It’s the most wonderful time of the year for Muskoka cottage owners. While we’re all enjoying the beautiful weather and soaking up the sun, our little insect friends have a similar idea. While you want to get outside and enjoy the sights and sounds, they want to get inside and enjoy the free food, water, and shelter your cottage provides. Bugs are attracted to your home for the same basic reasons you are – they’re also naturally drawn to body heat, skin odour, and carbon dioxide, all of which can be found in and around your cottage throughout the summer season.

From black flies to mosquitos, Muskoka is full of unpleasant bugs that nobody in their right mind wants in the house. These uninvited house guests can very quickly overstay their welcome, keeping you up at night, annoying you while you’re trying to relax, getting in on meals without a formal invitation, and eliciting terrified reactions from the more squeamish of us. This summer, say goodbye to pests once and for all – here’s how to keep insects out of your cottage.

Take a look at your windows and make sure your doors are properly sealed
Your cottage’s windows are the biggest problem area when it comes to insects making their way inside. The first thing you should do if you’ve noticed an excess of mosquitos or black flies inside your cottage is check your windows. If your screens are damaged, you’ll need to repair or replace them to keep insects out – especially if you want to keep enjoying that lovely summer breeze. While you’re looking for damage to your window screens, keep an eye out for any loose weather stripping, as this can provide a point of entry for opportunistic pests.

Look for cracks and other damage to your exterior window frames, as this can also provide an entryway for your unwanted guests. If you notice minor damage to your window frames, seal it as best as you can until you can call a window repair professional. If the damage is more widespread, we recommend getting in touch with a professional as soon as possible to minimize the entry of pests, and to mitigate further damage to your windows.

Your entrance and exterior doors can also provide an easy entryway for insects, especially if they haven’t been properly sealed. If you spot any cracks or unsealed gaps in your entryway, you can guarantee that bugs are making their way into your home. To protect your cottage from insects, install weatherstripping or use a door seal kit around your door frame, and apply caulk to seal any joints where gaps may be present. Installing a sweep under your door is also a great way to deny entry to pests, covering up the gap between the bottom of the door and the threshold of your home.

Make sure your cottage is clean and dry
While this might seem like a given, it’s important to stress the fact that insects are making their way into your home for a reason – in the summer months, that reason is food and water. Keeping a clean home is a great way to combat the entry of bugs – sweep your kitchen daily, vacuum at least once a week, take out the trash when it’s full, and wipe up crumbs immediately. It’s also a good idea to avoid stacks of paper, cardboard boxes, bags, and other convenient bug homes – these provide bugs with a comfortable home, away from the light and out of your sight.

In addition to cleaning, you should ensure that your home is as dry as possible to eliminate the entry of insects. Fix any leaks that may exist in your plumbing, dry dishes as soon as possible,  and use a dehumidifier in your basement or attic if they contain excessive moisture.

Turn off the lights to discourage moths and spiders
Let’s talk about moths. You’re just about to drift off into a peaceful sleep after a day on the lake, and then you hear those wings beating. Nobody wants to go to sleep with a moth potentially chewing on the sheets or landing on your nose, so you have to go around and round up or kill the moths before you can relax. The best way to prevent this is to eliminate the lights they are attracted to.

A porch light is the biggest culprit in attracting moths. So how do you see your way inside at night? Flashlights can also attract them, but not as much as a bright porch light, so it’s a good quick fix. You can also look at installing a fake-out light a few metres away from your door that gives you enough light to see to get inside, but keeps the moths away from your door.

Light attracts many insects and not just moths, which makes the areas around lights spider heaven. If you don’t want your windows to get covered in cobwebs, turn off your lights at night completely if possible.

Our earlier advice about removing dust and dirt will reduce one of the other things that moths like about your home, and apparently they hate cedar, so spraying your entryway with some cedar-scented oil and lining your cupboards with cedar can help keep them away from your house and your linens.

Maintain and tidy your yard
Bugs that make their way inside your cottage have generally come from in and around your yard. Cleaning up debris near your home is a great way to reduce the number of pests that enter. Insects are attracted to stacks of firewood, standing water, weeds and plant debris, compost bins, and other yard waste. By tidying up and moving these things away from the foundation and walls of your cottage, you’ll be able to effectively reduce the amount of unwanted guests inside your home.

To learn more about how the high performance window and door products offered by Muskoka Window & Door Centre can protect your home from insects and pests, contact us today.