How to Get Bugs Out of Your Home Without Killing Them

Do you have bugs in your house and want to get them out humanely? You can! Even if insects can be scary to a lot of us, they’re probably unaware that they’re trespassing and don’t deserve to be squished. It’s important to remember to have empathy for even the smallest among us and to teach those around us kindness with our actions. Here are some humane bug control tips for redirecting insects away from your place without harming them:

1. How to Prevent Bugs From Coming In

The first step to keeping bugs out of your house is not giving them a reason to enter it. Keep all dishes washed, take trash out frequently, and make sure that unrefrigerated companion-animal food is tightly sealed and put away when your animal companion isn’t eating. Keep countertops wiped down with a vinegar-and-water solution, and sweep, mop, and vacuum regularly. All this will help reduce the number of times that you need to do the rest of the actions on this list.

2. How to Remove Large Bugs

Spiders, centipedes, and, yes, cockroaches can seem frightening when you come upon them. But the truth is that they don’t know who you are or that they’re in your space, and they’re probably more afraid of the tall figure hovering over them than you are of them. An easy way to remove them is by using a cup and a sheet of paper. Place the cup over them, gently slide the piece of paper under the cup, and then release them outside.

Another way to remove them is with PETA’s Humane Bug Catcher. With this device, you can put a little more space between you and the bugs when picking them up and putting them outside. See how to use it here:

3. How to Keep Ants Away

Ants can be difficult to remove when there are a lot of them, so a smart thing to do is to put humane repellent around your home. If ants are coming in through cracks in doors and windows, pour a line of cream of tartar where they enter the house and they won’t cross over it. A cinnamon stick, coffee grinds, chili pepper, paprika, cloves, or dried peppermint leaves near the openings will also repel ants. You can also squeeze the juice of a lemon at the entry spot and leave the peel there. Planting mint around the foundation of the house will also keep ants away.

Another option is a product called “Orange Guard”—a nontoxic organic ant repellent that’s harmless to humans and other animals and will drive ants away from areas where they’re not wanted. However, when applied directly to ants, the active ingredient d-Limonene (orange-peel extract) destroys the waxy coating of the insects’ respiratory systems, causing the ants to suffocate, so please do not spray ants with the repellent. Simply spray it around your home as a deterrent.

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If you keep an eye out around your home, there are many ways that you can turn compassion into action. With these tips, you can start saving lives while also making your home feel safer and cleaner!

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“Almost all of us grew up eating meat, wearing leather, and going to circuses and zoos. We never considered the impact of these actions on the animals involved. For whatever reason, you are now asking the question: Why should animals have rights?” READ MORE

— Ingrid E. Newkirk, PETA President and co-author of Animalkind