So, you have a ton of bugs coming into your home through your door at night.
You wake up to multiple bites from bugs and you’re sick of it.
You hate seeing a bothersome fly buzzing around your face when you’re trying to enjoy your nighttime binge.
And, you get freaked out when you see creepy crawlies on the kitchen tiles, and you know they’re coming in from the front door.
It’s time to do something about it.
In this article, we’ll cover:
- Why you have bugs coming in through the door
- What they’re after
- Ways to naturally keep bugs away from your doors and windows
- How to keep windows and doors open while keeping bugs out
- Techniques to make your home less appealing to flying pests at night
- And more
By the end of this page, you’ll have a solid foundation of DIY home remedies to get rid of those bugs naturally and keep them away from your door- both during the day and night.
Sound good? Let’s make your door bug-proof.
How do I keep bugs away from my door?
There are multiple approaches to go about this, and it all depends on why bugs are attracted to your door in the first place.
You can either focus on eliminating them using various DIY home remedies, or you can prevent them by finding the source.
Here are some ways you can get rid of bugs at your door- both day and night.
Because of the wide range of species- flying, crawling, and everything in between, there are many different solutions.
Try a few out that you think are applicable to your situation and see what works.
Sprinkle diatomaceous earth
Diatomaceous earth is a safe and effective treatment for flying and crawling pests. It’s a natural white powder commonly used for pools.
The one you need is food grade diatomaceous earth. It should be pure and completely natural.
Do NOT use the pool grade one, this is not safe for home usage.
Put on your safety equipment/PPE and get to work. Take a scoop of the DE and pour it into a duster or shaker. You can use a bellows or cheese shaker- whatever works.
Then start lightly dusting the diatomaceous earth around your door. Sprinkle some on the door crease, hinge, and under the door frame.
You can also put some on top of the door where the gap between the door and frame is. Cover all four sides as much as you can.
When bugs make contact with the DE, it sticks to them and cuts them up with micro incisions. This dehydrates them and will eventually kill them. It’s especially effective against hard-shelled insects.
Roaches, ants, beetles, fleas, and more are all susceptible to diatomaceous earth.
Even though it’s safe for people and pets, you should still keep them away from contact just to avoid disturbance.
Read all warning labels and follow usage directions.
Use boric acid
Boric acid works the same way as diatomaceous earth- it dries out bugs and kills them by cutting them up and dehydrating them.
Boric acid can be purchased at most department stores and sprinkled lightly along door frame cracks. You can use it under the door and on top, but be sure to let others know so the boric acid doesn’t come pouring down.
Or best yet, avoid using it in high places unless you plan to sprinkle it on a door that you don’t use but has bugs coming through.
Use PPE when applying boric acid and avoid contact with people and pets.
Read all warning labels and use as directed at all times.
You may also have heard about borax as a pest killer. It works well, but not to the degree of boric acid.
Borax is commonly found as a laundry booster (such as 20 Mule Team) and can be sprinkled around your door to help kill bugs.
However, boric acid has been much more effective from my experience. But for those who don’t have any boric acid and only borax, you can achieve a similar effect with the powder. Sprinkle it lightly.
Don’t overdo it because this can trigger the opposite effect.
Bugs like roaches may avoid high concentrations of borax, diatomaceous earth, boric acid, etc. and this is why you need to use a very light coating.
Less is more.
Again, wear your PPE and use as directed.
Borax is generally safe, but you should avoid contact when possible. Keep pets and people out of the area.
Don’t use borax mixed with any other powder.
However, you can make your own insect killer at home by mixing borax with sugar which makes an effective ant, spider, roach, and silverfish pesticide.
A simple recipe for a powerful and natural way to keep bugs away from your front door.
Borax is cheap and you buy a huge box for just a few dollars at any department store. Get the pure, natural type.
Does vinegar keep bugs away?
Vinegar has long been a scent that bugs hate.
Daytime, nighttime, flying, crawling, anything else can’t stand the odorous, acidic, source scent of pure vinegar. And you can use this to your benefit.
All you need is some regular cooking vinegar and water. Then you can make your own insect repellent at home- DIY style.
Mix equal portions of vinegar and water. Pour into a spray bottle. Then lightly mist around your doorframe.
The vinegar will stick and have a lasting residual effect to keep bugs out.
Make sure that your paint finish isn’t sensitive to acid, because it will damage sensitive surfaces.
You can adjust vinegar concentrations as needed if the bugs don’t stay out of your property.
Vinegar has always been a safe and easy way to keep bugs out.
Sticky tape proves to be an easy and quick solution to catch and kill flying insects coming in through your doors.
You can find this tape at most hardware stores for cheap.
A single roll should be able to cover all four sides of a standard door. Buy extra if you need some for your front door, patio door, garage door, etc.
Read the label and follow the directions.
Typically, you’ll just take the double-sided adhesive and place it on a smooth surface. The sticky side will catch any bugs that crawl across.
You can leave it there for quite some time before you need to replace it.
Replace when you notice the tape starts to become less sticky or bugs crawl past the trap without getting caught.
Don’t let dead bugs build upon it because this will just attract more as they eat them.
Line the tape around all four sides of your door. You can stick it directly to the doorframe.
For the door gap underneath, place a layer on the door upside down and one of the surfaces. This should catch any bugs coming in under your door.
You can also place small strips at the edges on the left and right within the door gap if you want to be proactive and catch everything that snakes through.
You can buy sticky tape at your local nursery, hardware store, or greenery.
Or you can make your own bug traps using packing tape and putting some tanglefoot paste on it. The tape acts as an easy-to-peel layer so you can easily remove it without hurting the paint finish on your door (or other surfaces).
Add, fix, or replace screens
A damaged window or door screens will obviously let pests through. If you have broken, torn, or ripped screens, replace them.
Or if you don’t have any screening to keep bugs out of your doors, consider adding a screen door.
This second layer of protection will help make it harder for bugs to enter your home and allows you to keep windows or doors open when it’s hot.
Do dryer sheets keep bugs away?
Dryer sheets have been scientifically proven to help deter some pests like mosquitoes.
They contain a residue called beta-citronellol, which is what’s used in citronella candles. If you have a lot of mosquitoes coming into your home from your doors, consider hanging up some dryer sheets around the area where you see pest activity.
What light does not attract bugs?
Some bulbs don’t attract as many bugs as the typical bulb.
Generally, lights with a yellow/orange hue will give off light but not attract pests.
Some bulbs are branded specifically for this purpose, but they’re nothing special. You can just buy any regular yellow bulb from your local hardware store.
This should work the same and reduce the number of pests coming to your home. If you need light at night on your porch, this is one working solution.
Use a bug zapper
A bug zapper could be an easy solution for outdoor bugs on your patio. If your patio seems to be infested, you can try strategically to position a bug zapper to take care of the bug population.
Note that this rarely gets rid of the problem.
Bug zappers are more of a band-aid solution as they only catch what they can, but don’t stop breeding cycles or further infestation of pests.
But they can be used with another DIY solution to help when you’re trying to get rid of the infestation.
Don’t depend on them because they won’t completely eradicate the problem.
Turn off lights
Reduce your outdoor and indoor lighting at night.
As you know, many flying pests are drawn towards light sources (fleas, flies, mosquitoes, and more).
This is called photoaxis and although there’s no clear cut explanation for this behavior, we know that light attracts bugs.
So turn off your lights at night. Porch lights, deck lights, patio lights, pathway markers, spotlights, and even security lights.
Any light source that you DON’T need, turn it off.
You’ll save on your power bill and reduce the number of bugs hovering around your doors and windows.
Anything else that you need to be left on, leave it. But turn off unnecessary ones.
This goes for lights that come from inside your house also. Turn them off, dim them, or use blackout curtains/blinds to block the light from leaving your home.
Bugs will fly towards any windows that release light from your home.
They’re attracted to light coming from door cracks and underneath door gaps.
Both of these attract bugs to your home. So reduce lights when possible.
Use pest repelling plants
There are plenty of plants out there that you can use to your advantage and keep bugs away from your front door.
No matter what hardiness zone you live in, you should be able to find a few plants or so that can help naturally deter bugs from coming in through the doors of your home.
Find out your hardiness zone, then find a plant that grows in it.
Here are a few plants excellent at keeping bugs away.
Do some research on them and plant the ones that grow in your area:
- Bay leaves
- Stone root
- Spiny amaranth
- Summer savory
- Mexican marigold
For best results, grow a few different ones. Don’t rely on any single plant to repel the pests.
You can mix colors, plant types, and even plant heights all-around your property with a focus at the doors and windows. This can help repel bugs and keep them out.
Additionally, you can check out this list of pest repelling plants.
Does Pine-Sol keep bugs away?
Pine-Sol may help keep bugs away by using the natural pine oil found in it. That’s the main selling point and the active ingredient in the solution that repels bugs.
One thing you should note- the original Pine-Sol had up to 12% pine oil. This is the original formula that worked well as a bug repellent.
However, the maker has changed the formula over time and today’s formulas have 0% pine oil.
Clorox currently owns the brand and has responded to customer complaints, as they were probably trying to go cheap with the oil to save on costs.
But as usual, quality does matter and that’s probably why people complained.
Now, Clorox has restored the original formula with an 8.75% pine oil solution.
This is still hard to find and you’re better off just buying pine oil in pure form and spraying that. Regardless of which one you get, you’ll need to dilute it with plenty of water.
Pure pine oil will need just a few drops into a quart of water.
You’ll need to adjust the concentrations as needed. If you find that the bugs aren’t staying away from your door, add more oil or less water.
If you happen to find the original formula of Pine-Sol, you can dilute it with equal parts water and spray it around the door to keep bugs away.
Note that some surfaces are sensitive to pine oil and this can damage the finish of your home. Read all warning labels and use as directed.
Pine-sol is effective at repelling fleas and flies. You can check out this case study which details the findings.
Use a box fan
Powerful air currents will keep all sorts of pests away from your home.
Flying insects avoid flowing air, such as mosquitoes and houseflies. Crawling bugs like roaches also tend to steer clear of wind currents.
You can use a box fan to accomplish this effect. Just place it outside pointing towards your door.
You can experiment using different wind directions:
- Point it directly at your door
- Point it from the side so it blows across your door from side to side
- Point it at the door from inside your home
As long as strong air currents are blowing at bugs, they’ll likely stay out. Your job is to find out how to position the fan so all sides of the door are protected.
Birds, bats, reptiles, and even rodents can all be helpful to control your pest problem.
Many homeowners already know about using birds to hunt down pests, as they’re able to eat both flying and crawling bugs and are pleasant to have around the yard.
You can make your property more favorable to birds by providing the following:
- Build or buy a birdhouse or shelter for them to nest
- Add a birdbath
- Bird feeders
- Plenty of food and bugs visible to them
- Use the right seeds to attract the right birds
These will help attract birds to your home, which will reduce the number of bugs hovering around your front door.
Depending on where your property is located and the seasonal birds in the area, you’ll have to do some research and see what bird species are native.
Then you can attract them to your home and help eat up the bugs.
Ladybugs eat nymphs, larvae, and bug eggs. Ladybugs can eat beetles, fleas, flies, and more.
They can help control and possibly eradicate some bugs from your home. If you have ladybugs native to your area, find out how to attract them to your home.
Or you can order them online and start releasing them in your yard in small, controlled batches. There’s a whole process to this.
Here’s a video that shows how it’s done:
Ladybugs are not to be underestimated. They can wipe out entire colonies of pests quickly.
And they don’t hang around afterward because they leave when the infestation is taken care of.
Tape up cracks
A simple solution? Use regular packing tape or masking tape and tape up those cracks around the edge of your doorframe.
Cover the hinge side from top to bottom. Then place another piece on the opposite side, effectively sealing the door shut on both sides.
You can place another piece along the top of the door and even toss in some boric acid to line the top gap.
Just be sure that you make note of this so the boric acid doesn’t spill down when opened in the future.
On the bottom where the gap exists, place a layer of diatomaceous earth, cinnamon, boric acid, sticky tape, or whatever other material you have.
And if it’s a door you don’t use often, cover up all three sides (top and sides) and then place some kind of repellent at the bottom underneath the door (like DE, cinnamon, spices, oil, sticky tape, etc.).
You can plant some pungent spices around your doors to repel pests.
There are plenty of different types such as jalapeno, cayenne pepper, black pepper, and more.
Either grow the plant or buy the spice and sprinkle the powder.
Get underneath the door and on the sides. Strong aromatic spices will easily keep some bugs out and the solution is quick and effective.
Don’t let pets and people come into contact with any of the powder.
Get rid of water
Any source of freestanding water can be a problem.
As you’ve probably heard, stagnant water attracts mosquitoes!
So if you have a ton of them coming into your house mysteriously, or you just live in mosquito county, get rid of any freestanding water.
This means you need to monitor and control water found in common areas that house pests:
- Water features
- Backed up drains
- Water leakage
Anything that constantly sheds out water that doesn’t move will attract all sorts of bugs.
Mosquitoes are just one annoyance. You’ll also attract silverfish, pillbugs, beetles, and more.
Tidy up the porch
Your porch is a key area for bugs to infest if it’s dirty.
Keep it clean and tidy at all times and you’ll notice a decrease in the pest population, especially if you have your front or back door on your porch or deck.
You’ll want to make sure that your porch is free of pest eggs, as overhangs and beams are common areas where bugs deposit their eggs.
Here are some general cleaning tips to keep your porch tidy:
- Vacuum or clean up wooden beams
- Destroy all spider webs
- Check potted plants for pest activity
- Use a DIY solution to repel pests (diatomaceous earth, essential oils, box fans, etc.)
- Remove any water
- Block, caulk, or clean up crawl spaces
- Fix any damaged wood
- Switch lighting to LED or yellow bulbs (2500k)
- Clean up leaf litter, clutter, and other obstructions
- Get rid of bugs on any patio furniture
Here are some other guides you may find useful for keeping your deck clean:
- Get rid of ladybugs on the porch
- How to keep your balcony free of pests
- How to stop spiders from making webs on the porch
After all, having this area free of pests proves to be critical because it’s right next to your door.
Keep your yard clean
Don’t have a porch? Then the bugs are likely coming from your garden.
Keep it clean and you’ll have fewer pests to deal with overall. You’ll want to do regular yard maintenance like mowing the lawn, trimming plants, and removing leaf clutter every week.
Remove any plants that you don’t need and prune plants that are crawling on your walls.
Don’t overwater your plants and don’t over-fertilize.
Don’t let any plant contact your home’s exterior, as they provide a bridge for bugs to crawl directly into your windows and doors. If your yard has fallen from grace and needs work, then spend a weekend or two cleaning it up.
Sure, it’s a PITA. But after you do it once, it’ll be easier for the following session.
How do you make natural insect repellent?
You can make your own bug repellent at home with natural ingredients to avoid all those nasty pesticides commonly found in store-bought brands.
I already put a lot of DIY recipes up in the guide above, so refer to that if you want specific details.
But here are a few easy natural repellents you make at home for cheap.
Vinegar is THE solution for a completely natural pest repellent.
You could even go as far and call it an organic repellent as most vinegar doesn’t have anything unnatural added other than the source bacteria used.
Hint: This makes vinegar a possible organic pest repellent you can make at home for your organic edibles and plants.
Mix equal parts vinegar and water together and pour into a spray bottle.
Then spray it directly around your door and patio to make a lasting solution that keeps pests away.
You can add a few drops of dish soap to coat the vinegar onto surfaces to make it last longer, but you’ll still need to reapply now and then.
Also, watch out for paints and surfaces that are easily damaged (as you should be doing with any spray- DIY or not). Vinegar is very acidic and will peel paints.
Apple cider repellent
Similar to vinegar, the acidity in apple cider vinegar also makes it an excellent spray to keep pests away from your deck.
Most ACV is organic by nature, so if you want to make an organic repellent, use apple cider.
The recipe is simple.
What you’ll need:
- 1 cup apple cider vinegar
- 3 cups water
- A few drops of dish soap
How to make it:
- Mix the ACV and the water first.
- Swirl gently.
- Add the dish soap.
- Swirl once again.
- Pour the solution directly into a spray bottle.
How to use it:
- The natural repellent is easy to use. Just spray it around areas where pests are getting into your home. You only need a single spritz for it to be effective.
- Bugs hate the smell of vinegar, so they’ll stay away.
- This can be very useful for small cracks in your doors that bugs use to get through to your property.
- The dish soap helps retain the residual effect of the spray.
- Reapply when bugs start to ignore the scent or when it washes off from rain.
- Always test on a small surface first for damage.
Garlic has a pungent odor and bugs hate it.
You can use this against them by dicing up some fresh garlic and placing the slices around your door.
Use it under the door and on top. You can also cut the garlic into large cubes and put it into a nylon sock.
Hang it from the door next to the sides if you can. It depends on where the bugs are coming in from.
Garlic will reek over time, and this is exactly what you need to repel those bugs. I wouldn’t recommend using this near a room that you frequent.
And keep pets away from any garlic source as it’s toxic to some species (like dogs).
Peppermint smells strongly fresh and pleasant so it makes it a joy to work with.
Not everyone agrees with this, and bugs won’t either. Take a few drops of peppermint oil and dilute it with plain water. Then spray it around areas where bugs frequent.
The scent alone will repel pests that use odors to navigate or seek out food like ants, roaches, and even flies. Rodents like mice and rats also tend to steer clear from peppermint.
So if you have those critters coming by sneaking under your door, spray some peppermint there. The scent will keep them away naturally.
Remember that depending on the pest you’re dealing with at your doors, you’ll have to see which one works and which doesn’t.
There’s no single recipe that works for ALL pests. But this is how you make your own bug spray.
What can I put outside to keep bugs away?
You can use a variety of objects to keep bugs off your patio and out of your home.
The last thing you want to deal with is a swarm of flies when you’re trying to enjoy your drink on the pest free patio furniture.
Here are some easy solutions that naturally deter pests:
- Use pest-repelling plants
- Ad a ceiling fan to your deck or porch
- Use a box fan or air circulator
- Add birdhouses and bird baths to attract birds, which eat up pests
- Use fake owl decoys to dissuade birds if you have a bird problem
- Spray essential oil around your patio furniture, ceiling, doors, and windows
- Sprinkle borax, boric acid, diatomaceous earth to repel bugs
- Use sticky tape or traps to catch bugs passively
- Put a layer of cinnamon, black pepper, or cayenne pepper around your patio
- Use strong-smelling herbs like basil, chives, or rosemary to deter pests
- Use onion, citrus, or other odorous plants
Most of these details are covered above in the full guide. Read it for more tips on keeping your patio and deck pest free.
How to stop bugs from coming in underneath the door
There are many different techniques you can utilize to stop pests from coming in underneath the door frame.
As mentioned throughout this article, there are easy solutions that are completely natural.
Here’s a quick summary of some DIY remedies you can try:
- Sprinkle cayenne pepper under the door
- Place a layer of sticky tape across the floor
- Lightly dust some diatomaceous earth, borax, or boric acid across the gap
- Set up natural repellents like onion slices, garlic cloves, or other spices and herbs
- Spray vinegar, apple cider vinegar, or essential oils
If you really can’t keep the bugs out, you can seal up the gap underneath your door. This will permanently block out bugs, rodents, and other critters from getting inside.
Of course, this requires some work, and making a good seal that locks all around the edges is key. The material you choose also matters.
Cheap woven fabrics or plastics can be chewed through.
Here’s a video demonstration of one example of how to do this:
Keep bugs out of the house while keeping doors and windows open
Those hot summers are terrible and shutting your doors and windows is out of the question.
The bad part is that summertime is when bugs are also most active and likely to find their way into your home for food, water, or shelter (or just a break from the sun).
You can keep bugs out of your home while keeping your windows and doors open with proper screening.
Use a fitted screen with a fine mesh on your windows. And use a fitted screen door for your patio or front doors.
This is the only practical solution that’s widely available and easy enough for the typical homeowner to do it themselves.
You’ll want to ensure that the weatherstripping around the door and windows are 100% sealed.
Replace or caulk damaged, cracked, or peeling weatherstripping.
Also, make sure the screen is tight and fine enough to keep the smallest of pests out.
Some flying insects like whiteflies, fungus gnats, and fruit flies can squeeze through the smallest of cracks.
That’s why cat owners see these tiny gnats all over their cat’s litter bin!
This makes using screens to keep bugs out not 100% protected, but it still “filters” the bugs that can come into your home to just the smallest ones (sorry for the bad pun).
What can I spray on my porch to keep bugs away?
These are concentrated oils that have been a popular choice for doing it yourself pest control.
Essential oils are very strong scented and just a few drops are all you need.
Dilute it with water and spray it around your doors to keep bugs out.
Some people and pets may be sensitive to essential oils, so do your research before you spray.
Some common oils used for deterring pests are clove, peppermint, citrus, garlic, citronella, lavender, and mint.
You can use any strong smelling herb, spice, or veggie. The best are usually garlic and onion, but spices like cayenne and black pepper also work.
Vinegar and citrus sprays do wonders and are a simple natural solution.
I’ve already mentioned these different sprays throughout this article, so read up on those sections for more details on how to make your own sprays.
How do you keep bugs from flying in your house at night?
The easiest way? Switch your bulbs or completely turn them off.
Outdoor bugs tend to hang around your house because they’re attracted to the bright lights. It’s an effect known as positive photoaxis and is common in flying pests.
You can swap all your bulbs to yellow lights, which are about 2500K in temperature. Bugs aren’t nearly as drawn to these warmer colors as they are to the “cooler” kelvins.
This should do plenty in terms of keeping bugs from flying into your home at night when the sun sets.
The other thing is to simply turn off all the lights that you don’t need. This goes for patio and deck lights.
Any light source around your home can attract pests, especially if the light is near a door or window.
Don’t forget to turn off or dim any lights indoors as well, because they’ll be hovering against your windows trying to get inside.
You can use blinds and curtains to stop some of the light from bleeding outside. This should help reduce the number of flying bugs sticking up against your windows at night.
And if you already have tiny flies around your lamps, you can take measures to get rid of them.
How do you get rid of night bugs?
Using yellow bulbs is the best way to get rid of night bugs.
Getting rid of any excess or unnecessary lighting around your property will reduce the number of bugs overall from coming into your house.
But if you can’t do that, then use repellents, traps, and other remedies outlined in this guide to help.
You can sprinkle boric acid around the perimeter of your property, spray essential oils, use sticky traps, spray apple cider vinegar, caulk up entry points, set up blinds and curtains to block light, attract birds and ladybugs to eat them, or even just seal up your home completely with caulk and proper screen doors.
This is a broad question and the obvious answer is to either shut off all your lights.
For best results, combine reduced lighting WITH a few DIY pest repellent methodologies to get rid of the pests at night.
Here are some references you may find helpful:
- 10 Ways to Bug-proof Your Home – HowStuffWorks
- How to Pest-Proof Your Home – UKY
- How to kill insects outside my front door – Reddit
Did you stop the bugs from coming in your doors?
Now you should have everything you need to know to get started.
Whether it’s using DIY solutions like essential oils, diatomaceous earth, or even just a box fan, there’s always some kind of home remedy you can do to avoid using toxic sprays.
Depending on the situation, you can utilize a bunch of different techniques to control and eradicate those annoying bugs seeping through your door frame cracks. Be patient.
If you have a specific question regarding bugs coming in through the door, post it below and I’ll see if I can help you out.
Or if you’ve dealt with this problem before, do tell your words of wisdom below by leaving a comment!
Also, if you got some use of this article and found this guide to be somewhat helpful, please let me know as well. Consider telling a friend or neighbor who may be dealing with the same pest problem!
Thanks for reading.
Currently an active researcher in the pest control industry for the past 8 years- with a focus on using natural and organic methods to eliminate pest problems.
I share handy DIY pest techniques I come across here to help out others (and possibly save them from a mental breakdown).
Fight nature with nature.
1 thought on “How to Keep Bugs Away From the Door at Night (Naturally)”
My home is being invaded by earwigs.
I’ve tried the usual remedies such as cooking oil with honey placed in a bowl and this works well outside around the perimeter but they don’t seem to be attracted to the same trap inside the house… they bypass the bowls and I can’t figure out why.
I’m not totally infested but my wife and I see them every night usually killing 3-5 bugs near bathrooms and on walls where there’s nothing for them to eat… it’s a brand new house. I’ve read all your suggestions which are great but I’m still not sure how to stop even the minor influx of the earwigs.
Please advise when you can.
Marc R Plourde