflow into the house.
Self-adhesive fly screens can be purchased fairly cheaply online and can be cut to size meaning they can e made to fit almost any window. However, they can make opening and shutting windows challenging and if a fly comes in through some other means there is less opportunity for them to fly out. For doors, fly screen curtains are very effective and keep out moths and other flying insects too. These can even be quite attractive with colourful and beaded options available that can even add to the style of your room. Check out these fly screen options from 5-Top.co.uk.
Another solution is fly tape that will trap flying insects. Not the nicest-looking solution but it is known to be highly effective.
Hide Your Food
Generally, insects don’t want to be in your home. They are coming in to escape the heat. Outside is where the other insects are, where their nests and homes are and where the food generally is. Except if you provide this. Leaving food out may attract some insects but even worse, it will encourage them to stay.
If you do have food out, make sure it’s covered. Netted food domes are ideal for this and affordable. Although we find the ones with images of giant flowers on somewhat counter-productive in terms of deterring nectar-seeking insects.
The tiniest crumbs are also a major draw for ants and other tiny insects so try to sweep floors after preparing food. Why not also make the most of the warmer weather by encouraging the family to eat outdoors? Less mess makes it easier to keep insects out of the house in summer.
Spider webs also need to be removed because, with flies coming into homes more in the summer, spiders will take the opportunity to trap them for food. Unless, of course, you wish to use this to rebalance the ecosystem in your home. You could use the spiders to deal with the flies and get a cat to deal with the spiders. Although, balancing ecosystems to rather tricky and may be best left to mother nature.
Make The Garden Bug Friendly
You might be tempted to keep insects out of your garden to keep insects out of the house. However, if you can make it possible for bugs to enjoy your garden, even in the hotter weeks, then they have no reason to wander into the house.
Creating shelter by buying or even building a bug hotel can give the wildlife in your garden a shelter from the scorching sun where it is also easy to find food and maybe even make other bug friends.
Planting wildflowers will also attract bees and butterflies to your garden which supports their crucial role in the ecosystem. Making your garden a more appealing place for insects to be will deter them from coming inside because, aside from shelter from the heat, there is very little to be gained for a bug indoors. However, having some upturned pots, piles of wood and other simple compositions in your garden to provide shade will give crawling insects a place to hide from the midday sun – one that’s not in your house.
Natural Bug Repellents
There are a few scents that bugs just can’t stomach and these include rosemary, mint and geraniums. So these are the plants and herbs you’ll want to plant near your porch and back door. Insects will generally avoid these places and so are unlikely to find their way into your home. In addition, they are handy herbs to have on hand. Especially mint which is great in a summer Pimms!
There are also plenty of natural oils that bugs will steer away from including citrus and peppermint. If you don’t want to use toxic or chemical sprays which may be harmful to pets or create unpleasant smells, then you can make your own solution with lemon juice, water, baking soda and a few drops of peppermint or other bug-repelling scent and wipe the solution around your windows or door frames. You may also use it on other surfaces. For a full list of human-safe scents that insects will crawl fo fly away from, head to Healthline.
Keep It Clean
Insects are not like us in that they do not appreciate a clean home. In fact, that means less food and fewer places to hide. Crawling bugs don’t want to be exposed crawling across clean floors and so will head for dusty corners and skirting boards. Flies are always on the lookout for food so will buzz around bins and any food left out. Therefore, keeping your home clean in the summer is important.
However, it’s tough in the summer when there’s so much going on and some of us even have the kids home to entertain all holiday whilst also balancing work. Many of us also have the great privilege of entertaining friends and hosting BBQs but it does create a lot of mess, doesn’t it?
So why not let Haus Maids lend you a hand? You needn’t commit to cleaning all year round but if you need an extra pair of hands during the summer months, reach out to our domestic cleaners in Fleet, Farnham, Alton, Milton Keynes, Cheltenham, Bishop’s Stortford, Winchester and Guildford and Godalming.