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Every summer at night when we have curtains up and turn on the indoor lights, a large number of small insects (moths, small beetles, spiders, other slim thin-legged insects, etc.) will manage to find their way inside. This happens despite that the (double-hung) windows are closed. The situation is much better if the lights are out or if the curtains fully cover the windows. On the other hand, even if we block the lighting, the insects can still come in if the windows are open. As a result, our summer becomes pretty miserable, choosing between temperature and bugs..

This happens in every room of our two-story house and I certainly checked that the window screens are intact or patched up. I suspect that there might still be small gaps between the screen frames and the window sills and the lighting or human smell may be what is attracting them.

Since physical barrier isn't working, is there some spray solutions that are safe end effective to use?


We live in Greenfield, MA, if that matters. And it does not look like this post provides solutions for our problem.

UPDATE I have used a thermal camera to find cracks. The only cooler spots (in winter) are where walls meet the ceiling but there are no visible opening. I also suspected that the bugs come in through wall cavities (e.g., outlets) where vapor barrier is not continuous, but it is curious why closing the windows and curtains would help if this was the case.

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  • The windows are probably not where they come in, unless you can see holes/openings with your eyes. Would look all around house, top to bottom and seal/block/screen any small openings. Pesticides will work on bugs, but also need to think what they are doing to you, if you need to repeat often. Would check for where they are getting in first and fix, then kill any still in the house.
    – crip659
    May 22 at 18:53
  • Yes, chemical solutions are certainly the last resort, but they would be applied to window screens. We have been battling this for three years now since we first moved into the house. I have even used a thermal camera to find cracks. The only cooler spots (in winter) are where walls meet the ceiling but there are no visible opening. I also suspected that they come in through wall cavities (e.g., outlets) where vapor barrier is not continuous.
    – Roc W.
    May 22 at 19:03
  • Imagine the bugs are attracted by light/temperature difference and you see them better. Have you checked vents/pipes and or door seals?
    – crip659
    May 22 at 19:24
  • We checked all door seals and the vents that are accessible (in the attic). The issue is however present even in rooms very far from the vents.
    – Roc W.
    May 22 at 21:51
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Unlessyou seal your house in vacuum wrap this is an on-going issue in the summer in most areas. Even here in Colorado where the dry air keeps the bug population low, it's a problem.
As you suggested and I have found that a preventive spray is the most effective solution. I don't like using chemicals unless it's a last resort and I don't want to endorse a specific product but I have had very good success with a home defense perimeter spray. There are several out there. I spray it all around the exterior foundation, window frames and anywhere else insects might enter. Although they claim it's safe for interior application I personally only use it outside.
I only do it once a year in the spring and it lasts all year but your experience might be different.

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  • "Glad" to know I'm not alone.. When we lived in concrete apartment complexes, this surprisingly was not a serious issue (perhaps the bugs only bother the first floors). Thanks for the suggestion with the perimeter sprays! Do you have to treat your window mesh screens? It feels hard to spray the second floor windows.
    – Roc W.
    May 22 at 21:54
  • It's doubtful that bugs will get in through a screen unless it's torn or loose. I wouldn't worry about the screen. On the second floor you might want to open the windows and spray the interior perimeter of the screen. I just don't like to use it in kitchens and other eating areas inside.
    – HoneyDo
    May 22 at 22:11
  • It make sense. And I didn't think of taking down the windows themselves. This should make things much easier.
    – Roc W.
    May 22 at 22:48

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