The sun’s out, the pool water’s refreshing and there’s a chaise lounge and ice-cold drink with your name on it. While summertime might have you scampering to your apartment pool, this sunny season may invite some unwanted guests to your apartment: bugs. 

Not only do insects such as mosquitoes, ants and roaches thrive in the summer heat, they also breed during this time of year. Insects can bring germs inside your apartment home, so that’s why it’s important to keep your space as bug-free as possible. While many Greystar communities offer regular pest control as part of your rent, you can still do your part to prevent these unwelcome visitors from taking up residence in your apartment. Here are some helpful tips:

Don’t Leave Food Out

Ants on a loaf of bread

No matter what time of year, leaving empty pizza boxes or any kind of food around your apartment is just asking for insects to come over and have a feast. If you have a sweet tooth, you definitely don’t want to leave out any candy or cookies, which are like magnets for bugs. Whether you’re eating from a box of cereal or bag of chips, don’t leave your food on your counter or coffee table. Put it back in your pantry and store it in a tightly sealed plastic, metal or other pest-proof container. You may also want to consider putting all your fruits and vegetables in your refrigerator to avoid fruit flies.

Keep Your Home Clean

Dirty dishes stacked in apartment sink

It’s best to adopt a “clean as you go” mentality if you’re serious about preventing bugs from entering your apartment. Whenever you cook in your kitchen, be sure to wipe down your counters and appliances – particularly the stove, sink and refrigerator – after you’re done eating. Don’t let trash overflow, either. Take it out frequently (or set it out for the valet trash service to take it if you have that service) and clean your trash can every few weeks to make sure there’s nothing in it that will draw insects. 

Nobody likes cleaning the dishes, but it’s a necessary evil to avoid an ant infestation. Don’t leave dirty dishes out overnight  that’s when roaches and other nocturnal bugs are on the prowl. 

Try Peppermint Oil

Vile of peppermint

You can always opt for standard insecticide to spray around your home, but you may not want to deal with the harsh chemicals or bad smell. For a more natural alternative, consider peppermint oil. Mix about 4 to 5 drops of peppermint oil in a cup of water and pour this solution into an empty spray bottle. Spray this mixture in common bug-infested areas such as the kitchen, bedroom, inside cabinets and along baseboards.

Find the Right Indoor Plants

Basil plant

Incorporating plants, whether indoors or outdoors, into your apartment provides several benefits. They enliven your décor, improve air quality and reduce carbon dioxide levels. While there are many household plants that attract bugs, there are some that help ward off pesky critters. 

If mosquitoes are a problem, repel those bloodsuckers by getting a basil plant. Not only is this herb excellent for cooking, but it also fends off mosquitoes due to its strong smell. Mint is another plant that humans love but insects – especially the biting kind like ants – despise. 

Inspect Entrances

Apartment front door

Insects have to enter your apartment somehow, and the places to check first include the front and patio doors. See if your doors have aluminum thresholds beneath them. If not, see if your maintenance team will install them. You might also check to see if your aluminum threshold is paired with a sweep, which features tiny nylon bristles that hang beneath your door. Not only does a door sweep keep out bugs, it also helps to keep cool air inside your apartment, saving you money on your utilities. If you leave your windows open to let in some fresh air at night, make sure you have 20-gauge or less wire mesh screens. 

You will also want to look out for any cracks or holes around your window frames, doors, walls, plumbing pipes and air conditioning units. Maintenance can use a caulk gun to seal those spaces. 

Other Blog Posts You Might Find Interesting

While critters are unwanted guests at your apartment, family members and friends aren’t. Here’s how you can make your visitors feel right at home when staying overnight at your place.
Want to deck out your patio with some bug-repelling plants? See what other things you can do you maximize your outdoor space.
Along with mint and basil, there are other herbs that can help ward off bugs. Find out if any of these herbs fit the bill.
Cleaning up after yourself is one way you can be a good roommate. Discover other ways to get on your roomie’s good side.

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