What does a Garden Gnome do when she is not gardening, in the kitchen or doing genealogy? Well the answer might just surprise you so read the entries to find out more. This blog focuses on everything we do to make our house a home. There will be a strong emphasis on home energy efficiency and do-it-yourself (DIY) projects. At the same time there will also be crafts, knitting and crocheting projects along with any other little tips we do to create that down to earth, I want to be here home. Please enjoy your visit :)

Monday, May 3, 2010

Get Your Defenses Up - It's Bug Time

It's that time of year where insects like to come into the house.  While you will never be able to entirely eliminate insects from getting into your house there are ways to reduce any potential problems.  This is the time to nip any problems before they happen!  Problematic insects tend to be earwigs, centipedes, ants, pill bugs, mosquitoes and flies but there can be many more.  If you have a elder tree on your property Box Elder bugs can be an annoying problem not they are harmful but just in their numbers and the droppings they leave behind.  Here are a few tips:
  • Caulk and seal any possible sources of entry including around wires and pipes coming into your house.  Use expandable spray insulation for gaps larger than a quarter inch.  Use a temporary clear caulk to seal screen frame to the outer frames so insects can't get through any gaps between the screen frame and outer frame.
  • Check all screens, windows  and doors to be sure insects cannot get in.  Repair any tears in screens and seal any cracks around doors and windows. 
  • Remember an open patio door or unscreened entrance door cannot keep insects out.  Keep doors and entrances closed as much as possible. 
  • Remove all food sources for insects like ants.  Place open food bags or containers in sealed glass, plastic or any other barrier ants cant get through.
  • Vacuum, vacuum, vacuum to keep all food crumbs, insect eggs and insect carcasses out to prevent insects that feed off of food, hatching insects and insects that feed off of other insects living or dead out of your house.  Use a handheld vacuum to keep surfaces crumb free between more aggressive vacuuming.
  • Keep all damp clothing, towels and laundry off the floor.  Hang on hooks or racks temporarily to air dry until you have a chance to wash them.
  • Turn outdoor lights off at night or put them on a motion sensor to prevent flying insects being attracted to the light.
  • Use organic methods outdoors to create an insect barrier  5 - feet around the perimeter of your house.  Remove any dead or dying vegetation and wood chips.  If necessary treat the perimeter with diatomous earth or finely ground egg shells. 

Garden Gnome