- You’ll need to clean less. We’ve all been kept awake by the lone mozzie. Well-fit screens keep flies and other bugs out and for me, that means I don’t have to spend time smashing bugs on the wall and wiping off the mess. That saves on repainting, too.
- Sprays suck - most every bug spray contains petrochemical insecticides. Some are neurotoxins and while the dose may not appear to harm you, they have warning labels for a reason. We might not look like insects, but our nervous systems are similar. You don’t need any more air pollution. Plus, kids and pets can be even more vulnerable. The sprays also kill good bugs too. Best to avoid them when you can.
- Save energy - have you looked at your power bill lately? Air conditioning is a major power user and having a few open windows goes a long way to keeping your house cool. Fresh air and bird song is nice, but without screens, you’re less likely to open the windows.
Like most people, I don’t look at my screens till I notice a problem. But spring’s a good time to have a look at them. Here’s a handy list of what to look out for.
Do the screens still fit or did one get bent out of shape the last time someone pried it off trying to get back into a locked house?
Is the fibreglass mesh in good shape? It should be dark. When it gets silvery, that means it has copped too much sun and is about to break. Time to remesh.
Do they need a clean? Sometimes just brushing them will clear the dirt and let the air in.
Has the new cat shredded it or the dog walked through it? Might be time to try pet-resistant mesh. Its 10x tougher than the normal stuff.
Is the screen crooked? Sometimes the plastic keepers holding it on the frame were broken the last time the screens were removed.
Are your window’s barred? No problem. Sometimes I can slip a half screen in. It’s better than nothing.
Doors can also be fit with retractable screens. They’re dearer than fixed screens, but often worth it.
Meshed doors are a great help in keeping bugs out. Especially doors that shut themselves. All should latch properly, not slam. And sliding doors should run smoothly. Even if the screen is okay, are the wheels rolling or scraping? Does the door jump the track? There’s no reason to struggle. That’s all fixable.
And while you are walking around outside the house, are the gutters clear? Knock on a down pipe and make sure it sounds hollow. And keep an eye on the eaves. Paper wasps are making nests these days. They’re easy enough to get rid of, but I’ll leave that solution for another time.
Remeshing screens isn’t hard and there are specialised tools and a few tricks that I’ve learned over the years that make it easier. Let me know if you’d like some help.