As the weather continues to get warmer, it is only natural that you will have guests both invited and uninvited. No one enjoys heading into a kitchen to see fresh fruit near a window surrounded by fruit flies. Perhaps you are unable to enjoy the evening views of the city due to pesky mosquitoes. Don’t let insects run you out of your own home. Here are some options for keeping your home free of bugs.

1. Keep your outdoors tidy. Bugs don’t just magically appear, so it’s important to maintain your surrounding area. A lawn, trees and other green areas instantly provide housing for most all insects. Keep vines off walkways and trim branches close to the windows as they easily provide access into your home. Grass should also be cut on a frequent basis to prevent any unwanted housing for bugs.

2. Create your homemade pesticide. Some of the best ammunition you have to combat against insects can be found in your cabinets. Natural pest control remedies not only save you money, but also reduce your household’s exposure to harmful chemicals. Spices like cinnamon, paprika and chili powder are great at keeping ants and other insects out of your home. Liquid soap is also a wonderful pesticide that kills bugs on plants.

3. Properly store perishable items. One area that may attract unwanted bugs is the kitchen. Any perishable items may be subject to bugs that can compromise freshness. Therefore, it is extremely important to store loose items in containers as an additional barrier against pests.

4. Stick to a regular cleaning routine. The best way to keep your home safe from bugs is by cleaning it on a regular basis. Taking out the trash and washing floors frequently will not only make your home shine, but also cleans up any crumbs that may attract small critters. The more you clean, the less likely you will be to having bugs in your house.

The following local business may be able to help you get started:

Mani Market Place
697 Columbus Ave
New York, NY 10025
(212) 662-4392

A staple of the Upper West Side, Mani Market Place has everything you need to make home-made pest remedies.

Midtown Metro Landscape & Design
1106 Morris Ave
Bronx, NY 10456
(718) 285-9654

Midtown Metro Landscape & Design serves the surrounding New York City area and specializes in lawn maintenance. Examples of their services include weed and pest control, seasonal clean-up, hedge trimming and grass cutting.

MoMA Design Store
81 Spring St
New York, NY 10012
(646) 613-1367

The MoMA Design Store has sleek, contemporary items that will enhance your kitchen’s style.

Related: Use Your Landscaping to Enhance Curb Appeal
Related: A Guide to Living in America’s Most Bed Bug-Infested City


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Tanvier Lee is a New York based lifestyle decorator, stylist and freelance writer. Her work can be found here.