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How to stop flies, ants and other pests

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Find out how to stop flies coming into the house, as well as spiders, ants, slugs and other pesky insects you’d rather keep outside with our top tips.  

  • Seal up any cracks and crevices in your walls, door frames and windows
  • Put food away in your fridge or cupboards and regularly wash your dishes
  • If you keep finding insects after trying home remedies, consult a professional
 
Even if we don’t always see them, at some point or another we all have insects inside our homes. 
 
While spiders are common in the home, they’re often unwelcome. Flies are unsightly and dangerous as they carry bacteria and diseases that are unsafe for humans. Ants are also pesky, as they’re prone to biting and slugs leave slimy trails across floors and surfaces. 
 
Find out how to stop flies and other insects coming into the house with our top tips. 
 
 

Flies

 
While having any insect in the home can be troublesome, flies in the house are generally the ones that cause the most worry. Whether it’s house flies or bluebottles, flies tend to carry diseases that can be dangerous. Salmonella and gastroenteritis are the most common diseases related to flies, which can breed on food left out in the house. 
 
Here are some top tips on how to stop flies coming into the house.
 
 

Wash the dishes 

 
 Leaving out dirty dishes is a magnet for flies, especially if there are still bits of food left over. Make sure you wash the dishes shortly after you’ve finished eating. This goes for pots and pans used for cooking too. Cleaning as you go can save time and prevent flies and ants being attracted. If you use a dishwasher, make sure dirty plates are washed regularly.
 
 

Keep things covered 

 
 If it’s left uncovered, flies will make a beeline for it. Store any fruit and vegetables in the fridge. Not only will it help them last, they won’t attract flies if they’re out of the way.
 
Make sure your bin is always covered and regularly cleaned. While bin bags can be sturdy, residue can escape or create mould on the bin lid. Empty the bin regularly, always wash the lid and the inside at least once a week and keep the lid down.
 

Clean the pet corner 

 
If you have pets, you probably have a designated area where you keep their food bowls. Wet food like meat pouches are a fly’s paradise, so it’s important to keep the bowls clean. Ditch the big meals for smaller, more regular dishes to avoid food being left over in the bowl and clean bowls every day. 
 
If you have cats, you’ll likely have a litter box or two. Aim to clean out the litterbox twice a day (once in the morning and once in the evening), or when you’re passing by and notice it’s been used. Cats are fussy creatures, so they’ll appreciate a clean space that doesn’t have loitering flies. 
 
While spiders are common in the home, they’re often unwelcome. Flies are unsightly and dangerous as they carry bacteria and diseases that are unsafe for humans. Ants are also pesky, as they’re prone to biting and slugs leave slimy trails across floors and surfaces.

Ants

At some point in your life, you will likely have seen a line of ants making their way through a slightly open door into a house. It’s an unpleasant sight – and for good reason.

Similar to flies, ants carry a plethora of bacteria that isn’t safe for humans, which can contaminate food. What’s more, ants will burrow their way through woodwork to get into your house, hollowing out the foundation and damaging the overall structure of your home. Once they’re in your home, there’s also the risk of them biting you, which can cause a painful stinging sensation. Keep them at bay with these tips on how to stop ants from coming in the house.

Store food safely

Like flies, ants are attracted to food. Save yourself trouble by ensuring all food is stored away, out of the reach of unwanted guests.

Close up entry holes

If you can see ants making their way either in or out of your home, you’ll be able to find out how they’re getting inside. Follow the ant trail to find the hole they’re using to get in and close it up as soon as possible. You can use a sealant to fill it and make sure you check for any open crevices around door frames or windows as well.

Use ant repellent

If you’re keeping on top of cleaning and have filled in every crack you can find but ants are still getting in, it’s time to try a physical deterrent.

It may seem contradictory, but some of the best ant deterrents can be found in your food cupboard. Salt, pepper and cinnamon are all fantastic natural deterrents, as are curry powder and chalk. Use any of these to line your door frames and they’ll act as a barrier against oncoming ants.

If you’re cupboards are facing an ant infestation, we recommend using either a citrus or peppermint oil. Simply use these to soak a cotton pad or sheet of kitchen roll and pop them in the corners of your cupboards.

Slugs

Knowing how to stop slugs eating plants in your garden is one thing but having them in the house takes things to a different level. Once they’re inside, looking for a damp, dark space, they often leave a slimy trail after them. It doesn’t matter if it’s across tiles, wooden floors or carpets, few people want slugs around.

Here are some tips on how to stop slugs coming into the house:

Block their entry

You’ll easily be able to find how slugs are getting into your house. Wherever slugs go, they leave an unsightly, slimy trail behind. Follow the trail with a torch to see where they’re coming from. If they’re making their way through a gap in an external door, you can use foam filler to block any holes or cracks.

Salt

Sometimes slugs get into your home through a gap you can’t close, like a vent. If this is the case, salt can act as a powerful deterrent. Toxic to slugs, it will stop them from sliding through. If you regularly struggle with slugs in the house, make sure to regularly top up the salt in case it’s blown or washed away. 

 

Spiders

Spiders are the most common types of insects to get into your home, especially during the winter months. When it’s cold and dark outside, spiders will make a beeline for your warm, well-lit home. While most spiders are safe to have in your home, many of us aren’t comfortable with them being there.

Here’s how to stop spiders coming into the house:

Grab some conkers

During autumn, when spiders are more likely to come into your home, nature almost hands you a natural remedy. Some people believe the smell of conkers repel spiders. Pop a couple in the corners of your house and near any cracks spiders may come through.

Seal up windows and doors

Like all other insects, spiders can get into your home through just about any crack. Regularly maintain your windows and door frames by sealing up the edges.

When to call a professional

You can certainly try home remedies like certain sprays and maintaining the cleanliness of your home. However, if it gets to the point when the infestation is becoming unmanageable, you may want to bring in a professional.

Although uncommon, fire ants, false widow spiders and termites can pose physical risks to your safety. More everyday pests, such as bed bugs, can also become a serious problem if an infestation is left untreated.

Key things to remember 

Flies, spiders, slugs and ants are unwanted pests within the home, but it is possible to prevent them from getting inside. The best thing you can do to stop flies coming into the house along with other insects is to keep your home clean, wash your dishes, keep food covered and seal up any holes where you can.

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