(HealthDay News) -- Pesticides are chemicals used to repel microorganisms, rodents or insects, but they may be harmful if inhaled or absorbed by the skin.

The U.S. National Library of Medicine suggests how to help keep bugs and other critters away from your home without the use of pesticides:

  • Don't leave any food sitting out around the home, including food scraps or pet food.
  • Keep wood chips and mulch away from the home, and clean up any standing water.
  • Clean out roof gutters regularly.
  • Seal up openings that could allow insects to infest your home.
  • Keep pets clean and groomed.