Summer is here and with it comes the stuff we love: warm weather and lazy days at the beach, pool or our backyard. Unfortunately it also comes with the stuff we don’t love: BUGS. From those pesty little ones we can hardly see that inspired the saying “don’t let the bed bugs bite” …  to those that stink, itch or simply ‘bug us’ – here are some simple time and money saving ways to ‘bite em back”:

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BED BUGS – They vant to suck your blood:

We’d all like to think when we’re home or away we’re sleeping in our comfy, clean beds with our significant other or fave stuffed animal but occasionally we find ourselves sleeping with a more evasive mate—the bed bug. Bed bugs love dark places near their human or pet sleep mates since they like to dine on our blood … Yuck. So here are a few things to help you ward off these vampire-like pests and their future offspring if you find them in a limited area.

WAYS TO KNOW IF YOU’RE BUGGED:

  • Reddish stains on bedding
  • Small red welt-like bites

FAVE HIDE-OUTS

  • Mattresses, pillow and box springs seams and piping
  • Cracks in bed frame and head board
  • Major Invasion:  couches, drawers, dirty laundry, loose wallpaper, curtains. (If you find them there, call in the pros!)

WAYS TO GET RID OF ‘EM:

  • Steam  them out – be sure to use a steam cleaner that can heat up to a minimum of 150 degrees and be sure to hold the steamer over the area for 15 seconds. A terrif steamer that heats up to 175 degrees and has a variety of attachments to do this is the Bissell
  • Use a needle to trace up and down seams and piping to release eggs (make sure to have tissues to catch them).
  • Vacuum with a HEPA filter vacuum, placing dirt into a tightly sealed plastic bag/cinch bag to insure nothing escapes

PREVENTION:

  • Lock them out:  Use zip-lock encasement on your bedding (mattress, beds, pillows).
  • Avoid hide and seek: Keep clutter to a minimum
  • Wash your bedding regularly in the hottest possible temperature.
  • Fill in the cracks with food grade diatomaceous earth – which are ground up sea shells
  • When traveling: Place luggage on metal racks or in bathtub, keep your clothes in your luggage (instead of in drawers), and unpack and wash your clothing as soon as you return home.

 STINK BUGS – They wanna skunk you:

If you ever wondered what those little shield shaped bugs are, wonder no longer … they are your garden variety skunk-like insects that release a horrible smell when you come to close or crush them.  So though your instinct may be to crush these buggers you want to quell this desire and read on to keep your home sweet home smelling sweet and minimize their home invasion: BTW the good news is unlike our bed bud buddies they generally don’t bit and they only like to sleep in our homes and lay their eggs in our gardens which they make a mess of J

WAYS TO GET RID OF THEM:

  • Never squish them: use a plastic bag to catch and discard them or use toilet paper and flush the bugs quickly.
  • Put a lid on ‘em: fill a jar with water and add dawn liquid soap. They don’t like to swim and soap breaks down their shield. (For convenience put several jars around your home so can flick ‘n rid whenever you see one.)

PREVENTION:

  • Seal the deal: use a caulk/silicon gun to seal up any cracks, spaces or holes in screens, window air conditioners, door thresholds, vents, outdoor outlets etc.
  • Rub window screens with fabric dryer sheet
  • Stick it to them:  Place fly paper, fly tape or double stick tape on window sill
  • Place light traps outside
  • Close curtains/shades at night

MOSQUITOS – They just wanna bite you

These are always annoying summer bugs so here are a few tips and trick to deal with the infamous vampire-like blood suckers. (And this time garlic does work!)

WAYS TO GET RID OF THEM:

  • Fan: Use outdoor fans because mosquitos can only fly in still air
  • Plant: Create a pretty border with marigolds around your patio, windows and doorways, and in your bedroom to keep those pesky vamps away. Mosquitos hate their smell – they have natural insect repellant called Pyrethrum found in other store bought varieties
  • Frogs and lizards

PREVENTION:

  • Vodka: Put a bunch of basil into four ounces of water and let saturate. Spill out liquid, add 4 oz of vodka and put in spray bottle. Take aim!
  • Take garlic pills
  • Keep a Bounce sheet in your back pocket
  • Drain: Don’t leave still water around

ANTS – They just wanna feast on our leftovers:

Outdoor dining and picnics are terrific, but drop a morsel on the ground and it becomes an invitation for those little critters to stop by and take home the leftovers. With a few simple household items you can de-colonize those industrious buggers.

WAYS TO GET RID OF THEM:

  • Draw the line: sprinkle talcum powder, chalk, or salt around points of entry like doors and windows. When dining outdoors around eating areas since they are natural repellants and they ‘bug’ their feet.
  • Pool ‘em: fill plastic containers with water and put one under each patio/picnic table leg. The ants will be swimming, not dining.

FRUIT FLIES – They just wanna annoy us:

Aside from flying around our homes and annoying us, here’s a gross factoid about fruit flies: a single insect can lay up to 400 eggs during their approx 30-day lifespan in rotting fruit. The larvae feed on the decomposed fruit as they ready themselves to join their other annoying relatives.

WAYS TO GET RID OF THEM:

  • Give them some red wine-like fruit. They’re attracted to the scent and will fly into the bowl leading them to a happy never after swan song.

PREVENTION:

  • Cover fruit or refrigerate
  • Throw away or refrigerate any over-ripe fruit

Please share any other summer bug sanity saving tips and tricks you have here, via my FB, tweet me or www.juliestips.com.