Sure, insects can appear to have otherworldly abilities—mosquitos can fly, cockroaches can supposedly survive the apocalypse—but they can’t materialize out of nowhere. Your best defense: Look for warning signs and problem areas to stop them from invading your space.
For instance, ants send out “scouts” to scope the ant-friendliness of your home, so even an ant or two indoors can mean it’s time to get pest-proofing before those scouts invite over their friends.
Check outside and learn where bugs hang out. Firewood can be home to ants and termites so store wood at least 20 feet from your house. And standing water is a breeding ground for mosquitos, says Boyd Huneycutt, co-founder of pest control company Mosquito Squad
. “Yards with bird baths, play sets with tire swings, tree houses, fire pits and catch basins to recycle water should all be checked regularly and water tipped,” he suggests. Even your landscaping can be problematic: Try keeping branches and shrubs well groomed away from your walls, so bugs don’t make the natural transition from their home to yours.