Did you know that the U.S. is home to an estimated 91,000 described insect species? Or that on top of that are the 73,000 more undescribed species!
That’s right! That’s how large and diverse the insect community is in the United States.
As impressive and amazing as these creatures are, many of them invade our homes and cause a nuisance. More than that, they pose health hazards, not to mention transmit diseases.
It’s no wonder then that killing bugs has become a massive industry in the country. In fact, it’s so big that the U.S. pest control sector has grown to become a $16 billion market.
The good news is that you don’t have to spend thousands and thousands to deal with invasive house insects. You can get rid of these unwanted guests even on a budget.
Ready to start eliminating these creepy crawlies? Then keep reading as we’ll let you in on a few how-to secrets!
1. Successfully Killing Bugs Starts with Knowing What Pests You’re Dealing With
Before you start using any bug-killing chemicals, be sure you know what insects you need to get rid of. First, because pesticides and insecticides don’t kill all types of insects. Also, as many as 500 insect species have developed some resistance to these chemicals.
Take bed bugs, for instance, which US pest control experts say are in 91% of single-family homes. When they feed, they leave red, itchy welts that are similar to mosquito bites.
The difference is, mosquitoes are easy to get rid of with household pesticides. Whereas bed bugs are developing resistance against these chemicals.
That’s why you first need to determine what you’re dealing with. This way, you’ll have a better idea of what extermination and control methods to use.
2. Clean Up and De-Clutter Your Home
Keeping a clean home is the best way to keep pests out of your home in the first place. At the same time, it can help prevent existing house bugs and even rodents from proliferating.
The goal is to take away these pests’ food sources. Robbing them of their nutrient sources will make your home less attractive to these bugs. With no sources of food, this may help force them out of your home.
That said, be sure never to leave food uncovered or dirty dishes in the sink, even for only a few hours. Place dry products, such as grains, flour, and sugar, in vacuum-tight jars. Always wipe food spills off of surfaces, as these can easily attract bugs like roaches and ants.
Also, regular vacuuming can help get rid of eggs and larva, such as those of ants and bed bugs. Be sure that you vacuum your entire home, including upholstery and furniture.
3. Get Rid of Extra Water and Moisture
Mosquitoes and gnats are irritating, with the former even being downright dangerous. Some mosquito species can transmit diseases including Zika, dengue, and West Nile Virus.
To get rid of mosquitoes, dump out any item filled with stagnant water. These include piles of junk that collect water, as well as birdbaths, plant saucers, and pet bowls.
As for gnats, they go where moisture is, particularly food like rotting fruits and peels. The same goes for bathroom bugs like water flies. So, keep a tight seal on your trash bins, and if possible, avoid placing fruits and vegetables out in the open.
4. Wash Clothes, Bed Sheets, and Fabrics in Very Hot Water
One of the easiest ways on how to get rid of bugs is to spray soapy water directly on them. Some insects, like bed bugs and fleas, are so hardy though that they can survive such an attack. If these are the creepy crawlies you’re dealing with, it’s best to use a heat treatment on them too.
Start by laundering fabrics, bedding, clothes, and rugs in your washing machine. Then, throw these in your hot dryer for at least half an hour. Studies have shown that temperature above 95 ºF can kill cat fleas and their eggs.
5. Make Your Own Homemade Anti-Pest Sprays
Many types of bugs, like ants, dislike the odor and taste of the acid in vinegar and citrus fruits like lemon. As such, the acid helps mask their scent trail, deterring them from lining up every which way in your home.
Simply mix some lemon or vinegar with water in a spray bottle and shake well. Spritz some of the mix on the surfaces or areas where you usually see ants and other insects crawling. You can also mix in a bit of dishwashing liquid, so it can act as a cleaner.
6. Construct DIY Baits
A study has found that erythritol, a type of sugar alcohol, is toxic to house flies. Moreover, the researchers say that it can also kill some other types of insects.
Best of all, it’s easy to find as it’s present in many artificial sweeteners like Splenda and Truvia. Just put some of the product in a small container to make your DIY bait. Place the container in areas favored by these flies, such as on countertop corners.
7. Kill Bugs and Flying Insects with Borax
Borax and boric acid can help kill house bugs including fleas, roaches, ants, and some types of mites. You can get them in powder from hardware stores, home supply shops, and supermarkets.
Making a Dry Borax or Boric Acid Bait
One way to use the powder is to spoon some of the product in cracks on your walls or on windowsills. You can also combine it with powdered sugar and sprinkle the mix on areas where you often find house bugs. Be careful when using this method though, especially if you have children and pets.
Contained Borax Bait
For households with little kids or pets, it’s best to make a contained bait.
Get a glass jar with a cover and punch some holes on the lid. Fill the jar with cotton and pour a mixture of 1 cup of powdered sugar, 1 1/2 cups of water, and 1 1/2 tablespoons of borax. Tighten the lid and set your traps near areas where insects and bugs usually congregate.
8. Call Professional Pest Control Services for Bigger Infestations
In case you have a full-on pest infestation, it’s best to get the professionals to help. Especially if your problem involves destructive insects like termites. In the U.S. alone, termite damages cost property owners over $5 billion every year.
Termite treatment costs depend on the scale of the infestation. The longer you put off the treatment though, the bigger the damages will be.
That’s why it’s best to call the pros as soon as you detect termite swarms. This way, you can prevent them from spreading to all parts of your home.
Get Rid of these Annoying and Potentially Dangerous House Bugs Now
There you have it, your ultimate guide on killing bugs in your home without spending a lot of bucks. For minor pest issues, you can start with the use of non-chemical DIY pesticides. But for bigger infestations, consider getting the help of professional pest control services.
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