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Windows & Keeping the Bugs Out

Aggie inspects my work.

Aggie inspects my work.

No matter where you’re from, you’ve encountered bugs of all shapes and sizes that you don’t really want inside your home. If your from the United States, and maybe other parts of Europe, you might be use to there being built in screens on your windows. I certainly was. That is not necessarily the case in Maastricht.

The solution? Bug Net.

There seem to be a variety of solutions for keeping insects out depending on the types of windows you need to protect. We purchased our netting at Praxis (and I won’t necessarily recommend it), but I’ve seen it in a variety of other housing good and even discount stores. Except for a little curiosity, my cats have not tried to go through the netting yet, which is a comfort.

Regular Windows
The simplest solution for putting bug net over regular windows is a Velcro kit. The one shown here is Tesa brand and ran me about 15 Euros. The netting is intended to be semi-permanent; you shouldn’t be removing it until you don’t need it any more. Tesa also has a “reusable” version that runs about 26 euros. I covered two windows with this kit, but mileage will vary depending on the size of the windows.

How its Done

The kit included a length of bug net, the hook side of Velcro that is sticky on one side, a cutter, and a tool to press the net into the Velcro.
1) Wash the window where you’ll be sticking the Velcro. Simple soap and water will do, but you need it smooth and clean.

2) Measure and position the velcro strips along all 4 sides of the window. Make sure you press it down well so it doesn’t interfere with the function of the window. Our windows open in sideways and had a handy channel just the right size.
3) Cut out a square of bug net that is too big for the window you want to cover.
4) Stretch it over the window; securing the net to the Velcro. You want it taunt so it doesn’t interfere with the view, but slack enough that it doesn’t pull the Velcro away. I made our squares too small, so I’m already re-sticking the Velcro every time I open and close the window.
5) Press the net into the Velcro and use a cutter (not terribly effective) or scissors (not great either) to bring the netting down to size.

Skylights
For a skylight, a removable netting is more desirable so you can open & close the window. The kit we tried is Tesa brand and ran about 20 euros. Since the netting for this kit has an elastic around its edge, it was only good for one window. Because the netting is only held at the corners, it doesn’t have the same level of seal as the netting for the regular windows.

How Its Done
The kit comes with 4 plastic tabs, removable adhesive strips, and an elastic-edged bug net.
1) Measure how far out on the wall you need to place plastic tabs so that the bug net will be stretched far enough.
2) Press the adhesive to the wall and then a tab to each adhesive strip. Apply pressure for about 5 seconds apiece.

3) Hook the bug net over the tabs like a bed sheet.

Porch Doors
While I have a glassed in porch door, I have no plans to leave it open because I’m trying to keep my cats in. That said, I did see large bug nets designed to hang over glass doors and large, picture windows. These nets actually hang like curtains over the window. Again the seal isn’t complete, but it would be an improvement over just having the door hanging wide open. An additional benefit is that birds won’t be able to fly into your home without a lot of effort.

Additional Thoughts
Do you need the expensive kits to get better quality? I honestly don’t know, but with the ease at which the netting can be torn, I’ll be trying some of the cut-rate options for my additional windows. If you’re staying more permanently in your place, you may consider a more permanent netting solution. Praxis (and probably other home improvement stores) carries frames and screens that you can try.

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