Bugs, Bugs, Bugs

By Lina Younes

I love the arrival of the smells, sounds, and sights of spring. New blooms, birds chirping, fresh smell of grass and early flowers, all beckon an awakening. However, there are some things that I am not particularly fond during the new season. I’ve never been one to like bugs. I know that bugs serve a function in the ecosystem. However, with the exception of pollinators like butterflies and bees, I wish bugs simply didn’t exist. I let them be in nature, but I definitely don’t like to see them anywhere inside my house!

No, I don’t believe in using pesticides as a preventive measure to keep bugs away. What is the best non-chemical way to keep your home bug-free? Integrated pest management! It’s easier than you think. Basically, don’t create an environment in your home that will be “friendly” towards bugs and other pests. Don’t give them anything to eat nor drink. Dirty dishes in the sink, soda spills left to dry on the table, or leftovers and crumbs left out in the open only serve as magnets to these unwanted creatures. Also, don’t provide them with plenty of shelter. Well, bugs and other pests just love messy stacks of papers and boxes because they offer plenty of hiding places. If you have pets, don’t leave food or water in their feeding bowls at night. This just attracts the attention of pests while you are fast asleep.

So, if you have created a non-friendly environment for these pests and they still decide to pay you a visit, please use pesticides appropriately by reading the label first. Simple steps will help you reduce your child’s chances of pesticide poisoning. Play it safe!

As always, will love to hear from you regarding the steps you’ve taken to keep your home bug-free.

About the author: Lina Younes has been working for EPA since 2002 and currently serves as Acting Associate Director for Environmental Education. Prior to joining EPA, she was the Washington bureau chief for two Puerto Rican newspapers and she has worked for several government agencies.

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