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4 Alternatives to Screen Doors for Keeping Bugs Out of Your Home

A collage of door screen alternatives.

If you don’t want to have a screen door, either sliding or swinging, you have screen door alternatives to use for keeping bugs such as spiders and flies out of your home. In fact, some of the options are inexpensive, easy to install and very effective.

Below, check out options for keeping bugs out of your home that isn’t some type of screen door.

1. Retractable Door

White, standard retractable door.Source: Home Depot


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  • Unlike screen doors where the door is always visible no matter if it is open or closed, a retractable screen door will actually roll up and out of the way when it is not in use. This creates a very clean look and the screen itself will be almost invisible unless your guests know to look for it.
  • There are some retractable screen doors that you can buy that have been specially treated to reduce glare from the sun or heat from the air from getting into your home. This allows you to open the door even on the hottest days without worrying about making the home uncomfortable.
  • Because the screen will roll up when you do not need it, you will be able to look through your door without having your view obstructed. You can also easily enter and exit your home without having to worry about how to open and hold the door while walking through.
  • Regular screen doors have to be replaced after a while due to how they slam shut. Over time, this will cause the door to wear out. Luckily, this opening won’t have that same problem and when they are made of long-lasting materials, then they will outlast even the most expensive screen door.
  • This kind of door instantly creates a very tight seal when it is in use. Unlike regular screen doors that often rest partly open and allow insects to easily enter the home, these screen doors will keep everything out of your home.
  • While regular screen doors only come in a handful of sizes at the store, you can easily work with a company to custom-design your retractable screen door. This will let you install it on any kind of opening, including French doors or even doors that are smaller than normal.
  • Unlike regular screen doors that will benefit from being removed from the door and stored during the winter to protect them and keep them working for years, retractable screen doors can easily be stored in the rolled-up position. Homeowners don’t have to worry about bad weather, UV, or dirt damaging the door when it is stored away.


  • With all of these amazing features, retractable screen doors do cost more than fixed options; however, they will last for a lot longer.
  • The installation has to be perfect in order for the door to work the way that it should. Some homeowners feel comfortable completing installation on their own while others know that getting professional help is the best way to ensure that there are no problems in the future.
  • If the door is yanked down out of its storage in the rolled-up position, it can be damaged. It’s important that young children are taught how to handle the door correctly so that there won’t be any issues with it being pulled off of the door frame or damaged.

2. Storm Door

White, aluminum storm door.Source: Home Depot


  • In general, most storm doors come with a lock so that it’s easy for the homeowner to secure their home. This allows them to enjoy the fresh air that can come in through a storm door without having to worry about someone trying to get in through the door.
  • Storm doors have a glass panel on them that will allow the homeowner to get fresh air during the day or night. These panels will come in different sizes so homeowners can decide how much they want to be able to open up their storm doors.
  • When the glass panel on the door is open, the homeowner will be able to enjoy the breeze, smell of flowers, and sound of the birds. This is a great way to enjoy nature while still being in your home.
  • Homeowners can close the glass panel on the storm door and keep the hot air of the summer out of the home in this way. It also offers great protection against any rain that is blowing and will keep it off of the actual main door.
  • Storm doors can brighten up the home by allowing natural light in while still protecting against bugs that may be able to enter the home through the screen door.
  • While screen doors will commonly rip and let in bugs, storm doors are sturdier and can stand up to more abuse.
  • When the glass panel on the storm door is closed, then the door will create an insulation pocket of air in between the two doors of the home. This helps keep the home cool in the summer and warmer in the winter without raising electricity costs.
  • Available in a number of finishes and materials, it’s easy to find a storm door that will improve the appearance of the home. Wood, vinyl, fiberglass, and aluminum are all available and all come with their own sets of pros and cons.
  • Some storm doors can be painted to match the color of the home while others can have blinds installed between panes, increasing privacy.
  • They do a great job protecting very ornate or expensive main doors and keeping them from damaging ice, wind, and rain.
  • The hinges and handles on your new storm door can be chosen to match the hardware on the rest of the doors in the home, creating a streamlined look.


  • Having to open one more door when you are coming back from the store or carrying children can be very difficult and frustrating.
  • While they are a great way to enjoy a summer’s breeze, they may not be necessary if you have an overhang by your door as this will protect the door from rain damage.
  • During the really hot summers, they can actually allow a lot of heat to build up in between the two doors. This can cause damage to the entry door when the heat gets extreme.
  • They are generally much more expensive than screen doors are and only come in set sizes, which can make it difficult to find a storm door if your door frame is larger or smaller than the typical door.

3. Magnetic Screen

Easy-to-install magnetic screen.Source: Home Depot


  • These doors open very easily and don’t require a person to use his or her hands to physically open a door. This makes them a great option for when you are carrying heavy groceries and can’t open the handle.
  • They can be installed on both the inside and the outside of the door. This allows for the homeowners to decide if they want them to be visible from the outside or not.
  • Magnetic screens make any door into the pet doors and allow the animals to easily enter and exit the home. The same is true for small children as they won’t have to try to work the handle by themselves.
  • Because it’s magnetic, the screen will automatically shut tight after someone goes through it. This allows pets and humans to enter and exit the home at will without worrying about bugs getting through the door as well.
  • These screens install very quickly and in just minutes, making them an ideal option for the homeowner who isn’t terribly handy with tools and is worried about hanging a door correctly and evenly.
  • Available in a number of sizes, they can work on standard doors to full French doors. In addition, you can sometimes find a company that will custom-fit the screen to your door for a perfect fit.
  • Magnetic screens won’t damage the frame of the door and are ideal for renters who want to have the ability to open the doors to their homes but can’t install a screen or storm door without landlord approval.
  • They’re very portable and can easily be taken on vacation to a cabin, to a vacation home, or even used with an RV. This ensures that you are comfortable no matter where you are.
  • Larger sizes can be installed on a barn door, making the space free from bugs while you are working with the animals.
  • Some screens come with a printed design, making it a bright addition to the home as well as providing a visual reminder that the screen is shut so that nobody accidentally runs into it.


  • Any animals can enter the home, not just your household pets.
  • Because the magnetic screen doesn’t lock, it can be tricky to keep your children inside without shutting and locking the door.
  • It can be tricky to find high-quality magnetic screens at local stores and most of the time homeowners opt to order them online to make sure that they are getting high-quality products.
  • Yanking on the screen can not only cause it to tear but actually pull it down from the door frame. Little children may become injured if they pull hard on the screen and get tangled up in it.
  • While some versions can be cut shorter to fit in the height of the door, others can’t and cutting them can cause them to come apart and wear out faster.
  • Unlike retractable doors that can be easily hidden from view, once the magnetic screen is installed, it is very obvious to anyone who looks at the door.

4. Fly Blind

If a magnetic curtain doesn’t work for you for whatever reason, you can get a fly blind which is thin strips of various materials that hang from your door frame. This is what we used growing up. It’s very inexpensive.

Fly blind as alternative to screen door


  • Inexpensive.
  • Fast to put up.
  • Easy to put up.
  • Convenient: don’t have to open anything or unzip anything to enter and exit the house.


  • Doesn’t look so good.
  • Flies can still get in … not sealed. But definitely reduces insects accessing your home.

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