Bug Off! Creative Tips to Keep Pests Away

Family Projects to Put the Kibosh on Bugs

Warm weather makes everyone want to be more active, and that includes pests. Here are some ways you can use that extra energy to keep bugs from making themselves welcome in your home and yard.

What to Do When Nature Comes Calling

Mosquito bites are itchy and uncomfortable. They can also be the source of West Nile virus and other diseases, making the mosquito the deadliest creature in the world. You can protect your family by making life hard for bugs. Drill holes in the bottoms of tire swings or other play items that collect puddles, in order to prevent their breeding grounds. Flush out birdbaths and planter trays with a garden hose as part of your weekly yard maintenance routine. Keep outdoor family evenings mosquito-free with home-made citronella candles.

If ticks are a problem, try putting in a moat – a tick moat, that is. Ticks can easily travel across grass, but hate to walk on gravel or mulch. Line the edge of your property with a three-foot-wide path to help keep them away. Choose materials that contrast with the yard’s landscaping to create an attractive framing effect.

Not all outdoor pests are creepy. Chipmunks are cute, but their habit of dining on bulbs and garden plants makes them a nuisance. Let them know the kitchen is closed by placing hardware cloth or wire mesh around the outside of planting beds. The barrier should be at least 12 inches wide and covered with dirt. This makes it impossible for the animal to tunnel its way into the garden.

Sometimes You Want to Keep the Outside OUT

Most people think of weatherstripping as a project for fall, but doing this task now can help save money on air conditioning and keep bugs from wandering into your home. Ants, stink bugs, boxelder bugs and earwigs enter homes via gaps around doors and windows. Replace worn weatherstripping and door sweeps now to keep bugs in their place — and out of yours.

Protect your wardrobe naturally from clothes moths and carpet beetles with herb and lavender sachets. Simply mix equal parts dried lavender or lemon verbena with dried rosemary leaves. For added punch, include a bay leaf. Fill small muslin bags with the mixture, and place them in drawers and closets. If small muslin bags are scarce around your house, just tie a couple of ounces of the herbs into the toe of an old nylon stocking.

If weevils keep finding their way into your flour, try using canning jars as pest-proof containers. Many pantry pests can chew their way into plastic containers or wriggle past set-on lids. The spiral threads of canning lids will stop any insect, and no pest can gnaw through a glass jar.

Make Rocky’s Your Pest Protection Partner

No matter what projects you have in mind, Rocky’s Ace Hardware is ready to help. You’ll find the products and tools you need, along with friendly and knowledgeable people to help you get the best results. Stop by our homepage for everything you need to have a pest-free summer.

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