Insect Infestation? These Are the Mistakes You Need to Stop Making ASAP

Nobody wants a hoard of insects taking up residence in their home, but it happens. And often, the culprit behind your insect infestation is of your own doing, which means there are probably some habits you need to kick. For instance, if you leave standing water out for days on end, you’re not doing yourself (or your home) any favors.

With that said, here are the mistakes you need to stop making ASAP if you want to give the bugs in your house the boot for good.

1. Allowing standing water to sit out

glass of water on a table
Don’t leave these out for too long. | Tokkyneo/iStock/Getty Images

Standing water may not seem like the biggest deal, but it’s a definite attractant for bugs on the hunt for a splish-splashing good time. To ensure this doesn’t happen to you, make sure you’re rinsing out old water from things like dog bowls, buckets, and birdbaths. If you don’t, and the water goes untouched for over a week, you’ll have a mosquito breeding ground on your hands.

2. Forgetting about the fruit

Man wearing gym clothes and a gym bag grabs fruit and a bottle of water for after his workout
Your fruit bowl is probably attracting bugs. |

Unfortunately for fruit-lovers, fruit flies are a fact of life. It can be tough to keep those little guys at bay, and we can’t really blame them. After all, who doesn’t love the sight of a delicious bowl of fruit?

The trick in keeping things as clean and bug-free as possible is to make sure your fruit isn’t sitting out for days on end. When fruit becomes too ripe, it gives off ethylene gas, which is a serious bug magnet.

3. Leaving wood piles unattended

Indoor firewood storage in a home on HGTV's 'Fixer Upper'
Storing firewood inside is a bad idea. |

According to Country Living, stacking firewood right against your house is a bad move. “Both logs and plants can form a literal bridge for termites and critters looking to get inside,” board-certified entomologist John Bell of TruGreen says. “Maintain at least a 6-inch gap between siding and foliage, and store nothing against the walls.”

4. Letting boxes pile up

packing boxes in order of size in hallway
Garbage day can’t come soon enough. | Martin Poole/Getty Images

Picture a pile of cardboard boxes in a corner of your house. Now, picture those boxes serving as the coolest apartment complex in town for little critters. Yeah, not good. Turns out, termites are drawn to the glue that binds the boxes together.

And if that’s not enough to light a fire under your behind, maybe this will: Cockroaches and silverfish also love paper products. So stop procrastinating, and get to that clutter cleaning ASAP. Or, as another option, invest in plastic or rubber storage bins, instead.

5. Having a dirty, disorganized trash area

Clean kitchen
Try to keep the trash area clean. | Jupiterimages/iStock/Getty Images

Letting anything become out of control is never good, and the case is no different for your trash stash. Allowing your garbage area to overflow and sit for too long will only attract a whole host of unwanted critters, so do your best to keep the area as clean as possible.

For starters, be sure to rinse all cans, bottles, and plastic containers before putting them in the recycling. Make sure your trash bins have well-sealed lids, and add washing the trash bins inside and out to your weekly cleaning schedule.

6. Not replacing worn-out door sweeps

Hand holding door knob
Keep the door sweeps maintained. |

Over time, door sweeps will become worn out, which is totally normal. However, the key here is to make sure you’re switching yours out as soon as it passes its expiration date. When a door sweep is no longer effective, that means it’s not doing its job of keeping unwanted visitors out. But don’t worry. They’re easy to get and super cheap, too.

7. Not controlling your home’s humidity

Woman with long hair taking shower
Always use an exhaust fan in steamy bathrooms. | CentralITAlliance/Getty Images

Humidity impacts a lot of things, like your skin, for instance. More importantly, it can be the defining factor between a bug free home and one that’s crawling with critters. Most bugs love a humid environment. Just think about the swarms you see anytime you’ve been hanging by a lake or vacationing in the Caribbean. If you’re having trouble keeping your home’s humidity levels in check, it’s definitely time to invest in a dehumidifier.

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