How to defend your home from bugs this summer

Easy, earth-friendly alternatives to bug sprays.

Alina Bradford CNET Contributor
Alina Bradford has been writing how-tos, tech articles and more for almost two decades. She currently writes for CNET's Smart Home Section, MTVNews' tech section and for Live Science's reference section. Follow her on Twitter.
Alina Bradford
2 min read
house fly
Alina Bradford

With the buzz about the Zika virus, West Nile virus and other diseases that can be transmitted through bugs, summer can be a scary thought. You don't want to get bitten, but you probably don't want to spray bug poisons around your house, either. Luckily, there are some high-tech and not so high-tech ways to keep your home bug-free.

Make your porch a defense area


ZappLight turns any light into a bug zapper.


I avoid turning on my porch light at night because it attracts bugs that eventually fly into my home when the door is opened. You can turn this insect hangout into a no-fly zone by installing a bulb that zaps bugs dead. The ZappLight is a 920 lumen LED light that uses only 9-watts of electricity to attract and kill bugs for up to 500 square feet of space. It turns your porch light, or any light, into a bug zapper.

Trap them

Did a couple of mosquitoes or flies make it inside of the house and you can't seem to kill them? Make a trap. Take a plastic soda bottle and cut it in half. Fill the lower half about 1/3 of the way with sugar water for flies or beer for mosquitoes and put the spout of the bottle up-side down inside of the lower half. The bugs will fly inside to get the yummy liquid, but won't be able to fly back out.

Sprinkle and squirt to advert the hoard

Ants tend to find their way indoors during the summer. The best way to fend them off is by finding their entry point and sprinkling it with ground cinnamon. The strong smell drives them away.

Don't have cinnamon handy? Anything with a strong smell will work.


  • Dry coffee grounds
  • Mint
  • Chili pepper
  • Garlic

If that doesn't work, put a line of dish soap around the area where the ants are coming in. They will get stuck in the dish soap and die. Once the rest of the colony realizes the entryway is a no-go, they will stop coming to it.

Fend off the fruit flies

Fruit flies typically make their way into your home as eggs. Yup, that bunch of bananas you brought home from the store for a summertime smoothie is probably covered in eggs. So, as soon as you get your produce home, make sure to rinse them off to get rid of any eggs before they have a chance to hatch.

Already have a swarm? Place a slice of fruit inside of a glass jar. Then, make a paper funnel and place in the mouth of the jar so that the small end of the funnel is inside the jar. Tape the mouth of the jar to the funnel. Fruit flies will fly in to eat the fruit but won't be able to figure a way out. This one took about 30 minutes to work, but it did.


Fruit flies will fly in, but won't be able to get out of this trap.

Alina Bradford