Bugs, like any other animal, have to live somewhere. However, that somewhere usually means inside people’s homes. Many bugs are pests and can cause severe damage around the house. Do note, not all of them are harmful, but that doesn’t make them welcome either.
For most people, having bugs in the house is a definite no-no. Like it or not, though, insects will try to make it inside. Man-made structures often mean shelter from the elements and a steady supply of food, so it’s no wonder they keep trying. However, that doesn’t mean you have to invite them in or let them stay; quick pest control can address the problem and nip it in the bud. Here are some of the common invaders you’re likely to find in your house, and what you can do about them.
1. Silverfish – Silverfish have been around for over 400 million years (even before dinosaurs), and it looks like they aren’t leaving any time soon. Being alive for all that time has made silverfish great survivors. They can make a meal out of almost anything, and can even go without food for up to a year as long as they have water. Keeping silverfish out of the house requires a few changes to make your home less hospitable. Remove any clutter (e..g piled-up newspapers and mail) to give them fewer hiding spots. Store your off-season stuff in sealed plastic bins, and keep your dry goods in containers with tight-fitting lids to keep them out of reach.
2. Dust mites – It’s an unpleasant thought, but dust mites are present in every home. They usually feed off dead skin cells, which allows them to thrive in any plush surface that can hold the particles (e.g. carpet, upholstery, and bedding). You can’t get rid of dust mites completely, but routine cleaning can be a great way to keep their populations manageable.
3. Bedbugs – Just like the name implies, bedbugs tend to lay in wait on your bed to make sure they stay close to their favourite food (you). Inspect your mattress first to determine if you have a problem. Pay close attention to the piping on your upper mattress. Keep an eye out for the bugs, their droppings, eggs, and gold-coloured shells left behind after moulting. Perform the inspection every time you change the sheets. Schedule inspections every few months (or at least every time you rotate the mattress). For a more thorough inspection, fold the piping over so you can inspect both sides all the way round. Bedbugs can also find some unexpected hiding spots; always stay vigilant to make defending yourself an easier task.
4. Carpet beetles – If you’re being bitten at night, the problem may not necessarily be bedbugs. Carpet beetles don’t actually bite; the sensation comes from their hairs causing an allergic reaction that looks like a bedbug bite. Carpet beetles don’t cause harm directly; however, their larvae can eat holes in carpets, clothes, upholstery, and books. If you suspect something’s up, roll up your sleeves and start cleaning. Dust and vacuum thoroughly to remove dust bunnies and cobwebs where the beetles hide. Then take all your clothes and wash them thoroughly to make sure there aren’t any stragglers on them when you put them back in the closet. Finally, treat your carpets with insecticide to ensure you get any remaining larvae.
5. Centipedes – Centipede means “100 legs,” and they certainly have a lot of them. All those legs typically make them very fast (capable of reaching speeds of up to 40 centimetres per second, making catching them a difficult prospect. It can be rare to see them, as centipedes are generally active at night. They prefer damp, dark places (like basements and bathrooms). If you want to get rid of them, use a dehumidifier (or install a fan in the bathroom) to make your interior more dry. Seal any cracks in the walls to prevent centipedes coming in and laying eggs.
6. Termites – The key to fighting a termite infestation is finding the nest. It’s usually a good idea to call the pros for this one; they generally have the tools to locate the nest more accurately. Once you’ve found the nest, you can plant some traps to target the queen. Set your traps where the workers congregate for ideal effect. It’s also vital you seal any entry points to keep termites out of the house. Take a look around the house’s outer foundation for any cracks and gaps that termites may use to gain entry. Seal any gaps you find (they’re usually located around the cables, wires, and pipes entering your home).
7. Cockroaches – Cockroaches are a persistent problem for many homeowners, often leading to surprising population explosions. A good rule of thumb is where there’s one cockroach, there’s more of them hiding somewhere. Once they’re moved in, cockroaches can be difficult to dislodge, so swift action is key. Set some traps in likely spots (e.g. under the sink or behind the fridge) and apply insecticide. Reapply insecticide and reset your traps regularly to combat new cockroaches as they hatch. You can also prevent their emergence by denying them any hidey holes. Remove any clutter where cockroaches might lurk (e.g. cardboard boxes and stacks of newspapers). For extra protection, secure your food by cleaning up immediately after meals and safely storing food in sealed packages.
8. Ants – Ants may be tiny, but they’re also relentless. They’re usually looking for food and shelter, so the bathroom and kitchen are typical targets for them. Your first impulse may be to step on any ants you find, but there are usually too many ants for that approach to be effective. Instead, remove the ants’ food source by cleaning up spills and sweeping up any crumbs. Another measure for effective ant control is spraying entry points with insecticide. The spray leaves a thin film that repels ants. Reapply the spray every spring to protect your home when the ants start stirring after winter.
9. Stink bugs – Stink bugs typically live and breed outdoors, but when it gets cold they aren’t above sneaking into homes to hibernate. If you see one, refrain from stepping on it; they live up to their name by emitting a foul smell that attracts more stink bugs. Instead, vacuum them up and dispose of them a safe distance outside the house to avoid them attacking your garden next.
Many homes are host to plenty of pests, especially in winter, when the cold makes many of them sneak inside for shelter. Insects can be an especially insidious example, finding nooks and crannies to hide in and being difficult to dislodge. Use these insights to help manage your insect infestations and minimize the effect they have on your home.
When it comes to pest control, it’s usually best to turn to the pros. At JDM Pest Control, we pride ourselves on providing quality service to all our clients. When you call us for help, we make sure your problem stays gone long after we leave. Call us at (416) 729-3568 or visit our contact page for a free assessment and get 25$ off!