The struggle is real: Keeping bugs and pests out of your home and garden is an ongoing battle, no matter the climate or region you call home. From bed bugs to termites, squirrels to raccoons, pests can threaten the structural integrity of your home and pose health hazards to you and your family, among other headaches.

And the havoc they wreak is expensive: The average costs to repair termite damage is around $3,000; removing raccoons from your attic could run you up to $500. Proactive homeowners know making their home inhospitable to pests can pay dividends by avoiding costly critter-caused repairs (and, let’s face it, the gross-out factor).

We’ve checked in with the experts to share their best tips for keeping bugs and vermin out of your house and garden.

Keeping Pests Out of Your House

  •  The American Grandparents Association has eight no-nonsense tips to bug-proof your house. (Our favorite: “Don’t make your house a bug buffet” by sealing snacks, fruit, and other food sources.)
  •  Blogger/influencer Mommy Mandy recommends five ways to pest-proof your house, from sealing points of entry to maintaining a clean kitchen.
  •  The Attic Pest Authority advocates “inspecting everything that you bring in to your house” while also keeping your home clean and clutter-free. The fewer places for grubs and bugs to hide away, the better!

Stop Bugs from Eating Your Plants

  •  The experts at the Farmers’ Almanac offer tried-and-true tips for keeping pests out of your garden without resorting to pesticides. Their wide-ranging tactics address larger pests (like deer and groundhogs) to tiny invaders (like slugs and snails).
  •  Country Living put together 10 ways to protect your garden from critters, including containing your compost, using raised beds, and choosing “less tasty plants.”
  •  Making organic pesticides can be as simple as browsing your pantry, say the folks at Natural Living Ideas. Check out their recipes for garlic spray, citrus insecticide, and hot pepper spray, among other concoctions.

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Watch the Pros at Work…

  •  Eliminate the habitat and eliminate the bugs, says Danny Lipford of Today’s Homeowner. His video highlights a few trouble spots around your home’s perimeter that homeowners can identify and fix quickly to keep bugs out.
  •  From reusable netting to fencing, pest prevention for your garden gets a video tutorial from Tractor Supply Company.
  •  Don’t kill indoor spiders! Sweep them up and bring them outside, where they can eat other bugs, says University of Maryland Entomology professor Michael Raupp. Check out his visit to the “Today” show covering how to keep ants and other pests from moving in.

Little deterrents can go a long way: As we settle into summer and fall, take time to ensure your house and garden are off-limits to pests and vermin.

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The opinions expressed in this post are for informational purposes only. To determine the best financing for your personal circumstances and goals, consult with a licensed advisor.