5 tips for keeping bugs out of your bedroom when sleeping with the window open

Let the heat out without letting the creepy crawlies in

White painted bedroom with large windows, long white curtains, bed
(Image credit: Future PLC/James French)

Keeping your window open at night to keep your bedroom cool always seems like a good idea at the time, until you've woken up to some unwelcome visitors in your room – yeah, we're looking at you, creepy crawlies.

If you're looking for some foolproof methods to keep your sleep sanctuary pest-free while keeping the heat out, you've come to the right place.

Despite being a highly debatable practice, it's pretty much a given at this point that unless you're opening your windows in the summer to let some ventilation in, our British homes feel like glorified greenhouses. However, with keeping windows open comes the unwelcome arrival of bugs.

White painted bedroom with large windows, long white curtains, bed

(Image credit: Future PLC/James French)

How to keep bugs out of your room

Despite your efforts of trying to get rid of flies and repel mosquitoes from your home, undoubtedly there'll be a pesky straggler or two that just won't quit trying. Here are some expert-led tips on how to keep the creepy crawlies at bay without sacrificing the comfort of a cool room.

1. Utilise essential oils

'To deter flying insects, employ natural repellents. Citronella or essential oil such as eucalyptus diffusers can help repel pests,' assures Jonathan Kirby, pest expert at NOPE!

Although using citronella candles to repel mosquitoes has been proven to not be the most effective method, citronella oils on the other hand are a winner – not to mention they'll make your home smell lovely too.

Alternatively, try your hand at peppermint or lavender oil. Simply add a couple of drops in a spray bottle of water and disperse the mixture around the house, with a focus on your windows and doors.

Natural headboard, bedside table, and dresser with neutral coloured green bedding

(Image credit: Future PLC/Dan Duchars)

2. Embrace natural methods – herbs, plants, and fruit

If you've been looking to start a little herb garden of your own, whether that be outdoors or just in a couple of containers on your windowsill, there's no better time than now to learn how to propagate rosemary or how to propagate lavender

Jonathan Kirby at NOPE! says, 'Planting insect-repelling herbs like rosemary or lavender near windows can also discourage [bugs].'

Small plant containers on windowsill and hanging

(Image credit: Future PLC/Katie Lee)

Even if you're not growing your own herbs, you can buy them from the store and simply put a bouquet of fresh lavender in a vase on a decluttered bedside table, as recommended by Sophie Thorogood, from the technical team at Pest-Stop. For an even lower effort fix, place fresh citrus peels in the area where flies tend to buzz.

Dominic Lees-Bell, cleaning expert at Tap Warehouse reveals that other herbs like lemongrass, basil, and peppermint are also effective at repelling flies, for example.

Lavender in vase on table next to white mug

(Image credit: Getty Images)

3. Switch off the lights

Simple, but highly effective. A lot of bugs, mosquitoes, in particular, are attracted to the light and will follow it. So, try to avoid switching all the lights off at night if you're still planning to watch TV or look at a computer screen. Wait until you're planning to go to bed to switch your bedroom's big light off.

Nick Shacklock at Online-Bedrooms assures, 'You have less chance of these pests entering your room if you get rid of any potential light for them to follow.'

White bedroom with twin beds and wall hung lighting

(Image credit: Future PLC/Jason Ingram)

4. Place a fan by your bedroom window

If you're after another simple solution, try placing a fan by the window, which we can confirm is a genius fan hack to keep flying bugs at bay.

Whether you opt for the best fan money can buy or choose a smaller one, like the John Lewis handheld fan, it's sure to make a difference. 'Fans ward off flies and mosquitoes, they don’t like moving air. Placing a fan near your window will prevent them from entering,' says Nick Shacklock at Online-Bedrooms.

beige bedroom with artwork on the wall and a black wardrobe with large window

(Image credit: Future PLC/Chris Snook)

5. Keep your room clean

Of course, if there's anything to take away with you after reading this, it's keeping your room clean. Flies are especially attracted to warm environments, which makes your home the ideal spot in the summer.

If you have a tendency to eat in your room or keep a wastebin in there, Dominic Lees-Bell at Tap Warehouse reminds us to 'throw out any overripe fruits and vegetables, and keep your rubbish tightly sealed and emptied regularly.'

He adds, 'Remember, it’s not just the food – rotting or decomposing – but also the smell of sugar that is likely to attract them.' This is why we'll be keeping our snacking at the dining table where possible.

Light grey painted bedroom, built in wardrobes, black fireplace, armchair, double bed

(Image credit: Future PLC/James French)

At the end of the day, bugs are an inevitable part of the summer so even with as many preventive measures as there are, unfortunately, bugs will be bugs. However, we hope these quick fixes will help you sleep better knowing that in some way, there are fewer creepy crawlies to be had.

Here's to tackling the rest of these (hopefully not as unbearable) hot summer nights ahead of us.

Jullia Joson
Junior Writer

Jullia Joson is a Junior Writer at Ideal Home. She's always loved all things homes and interiors, graduating with a bachelor's degree in Architectural Studies from the University of Nottingham where her love for journalism blossomed following her internship at ArchDaily. Now focused on home tech, Jullia works on writing features and explainers to help people make the most of their home appliance investments. When she isn't writing, she loves exploring the city, coffee shop hopping, and losing hours to a cosy game.