How you live with open windows...AND KEEP THE BUGS OUT!!? - Homesteading Today
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Old 05/03/12, 06:24 PM
VERN in IL's Avatar
Lacto-Ovo Vegetarian
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Southern Illinois
Posts: 1,018
How you live with open windows...AND KEEP THE BUGS OUT!!?

I'm on this "green" thing.

I would like to use a window fan and open my windows this summer, but I tried that last year, and got alot of bugs in the house!

I live by some wooded bottom lands and a slew, that does NOT help!!

The window fan was blowing "out", and I got that finer fiberglass screen on the windows, but they always seem to get through! I even shut off the lights in the rooms with the windows open, still get bugs.

I live in a trailer and SHOULD get good airflow from front to back, but not if I can't keep these bugs out!!!

So what am I to do? I can run my AC, but I prefer not.

Would installing air filters in the open windows stop the bugs? How would I go about this and would it restrict airflow much?

I see a very dark cloud on America's horizon,
and that cloud is coming from Rome.
- Abraham Lincoln
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Old 05/03/12, 06:45 PM
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: TN
Posts: 3,326
What kind of bugs are getting thru window screens? Maybe they will turn out to be something that is only a problem for a few weeks.
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Old 05/03/12, 08:12 PM
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Mississippi
Posts: 1,431
I noticed something today about the screens in the windows here (we are living in a mobile home while we do the farmhouse rehab). There are spring things at the bottom of the screens which hold them up away from the frame a bit. I figured out this is where the stinking knats are coming in here. I have decided to try to remove the springs so the screens will fit down into the channel better. Is yours this way?
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Old 05/03/12, 08:17 PM
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: KY
Posts: 12,678
I can tell you things we've tried and had some success with but nothing stops them completely from invading your home if you have open windows.

Get rid of any unnecessary standing water outside. Treat the rest with mosquito pellets making certain that pets and livestock don't drink from it.

Hang ziplock bags of water around barns and doors to keep away flies. Hang sticky fly strips everywhere inside and outside that flying insects are a problem and change these often.

Set out plastic ant and roach traps inside and out around doors and windows. Get the yellow plastic sticky traps and set around inside the house in corners and under furniture where crawling insects can get stuck on them.

Everyday run a sink of hot water with a citrus scented dish wash liquid in it. This catches those tiny little hard shells that look like a minature ladybug but aren't that nice. They're attracted to the citrus scent and drown themselves.

As for the windows, I tape down a strip of sticky fly strip along the window sill to try and catch some of the small crawlies, but it doesn't get them all.

Everyday put out cotton balls soaked in peppermint oil. There are lots of insects that don't like that smell.

Plant a lot of marigolds. I think some of the insects have a petition going around for humans to stop growing these flowers.

Tend to the landscaping around your trailer/house. Keep it cleaned of debris and weeds that attract insects you don't want.

Read up on the purple martin and other beneficial birds.

There are endless combinations of truth.
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Old 05/03/12, 08:25 PM
Fae Fae is offline
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Lower Alabama
Posts: 2,230
I have the same problem, especially in the evening hours when the fan is really cooling things off. There are small green bugs that bite that get in even though they seem to big to get through the screen, plus others. I hate biting bugs and usually turn on the ac even though I hate being closed up in the house.
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Old 05/03/12, 09:08 PM
MoonShine's Avatar
Fire On The Mountain
Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: Kentucky
Posts: 1,452
I bet there's a little bit of space around the screens, someone else mentioned the little spring thing on some screens, that will definitely cause a little gap. Here, they just fly in the door every time it's opened. Also, I see little baby flies hovering below one of the ceiling fans, so I think they come in that way (not sure how, though).

I've noticed on TV, they'll show houses with windows and doors wide open, with no screens. If I did that, every fly in the neighborhood would be in my house!
When thou walkest through the fire, thou shalt not be burned; neither shall the flame kindle upon thee ~ Isaiah 43:2
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Old 05/03/12, 11:25 PM
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: north Alabama
Posts: 11,165
"I'm on this "green" thing.

I would like to use a window fan and open my windows this summer, but I tried that last year, and got alot of bugs in the house!"

Mother nature wants to feed you and you turn up your nose.
In Florida, I knew a couple of people with house lizards.

Bugs like carbon dioxide, light, and heat which could signify a meal. If there is something that seems more tasty outside than you in your trailer, the local birds and frogs might enjoy the results of your traps.
George Washington did not run and hide.
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Old 05/03/12, 11:47 PM
ET1 SS's Avatar
zone 5 - riverfrontage
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Forests of maine
Posts: 5,938
Nothing gets through our window screens.

I have an ultra-sonic skeeter repellent hung over our front door facing down. It keeps the bugs from coming in through the door. Some people get a nasty head ache from it. I can not hear it, but our eldest son hears it.
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Old 05/04/12, 01:05 AM
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: W. Oregon
Posts: 9,018
What kind of bugs? Only 1 type? How big? Sounds like you need to seal around the screens, a bug has to be small to go through. Are they attracted to food in the house?....James
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Old 05/04/12, 01:12 AM
shanzone2001's Avatar  
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: State of Jefferson
Posts: 5,871
Tie a chicken up near the window????

Seriously, I do have the same problem. I have just learned to live with the darn creatures as long as they aren't spiders!
Chick with a gun.
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Old 05/04/12, 09:04 AM
Cornhusker's Avatar
Unapologetically me
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 13,857
use duct tape and tape around the frame of the screen to seal the edges
Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it is time to pause and reflect.
Mark Twain

Enforced tolerance is oppression

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Old 05/04/12, 09:20 AM
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: VA
Posts: 1,525
There's always a space around the screen frame and the window frame it sits in. You can use hot glue to seal the screen in place, to the frame and the glass up top. Hot glue comes off easily when you need it to, others might be more of a mess.
Also, we have fly traps outside near lights and inside the house by windows.
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Old 05/04/12, 09:41 AM
Join Date: Dec 2003
Posts: 3,693
Beware your doors, your siding, and many other areas that bugs can and do come in, other than around the window screens.
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Old 05/04/12, 10:13 AM
ldc ldc is offline
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: S. Louisiana
Posts: 2,311
Vern, do you have screens? (Not mentioned in OP). If not, there is nylon screening you can buy at box stores and old hardwares by the yard, and tape or hot glue around the fan. Good luck with this! This worked here, the worst insect capitol of the world I've ever encountered! Even near a bayou!

Last edited by ldc; 05/04/12 at 11:51 AM.
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Old 05/04/12, 10:18 AM
Join Date: Aug 2010
Posts: 2,309
We have box elder bugs and Asian beetles. They make me crazy. We also have a 140+ year old house that will never be totally tight. I just use a small cordless vacuum and suck 'em up.

They seem to ebb and flow. They used to be horrid, but lately haven't been very bad at all.

I really dislike air conditioning. I love the outdoors, and nothing makes me more at peace than being able to sit and hear the birds singing, the horses moving around, and the occasional indignant chicken.
‎"The trouble with quotes over the Internet is that you never know if they are genuine." - Abraham Lincoln
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Old 05/04/12, 07:25 PM
Registered Users
Join Date: Jul 2011
Posts: 16
On a mobile home window, the "springy thing" should be at the top. If it is at the bottom that's most likely how the bugs are getting in, the screen is not in correctly.
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Old 05/04/12, 07:51 PM
Join Date: Aug 2005
Posts: 17,087
Ive lived 64yrs and never saw a house that didnt have screens in NE Kans, SW Mo, NE Okla. What in the world makes you think you can life in a house with open windows and not have bugs, flys mosquitos, ect????????????

Ive seen houses so old the screens were rotton with rust, and where a hole had developed they glued a piece of screen or cloth to it. ive seen cloth sewed to a hole in a screen. Ive NEVER saw a window that was opened not have a screen on the outside of it.

Do you think bugs flys ect give a hang over your noble ideas? They dont. They go to wherever there is an opening, and they always have, and they always will.
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Old 05/05/12, 12:14 AM
Sanza's Avatar
Crazy Canuck
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Alberta Canada
Posts: 4,132
For the people that need to read the op again because Vern did write.....
"The window fan was blowing "out", and I got that finer fiberglass screen on the windows, but they always seem to get through! I even shut off the lights in the rooms with the windows open, still get bugs."

Try hanging pots with marigolds, citronella and other such bug repelling plants right by the windows. Cut sheer curtains and tape to the screens- it might not look the best but the air flows through but bugs can't get through that.

A wise person speaks when they have something to say but a fool speaks just to say something
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Old 05/05/12, 10:16 AM
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Salinas, California
Posts: 313
Air Gap filler. Go around every window and hope that you never have to replace a screen.
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