The persistent presence of bugs and insects within the home can be a very daunting experience for many people. It can be a distressing situation to find out that your home is infested and knowing how to effectively deal with it can feel very challenging.
When our home life is disrupted by external circumstances, more often than not, we seek to resolve issues/problems quickly as possible. Whilst artificially manufactured repellents, sprays and poisons can provide the ‘quick-fix’ – they can be expensive and very dangerous if incorrectly used
To avoid an influx of bugs and insects from taking up rent-free residency in your home, there are various safe methods and precautions which you could be taking. Here at London Cleaning System we have made a comprehensive guide on how you can do just that.
The Usual Culprits
Culprit In Question: Ants
When dealing with ants, you’re never going to be dealing with just one or two but hundreds at the same time. Just like humans, their survival depends upon eating. They love to feast on a combination of sweets, nuts, fruits and seeds. They are naturally drawn to warm and damp locations. Within the home, it is perhaps unsurprising to find them located near heating system components. Whilst most are human-friendly, there are certain types of ants which can bite or sting when they feel threatened.
The Solutions: Ants
There are various unorthodox methods to deal with ants. Seek to find the entry-point(s) or identify where you think the ants are coming in from. Once you have done that - you should rub, sprinkle or spray on the cracks or around the entry-point(s) any of the following: petroleum jelly, lemon juice, pure cinnamon, garlic, coffee grinds, paprika or dried peppermint. Using any of these substances will throw-off ants, as their senses are not accustomed to such strong scents and flavours, therefore will leave the house and deter them from re-entering.
Culprit In Question: Fleas
Fleas are more of a common-occurrence in homes which have pets. They love to live off the blood supply of a particular host – whether that be a cat, dog or human. They also have a tendency to cross-feed and their bites are not only very itchy but can trigger skin irritations and rashes. Some fleas in the house can also carry with them serious bacteria and diseases.
The Solutions: Fleas
Wash your pet’s with a lot of soap and hot water, multiple times throughout the week. Hoovering is also essential. Use a hoover with strong suction to remove fleas from carpets, rugs, upholstered furniture and any ‘pet-zones’. Also don’t be afraid to use the hoovers extension tools to reach those tight and difficult areas. The scent from lemon and rosemary aromatics can also be used to get rid of fleas.
Culprit In Question: Lice
Lice are very tiny; they are almost the same size as a single rice grain. Whilst difficult to see, they are attracted to blood and can be found on the scalp of humans and animals. They can cause a lot of itchiness and painful rashes or sores to develop.
The Solutions: Lice
Since lice are most susceptible to the scalp, the recommendation would be to change pillowcases, bedsheets, nightdresses, hand and bath towels every day. Thoroughly wash everything using a hot laundry cycle. Likewise, wash any brushes or combs with hot water and soap. Also carefully hoover over any furniture or items that are regularly in contact with the head. Likewise, hoover all floors, carpets and rugs around the house.
Culprit In Question: Bed Bugs
Beds bugs commonly arise in environments which have a continual change of people – these include hotels, motels, hostels and apartments. With international travel now easier and manageable than ever before, bed bugs can easily hide away in suitcases and transfer into homes. As their name suggests, bed bugs absolutely yearn the opportunity to ‘hang-out’ in and around beds.
Their small and oval flat body allows them to seamlessly hide away inside bed frames, headboards, mattresses, furniture and clothing. They do not transmit diseases but can leave several bites marks on the skin, which can cause severe itchiness. Their presence can also lead to anxiety and sleep deprivation.
The Solutions: Bed Bugs
To entirely avoid the debacle of having to deal with bed bugs – before and after going on international trips or holidays – spray or sprinkle lemongrass, cinnamon, peppermint or thyme in your suitcases. Any of these will act as repellents towards bed bugs.
Bed bugs are very sensitive to heat. With this in mind, if you are in the unfortunate position of having to deal with beg bugs - your first action should be to wash bed sheets, clothing, curtains, pillows, hand and bath towels in hot water and then dry them for a lengthy period of time at the hottest setting possible. Your next action should be to hoover your mattress and then wrap it in cling film to suffocate the bed bugs. Once that has been done, use a warm damp cloth with soap to fully wipe down the bed frame and other furniture around the room. Be sure to also hoover floors, carpets, mats and rugs.
When cleaning use protective gloves and don’t forget to also wipe under and behind furniture.
Culprit In Question: Spiders
There is no such thing as a love-hate relationship with spiders. They are one of the handful of things in this world that can make grown men scream like little girls. They can not only be creepy but have the unique ability to navigate themselves into the most adventurous and narrowest of spaces. Most spiders may not be dangerous but there are some that don’t respond particularly well to being disturbed or provoked. Whilst others can be poisonous.
The Solutions: Spiders
A really simple solution is to turn off all outdoor lights. Spiders are not attracted to these outdoor lights but other bugs and insects are. Since these bugs and insects are spider’s main food source, they will sneakily manage to find themselves inside the house to seek them out.
If you have purchased a lot of plants for your home, be sure to know that plants provide the convenient hiding spot that spiders desire. When they need to seek new food sources or warmth, they will ultimately decide to move into the house.
Another solution is to spray peppermint oil on any cracks, wide openings, door entrances and window seals to keep spiders away. Spiders cannot bear the scent of peppermint oil thus will be afraid to come into the house.
Three Essential Tips
Deal With Holes and Cracks
The miniature size of most bugs and insects allows them to be very shifty. Shifty enough to manoeuvre themselves through small holes and cracks. Sealing these holes and cracks can therefore be one of the most effective ways to safe-guard homes from the threat of bugs and insects. Using a silicon caulk filler for example, is not only sufficient but is also water-proof. This should be done both in the interior and exterior of the house.
Strive To Consistently Keep A Clean Home
We have all become accustomed to living fast-paced busy lifestyles but that’s no reason to neglect basic household chores. Leaving clutter around the house provides the perfect breeding ground for insects and bugs.
Create a weekly schedule to ensure that you clean and hoover around the house. With regards to food specifically – don’t leave it openly exposed, wipe away any stains and wash dishes/cutlery straightway. Also don’t leave dozens of newspapers and cardboard boxes out in the open – bugs and inspects adore the warmth and comfort these materials provide.
Photo credit: Lorelyn Medina/Shutterstock
Adequately Dispose Food
“One man’s trash is another man’s treasure”.
Don’t just dump food anyhow and anywhere, otherwise you’re giving bugs and insects an open invitation to invade. Throw all food items only in the kitchen bin rather than around the house. Ritually empty the kitchen bin at the end of every night. Try get a bin which has a closing lid to keep insects and bugs out. Additionally, sanitise the whole kitchen bin on a weekly basis - especially to get rid of any spills, stains or sticky substances.