5 ways to eliminate bug bites

5 ways to eliminate bug bites

If you find yourself constantly fighting off insects that think your body is the equivalent to the buffet at Denny’s, don’t panic. There are some steps you can take to help get rid of the bugs, and do away with the bites.

Clear the grounds

Don’t make it easy for bugs to move in right on top of you. “Around the outside of your house, make sure that all the bushes and trees are trimmed and not touching the property,” says Brandon Poole, owner of highly rated Preventive Pest Control in Bluffdale, Utah. “Homes with ivy against the wall will have more spiders than a home without ivy on the side of the house. Make sure leaves and debris aren’t piling up around the house, as well as the window wells. These are prime spots for pests to hide in and feel protected.”

Check the entryways

Inspect your door jams, thresholds, A/C and gas lines, and dryer vents — these are all areas that pests can enter your home. “When you inspect your door jams, you need to be down to the pest’s level,” Poole says. “Until you’re on your hands and knees looking under your entry doors, you’ll never see the gaps that the pests can use as an entry into your home.”

Dump the water, turn off the lights

“Eliminate any standing water,” says Rick Steinau, owner of highly rated Ace Exterminating in Cincinnati. “This includes standing water in flowerpots, birdbaths, even children’s sandboxes and toys. Also, turn off unnecessary exterior lighting at night. Exterior lights attract flying insects and flying insects attract spiders.”

If security issues are a concern and you want to keep the lights on, invest in some yellow-colored bulbs (available at the hardware store) that are designed to be less attractive to bugs.

Say goodbye to clutter

Inside your home, make sure that piles of clothes, garbage and other clutter aren’t left for more than a day. “Pests love dark, tight places so they can hide,” Poole says. “By eliminating these areas inside your home, it will make it harder for pests to thrive and to become an infestation.”

Go natural

If the thought of using chemical pesticides makes you cringe, there are some organic options. “Clove essential oil works well as an insect repellent,” says Audrey Barron, owner of highly rated Be Bliss Healing Therapies in Indianapolis. “You can dab a little on before you go outside or create a spray with filtered water and clove oil.”

In addition, Barron says a mixture of one-part neem oil mixed with four-parts coconut oil and applied to the skin acts as an effective bug repellent — especially for mosquitoes. A trick to combating ants and spiders uses peppermint essential oil. “You can create a spray to use around the base of your wall, around windows and doors,” she says.

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Create a spray using peppermint oil to combat ants and spiders. If you do get bit, apply ice or cortisone cream for itch relief. (Photo by Staci Giordullo)
Create a spray using peppermint oil to combat ants and spiders. If you do get bit, apply ice or cortisone cream for itch relief. (Photo by Staci Giordullo)

Got bug bites? Our pest control experts tell you how to eliminate mosquitoes, ants, bees and spiders. And what treatment options work best to soothe the itch.

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