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They’ve set-up camp on your lawn, refuse to leave, and chant all night. What now?

These days I’m getting a lot of questions about cicadas. Like, what harm can they do to your home and how to keep them out. Ya know, this only comes up every few years, so at first I didn’t know. Honestly, this old handyman can’t remember which part of a broken toilet he replaced this morning, much less something that last happened 17 years ago.

So I thought it made sense to seek out the smartest people around to get answers. Like maybe folks with letters like “PhD” after their names, and those at elite institutions.

So you can imagine my feelings of great fortune when I learned that some of the very smartest people in the whole wide world, the leadership of Wash U, were dealing with a similar problem! Protesting students had set-up camps on a lawn at the campus, they refused to leave, and they were chanting loudly. 

I watched with interest a video showing dozens of police as they simultaneously descend on these students with locked arms, grab them by the ankles, and drag them away. Days later I noticed that while there was now a temporary 12′ tall chain-linked fence surrounding the campus, there was not a protestor in sight.

Hmmm, seems like a possible approach, even though I’d have to work out how to deal with a much larger number of cicadas, none with ankles that can be grabbed as far as I know, and who could easily pass through a chain link fence.

So my research continued, and I came across how they handled this at another elite institution, Northwestern University. The administrators there took a much more gentle approach. They got the protestors to leave by handing out generous scholarships to attend the university and by endowing professorial chairs to teach whatever the protesters were chanting about.

Ya know, even though those at Northwestern may be among the smartest people in the world, I respectfully have some questions. Particularly as it pertains to squatting cicadas. Not sure I’d want to invite cicadas into my house for as long as the range between the four years it takes to earn a degree, and a lifetime protected by tenure.

While I want to thank Wash U and Northwestern for their valuable input, your humble correspondent would like to humbly present my own proposal for dealing with cicadas. And I hope I’m not infringing on any trademarks here, but I call it “The Two-State Solution.”

In the Two-State Solution, you would concede the OUTDOORS to the cicadas, where they can go about their frenzied singles bar activity, if you know what I mean, without interference. Look, you can’t catch them or kill them, they’ll be gone in a few weeks anyway, and there’s a good chance it’ll be some other homeowner’s problem 17 years from now.

The place to draw the red line is the INSIDE of your house. Don’t let them in. Hey, they’re not all that interested in coming inside anyway because there’s not as much “action” in there, once again if you know what I mean.

So, here are the best ways to keep cicadas, and all other bugs for that matter, out of your house.

Bugs use the same doors you do to get into your house. And while they could make a mad dash into your house in the few moments when a door is open, they prefer to enter 24/7 through the gaps around them. The gaps at the tops and sides of your doors are sealed with weatherstripping. The gaps at the bottom are filled by a combination of a bottom door sweep and the threshold below it. Fix St Louis can repair and replace all of these door parts.

Bugs like to enter houses through holes and tears in screens, and where the screen has pulled away from the edges of the frame. You should be aware that there are now several choices in screen mesh. Fiberglass screens are now more popular than aluminum because they puncture and tear less easily. And among fiberglass screens, there are varieties that filter out smaller bugs, resist damage from pets, cut down on light, are extra-resistant to tearing, and more. Fix St Louis can repair screens on your windows and porches, no matter what technique was used to hold the screen mesh in place.

Exterior Trim, Vents, Pipes, Wires, and More
Every duct, wire, or pipe that passes through an outside wall presents an opportunity for bugs to enter around it. Fix St Louis can fill and caulk those gaps, or replace the vent so that it does a better job covering the gaps. And we can also caulk around your windows, doors, and wherever else there is outside trim covering gaps, too!

You may have noticed that the bottom part of your house called the “foundation” is usually made of solid concrete, blocks, or stone. Cracks and holes in these can provide openings for bugs and, in the worst case, openings for water. Fix St Louis can work with you on these issues, too!

One thing you can always count on with Fix St Louis is that we’re not at all like cicadas, student protestors or, for that matter, other contractors. We love you, but we don’t want to move in or hang around your house. We specialize in SMALL jobs, so just like you, we want to get in and out of your life as quickly as possible. So call us to fix your home problems, and the moment we’re done, we promise to leave quickly and quietly. You don’t even have to ask.

Dr Steve
Fix St Louis