With proper care and maintenance, you can keep common Maine bugs from harming you and your loved ones and damaging your property.
The first mosquito, beetle, or black fly you see is often a sign of spring. These are some safe and environmentally friendly ways to keep them and other pests away: bed bugs, flies, fleas and ticks, ants, cockroaches, moths, earwigs, hornets, and wasps.
Inside Your Home
- keep all areas clean and dry
- caulk around windows and doors; fill cracks and holes, especially around your foundation, wires, pipes, and vents
- repair or replace rotting wood
- store food and drinks in air-tight containers; refrigerate fruits and vegetables
- fix leaking taps or pipes and clogging drains; keep sink drains covered or closed when not in use
- clean counters and tables and wash dishes regularly
- sweep floors and vacuum rugs regularly
- rinse recyclables; store in pest-proof containers
- install door sweeps and ensure they're secure
- place mothballs, lavender sachets, or cedar chips around woolens, furs, or other natural fibers; keep them, closets, and draperies clean
Outside Your Home
- fix any damaged shingles and weather stripping
- repair holes in screens
- remove debris from gutters
- don't pick up used luggage, clothing, or furniture found outside
In Your Yard
- fill hollow stumps and depressions where water collects
- store firewood at least 20 feet from your home
- remove yard and garden trimmings and any nests or old boards
- keep trees, shrubs, and mulch away from the house
- keep grass trimmed low
- don't let pets roam or walk dogs in tall grasses
- don't overwater your garden
- place plants that repel pests around plants that attract them
- wear Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)-approved repellents or natural products
Inside, Outside, and Beyond
- remove any pails or other items filled with standing water
- keep trash cans covered tightly and remove trash regularly
- install ultraviolet light traps or "bug zappers"
- check vents to see if they're clean and working correctly
- ensure any drainage pipes are free of clogs
- when traveling, inspect beds and furniture for bed bugs; keep suitcases off the floor and your bed
Unless you have a serious infestation, pest control experts advise homeowners against using harmful pesticides. If you use chemicals, heed their directions.
Follow these steps so you don't let bed bugs and other insects bite, or nest on your property.