window screen and bugs

Window screens are a great way in combating pesky bugs from entering your home! However, tiny insects are incredibly persistent. So, can bugs get through window screens and wreck havoc on your life?

For the most part, screens that are in good condition will keep bugs at bay! However, as your window and door screens wear out over time, they become more susceptible to bugs and flies being able to penetrate them.

In this post, we’ll go over some effective techniques to keep pesky bugs away from your window screen. We’ll also guide you toward having a bug-free environment by getting rid of the different sources of attraction.

Can Bugs Get Through Window Screens

The short answer is yes, tiny insects can make their way inside window screens, even if they don’t have gaps or openings in them.

Even the most tightly woven mesh on a window screen can allow insects through. Gnats, for example, are smaller than a quarter of an inch. If they’re attracted to sweet scents inside your house, they’ll make their way inside.

Window Screens

How to Keep Bugs Off Your Window Screen

Here are six effective ways to keep bugs away from your window screen.

1. Repair Your Window Screen

Window screens with holes, rips, or tears can easily allow larger bugs to come through. There are a few ways you can fix this.

If you have a fiberglass or nylon screen, you can apply a few drops of an adhesive to patch it up. If you have a metal screen, epoxy is considered the better option to fill the small holes.

If your fiberglass or nylon screen has big holes in it, you can try to make your own patch. Measure the area you want to replace and cut a patch that’s slightly larger. Apply an adhesive on the edges and press the patch into place.

For metal screens, the process is similar, but you don’t need to use an adhesive. Instead, simply bend the teeth of the patch to fit into your screen. Make sure that you flat the teeth out from the other side. This will ensure that the patch doesn’t fall off.

For multiple holes, especially big ones, we recommend that you replace the whole screen. Patching up a badly ripped screen can be a nuisance, and you may still end up with exposed areas.

2. Spray An Insect Repellent

Another great way to keep insects at bay is spraying an insecticide throughout your lawn, which is where bugs like to hide out in the first place.

If you treat your lawn regularly, you’re likely to stop the bugs before they even have a chance to enter your home.

3. Consider Essential Oils

If you’re not fond of synthetic repellents, there are a few natural alternatives that are just as effective.

Look for natural repellents that contain eucalyptus or citronella. These essential oils are very effective against mosquitoes, but also have a proven record of repelling other pesky bugs.

If you want the DIY option, mix a solution with one part water and one part vinegar. Add a few drops of citronella, thyme, rosemary, or lavender. You can mix and match different essential oils to create the ultimate bug repellent!

4. Dispose of Household Waste

So, you’ve patched up your window screen and applied different bug repellents, but to no avail. How are bugs still making their way inside?

Unfortunately, even the most secure window screen can still have gaps that allow bugs inside. If the repellents don’t seem to work, then the attractive smell of waste might be too overpowering to resist.

Disposing of your waste doesn’t necessarily mean taking out the trash. This extends to a lot of things, including where you place your garbage bins. 

For starters, make sure you never leave leftover food out in the open. Take out the trash daily and put them in well-knotted garbage bags. 

Lastly, make sure you don’t place the garbage bin near the window screen. It’s best if you place it as far as you can from your house.

5. Don’t Leave Dirty Dishes Overnight

This deserves a place in our list because of how often it’s overlooked. Even if your house is sparkly clean, dirty dishes can be one of the biggest attractions for a variety of bugs.

The odor from dried and rotten food attracts gnats, which can quickly contaminate whatever they land on with germs. Gnats are especially persistent in finding their way through window screens.

Make sure no dirty dishes are left in your sink for extended periods of time. Better yet, use dishwashing liquid with eucalyptus. Eucalyptus will leave your dishes smelling great, but will also work wonders in eliminating bugs from the sink area.

6. Set Up Bug Traps

Finally, placing bug traps outside the window screen is extremely effective in eliminating all sorts of bugs.

You can place traps on window ledges or near the window screen. There’s a wide variety of traps that you can use. Here are some of the most popular.

Homemade Traps

For homemade traps, we recommend two options. The first is a cup of apple cider vinegar. We recommend you place the cup outside on the window ledge. 

Apple cider vinegar actually attracts bugs due to its incredibly sweet odor. However, once they land in the vinegar, the acidity will kill them in seconds!

Another technique is the red wine trap. Fill a cup with red wine and place it outside your window screen. Cover the cup with cling film and poke a few holes in it. 

The sweet odor will attract all types of insects. The bugs will forget about your window screen and focus on getting through the holes in the cup.

Of course, once they make their way inside they’ll be trapped. Eventually, they’ll give up and drown. We recommend you change the cup every week. Adding a little bit of apple cider vinegar is also a great way to combine their effects.

Ready-Made Traps

If you want to take a break from all the DIY stuff, there are plenty of traps you can find in the store.

Sticky traps are incredibly effective in capturing intruding bugs. They can be placed inside or outside window screens.

Willing to invest in something more powerful? Buy an electric insect zapper and place it indoors near the window screen. You’ll be amazed by how effective these zappers are.


Window screens can never be 100% bug-proof. However, if you take some of these precautionary measures, you should see a substantial difference from day one!

Remember, bugs come out in the summer, when there’s a lot of humidity. Make sure you reinforce your window screen during the months of spring, before the bugs start coming at you.

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