Heading off to college brings a lot of change and, for many, a lot of “firsts.” First apartment, all-nighter, college football game, and first time living away from home. However, the first time living out of your parents’ reach, comes with some less exciting firsts like the first time doing your own laundry, cooking (actual food), and really cleaning up after yourself. The first time tackling these types of independent tasks that you’ve grown so accustomed to letting your parents handle can often result in even more dreaded firsts like the first time cleaning up overflowed detergent bubbles or attempting to rid the place of creepy crawlies that have found shelter in a two-week-old pizza box.
While many of those messes are easy to manage, there’s one pesky problem that’s hard to do away with once it’s made its way into your space – bugs. That’s why, before even stepping foot into your new home, it’s important to learn the signs of an insect infestation, study up on how to get rid of bugs naturally, and discover how to prevent bugs in your apartment altogether.
Common Signs of an Insect Infestation
Every year, people spend a fortune on eliminating pest infestations in their homes. Some common bugs found in apartments are flies, fleas, mosquitos, dust mites, spiders, ants and cockroaches. Other pests that can pose a problem to the entire property are mice and rats. Too often, people don’t even realize they have a pest problem until it’s too late and the damage is done. If you need detailed information to determine if you have an unwanted visitor, check out 10 Signs You Need To Be Aware Of. Here is a simplified list of some common signs of insect infestation:
- Dirt or grime buildup along walls or other areas
- Collection of crumbs that insects have carried off
- “Nests” of shredded paper, fabric scraps, or plant clippings
- Discarded body parts like wings, skin, or limbs
- Droppings in corners, cabinets, pantries, or behind large appliances
- Odd odors of droppings, urine, or rotten food that’s been carried off
- Sounds of scratching, squeaking, chirping, or rustling
- Damage like holes, stains, gnaw marks or scratches to plants, furniture, clothing, or walls
How to Get Rid of Bugs Naturally
Chemicals can be invasive to your space, so remedying the problem before it actually becomes a problem is the best thing you can do to live out the rest of the semester worry-free. Here’s a quick list of some household necessities that double as a pest repellent that every student should know about when determining how to get rid of bugs naturally:
- Dish Soap
- Coffee Grounds
- Cinnamon/Cinnamon Oil
- Tea Tree or Eucalyptus Oil
You can also DIY some repellent recipes that have proven to be effective against a variety of pests. This Huffpost article provides a helpful list of some simple and easy recipes that only require items you might already have lying around. Kick ‘em out and keep ‘em out!
How to Prevent Bugs in Your Apartment
Daily sanitization habits play a huge role in preventing pesky home intruders. Insects and rodents require food, water, and shelter to survive so if you’re wondering how to prevent bugs in your apartment, start by eliminating as many of these resources as possible with these few household tips:
- Keep kitchen area as clean as possible
- Wash and put away dishes/utensils after use
- Clean off any appliances
- Thoroughly wipe down countertops throughout the home
- Rinse out and dry sinks after use
- Put food away/store in sealed containers
- Empty all trash regularly
- Sweep, vacuum, and mop the home often
- Get rid of clutter
- Organize or do away with loose paper or piles of mail
- Dispose of any unused/unwanted items
- Avoid storing blankets/linens under the couch or bed
- Close off any potential entry points
- Wipe down drawers/cabinets regularly
- Avoid leaving piles of clothing
- Keep doors/windows closed unless protected with pest-resistant screen
Don’t let some annoying pest intrusion interfere with your first time cramming for an exam. Maintain a clean and clutter-free space by following these simple steps for how to keep bugs out of your apartment and you’re sure to save yourself a lot of unnecessary stress.
However, if you do recognize any of these warning signs in your apartment, take action and remedy with these natural tips immediately! The longer you wait, the worse it will get.
If you are experiencing any of these issues in your unit, please do not attempt the use of dangerous, harsh, or damaging chemicals. If the problem persists or worsens, contact your apartment’s maintenance staff directly.