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Natural Awakenings Metro Phoenix & Northern Arizona

Insects Can be Kept at Bay Using These Tips: Summertime means increased bug activity. Here are simple things to do to keep unwanted guests outside, says Scott Preller.

Jun 28, 2015 12:49PM ● By Scott Preller

Bugs can be helpful to our environment, but can cause us a great deal of concern, as well. Some serve very little to no benefit, like roaches or crickets, while others can actually help decrease other pests around the home, like spiders and scorpions. Although there can be some drawbacks to those, there are others that are beneficial with very minimal downsides, such as tarantulas and praying mantis.

Some things to think about in addressing a pest situation are the landscaping, where things are stored inside and outside of the home (like cardboard boxes versus plastic totes) and personal habits, because those can all can have an impact on what and how many bugs are seen around the house.

Summertime is definitely an increased bug activity time, but there are things we can do to reduce the pest impact, such as placing potted plants up on stands to eliminate hiding places for bugs; helping water evaporate more quickly; and allowing predators such as lizards and birds access to places where bugs may try to hide. If gardening and composting, keeping the compost as far away from the house as possible helps immensely, as does having a composter that is raised off the ground, or having one that is easily maintained by just rolling or turning the barrel.

Inside the home, there are several easy things to consider in helping reduce pests. For starters, look at the doors. Checking the weatherstripping and thresholds can make a big impact, especially at the bottom of the door. Lie on the floor with the lights inside off and the screen door open, if there is one, during the daytime and see if there’s light coming in. If there is, fix it. When light is coming in during the day, it means it’s also going out at night when the lights are on, which invites critters in. Similarly, if there are drains in the house that aren’t being utilized on a regular basis, that’s a great place for life forms to enter from the sewer or septic system. Plugging the drain doesn’t always solve the problem, because most sinks or tubs have overflow drains that go to the same place as the main drain. Water acts as a natural barrier to keep pests and sewer and septic smells out.

Scott Preller is the owner of Green Organics Pest Control, in Phoenix. For more information, visit

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