Surprisingly, most of the bugs crawling or flying around are beneficial to humans or, at the very least, not harmful. Still, that doesn’t mean we want them hanging out inside our homes. Pests can gain entry through the smallest of openings, and people unknowingly invite them in through normal, day-to-day practices. Keeping surfaces clean and free of food debris goes a long way to prevent insects. But there are also a variety of options both indoors and out that don’t include harmful pesticides or a significant investment.

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1. Caulk cracks around windows and doors

Obviously, keeping pests out is the first step in creating a pest-free home. Start by purchasing a quality caulk gun with a back-off trigger. Clean the area you plan to caulk, including removing any old sealant. Caulk cracks around windows, fascia boards, and doors, then smooth the applied caulk with your finger or a damp rag. Latex caulks are easy to clean up and paintable. Silicone caulk is available in clear versions that don’t show. Larger cracks may require a stronger material, such as concrete or mortar. Or, use copper mesh to plug the hole, then seal over it with foam sealant.

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