Keeping Outdoors Out

Four tips to manage all those peskier aspects of nature you’d rather not have indoors.

Even avid nature lovers will agree that not all aspects of the outdoors belong inside one’s home. While bugs, mud and allergens will sneak their way into interior spaces, the steps you take to manage these elements can keep your home more comfortable.

Contain Allergens: Your home should provide a respite from outdoor allergens. Unfortunately, pollen has a tendency to stick to skin, hair, shoes and clothes. Contain allergens by removing outerwear when you get home. If you spent the day in a grassy or forested area, you may also want to change your clothes or even take a shower before sitting on furniture. As far as cleaning is concerned, regularly shake out your welcome mat outside and away from the front door. Also, make a habit of regularly laundering items that touch your eyes, ears and nose most frequently, such as bedding and towels.

Combat Insect Invaders: According to the Smithsonian Institution, there are over 200 million insects for each human on the planet! That’s a lot of critters, and despite your best efforts, some of them are going to enter your home, especially during peak bug season. With the National Pest Management Association’s bug barometer calling for high pest pressure from ants, roaches, mosquitoes and more this season, having a smart way to deal with insect invaders is a good idea.

The majority of people are concerned with the ingredients found in conventional bug killer sprays. If that describes you, look for effective solutions made without harsh chemicals. Look for products with active essential oils that target nerve receptors vital to insects, not people or pets.

Make Floors Mud-Free: Setting up a mudroom near the entrance of your home can help you combat footprints once and for all. If you don’t like being barefoot or want extra sole support, keep a pair of shoes nearby that you can swap into indoors. Just be sure that this pair never leaves the house.

Have a dog? Wipe paws clean when you get home from walks, or better yet, try dog boots, which have the added bonus of protecting paws from sharp objects, hot pavement and other road hazards.

Banish Excess Moisture: Too much moisture indoors is bad news. Damp spaces can promote growth and spread of viruses, bacteria and bugs, according to the American Lung Association. To keep your home’s interiors dry, fix up any leaks and keep humidity levels at 50 percent or less by adjusting controls on your air conditioner and/or by running a dehumidifier. The Institute of Medicine cites good ventilation and moisture control as ways to help limit both mold and bug problems.

With a few simple measures, you can manage all those peskier aspects of nature you’d rather not have indoors.

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