Ask the expert: how to prevent insects bugging your potential buyers this summer

by Housesimple on 10th August 2016

Even when you sell your house online, you'll need to prepare for a visit from potential buyers. In the summer, that means making sure all those creepy crawlies that come out in the heat stay out of your home. Whether it's a potential ant invasion or those pesky flies you're looking to avoid, there are plenty of ways to protect your pristine property.

Close doors and windows

Avoid leaving doors and windows open. If you need to air your interiors, make sure you have some sort of cover to prevent bugs getting inside. Net curtains, mesh, insect screens or even keeping the curtains drawn will help. A door sweep can also prevent bugs creeping in through the gaps.

Switch off the lights

Many insects are attracted to bright lights, so try to keep the lights off when windows and doors are open. White light brings in more insects, so you can reduce the attraction by using sodium-vapour or yellow light bulbs.

Seal small gaps

Small insects don't just wait for an open door or window, they use tiny gaps in the sealant around the frames or where plumbing enters and leaves the home to sneak in. Spend a little time looking for perished sealants or small gaps and close them up with silicone caulk, PVC sealant or expanding foam: whichever fits the gap.

Lock down the kitchen

The kitchen is the main attraction for most insects. Make sure no food items are left out. Keep leftovers and loosely packaged items like cereal or grains in tight-lidded containers. Rubbish and recycling bins should be covered, as well as cleaned and emptied regularly.

Scrub your surfaces

Surfaces, including floors, should be wiped down with vinegar or cleaning fluid daily to remove traces of food and disrupt scent trails left by ants. Regular vacuuming of carpeted areas and cleaning out dusty cupboards and wardrobes is also important for preventing moths.

Use attractive repellents

Not all insect repellents are toxic, there are plenty of safe and fragrant alternatives that will keep away insects without deterring buyers. Eucalyptus oil and peppermint oil, citrus fruits and citronella candles are all examples of repellents that can be sprayed, wiped or diffused around your home to keep insects at bay.

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