So you bought a new house, or maybe you just decided it's time to start sealing your home. In my case, I just purchased a farmhouse and realized it needs to be sealed ASAP.
My first project is to STOP THE BUGS!
To do this, I must seal cracks in my concrete patio, seal around the edges of my house, and remove grass growing along the foundation.
Creepy crawlers are abundant here. I see them frolicking about, weaving through cracks and crevices that have never been sealed. Coming from a suburban neighborhood, this seems like an abnormal number of insects cruising around my house—yuck!
The grass grows right up to the east and west sides of the foundation—so long and unruly that it reaches up under the siding! When organic matter caresses the sides of your house, the structure becomes a part of a bug's natural hangout. They scamper up from the grass, right into the interior of your house.
Extremely large spiders—seemingly with little or no fear—prowl about the property. Maybe the former residents didn't care (or notice), but I don’t enjoy eating my homemade mac and cheese at the dinner table while swatting flies from the food, or setting down my fork to chase a running beetle with my vacuum. Obviously they think they own this place...
After a few nights of lying awake, wondering what might drop down from the dark ceiling, I decided to take back my house!
How does one battle this buggy onslaught?
- Check out my blogs on how to weatherproof your home and how to seal the cracks in your driveway. Sealing cracks and crevices will limit avenues bugs use to travel in and around the premises. I started sealing the exterior of my farmhouse a few days ago, and I've already noticed a 90% decrease in bugs! I sealed my concrete patio and the area that meets up with the patio. I watched bugs try to run into their favorite cracks, familiar places once used to creep into my house, but they can no longer enter! What a relief it was!
- Remove all grass and plants near the foundation; create a buffer zone that spans at least two feet from the house. Bugs use grass blades and plant stems like little bridges to scurry up to your foundation and under your siding. They run in, grab a snack, then scurry back into the safety of their grassy little nests. With such easy avenues of access, the house becomes their drive-up fast food restaurant, basically a part of the daily meal routine.
Dig up grass, lay down landscaping paper, insert edging, and pour on the gravel. The rocks heat up during daytime and bugs won’t enjoy hanging out there. Heated rocks evaporate moisture, making it a hostile place for insects. After pulling the grass back, leaving a two-foot barrier of bare dirt along the foundation, I noticed many bugs retreating back to the remaining grass. With no cover, they would not venture toward my house!
- Keep the inside your home clean! Remove open food containers and any garbage lying out and about! Invest in cleaning supplies and swab surfaces with a disinfectant. I wiped down an area with a mixture of water and Pine-Sol. Beatles seemed to be congregating near dirty areas with particles and debris, like vandals loitering under a streetlight, but when I wiped them with a Pine-Sol saturated paper towel, there was an immediate decrease—they don’t care for the odor of pine, and they avoid generally clean surfaces!
What is a good bug removal household product?
I suggest Pine-Sol, a cleaning compound that leaves a fresh scent and a seriously clean surface. It kills 99.9% of germs and even kills the 'rona virus. My dad always used Pine-Sol growing up to keep our house clean, and we never had bugs in our home! I'm convinced that bugs steer clear from Pine-Sol. Read the instructions on the label for proper use. I dilute a tiny bit of Pine-Sol with warm water and scrub down areas with a sponge.
How do I get rid of flies in my house?
I 100% recommend purchasing an indoor bug zapper like mine. I know it’s a bit redneck to have a bug zapper popping randomly throughout the day, but mine has been an absolute life saver! Funny enough, I purchased it three years ago but never had much use for it in the burbs. Maybe a tiny part of me knew I was going to move to a farm lol. My zapper has been running 24/7 since I arrived. The “pops” have dwindled considerably as I've regained some control over my living space, but I'll keep it on for good measure until the entirety of my house is bug-free (as much as possible).
How do I make a bug barrier around my home?
Simply! Visit the local hardware store and purchase a shovel, a rake, and a level, if you don’t already have these. Get some gravel from a local landscaping vendor, not large, but about 5/8" in in diameter. This leaves smaller crevices for spiders. Before digging around your home, call the local utility service to schedule a locator to mark the underground cables and pipes. After the area is marked, dig in the safe areas or pull out the grass to clear an area two feet from the house. Using the rake and level, make a slight slope down and away from the foundation so water doesn’t pool against the house. Insert a barrier of edging two feet away to hold in the rocks. Lay down landscaping fabric to prevent weed growth, and evenly pour on the gravel. Note that this particular fabric has marker lines at 2 and 3 feet in case you want to increase the size of your barrier. These make it easy to cut the correct width.
What’s the best outdoor bug spray?
After the work is complete, spray around your home with a product like Home Defense Keep pets inside until it dries. An exterior bug spray like this will add an extra layer of protection. If you deal with spiders (like I do), spray the area with Miss Muffet’s Revenge For Spiders. The name is kind of funny lol. I definitely don’t want to deal with spiders or bugs, so my home has been doused in spray. Because it's fall, the creepy crawlers are looking for access into your house. Stop them before they gain entry!
Overall, I don’t like to be "one" with the bugs. I like to maintain a separate environment and keep my house insect-free. Since my new home is a farmhouse, some bugs are expected, but I will limit them as much as possible.
I'm excited you all can come along with me on this adventure as I battle nature to take back my home and learn how to manage a farm and an old farmhouse. Even if you live in the suburbs, you can use these same techniques to maintain control of your house and protect your family from the gubGer bugs and spiders!