They move at the speed of sound, and, when you turn on the light in a dark room, your eyes always seem to hone in on them. But… they see you too, and soon they are skittering down the wall and into a corner… and then are out of sight. Out of sight, however, is of little consolation, because they are still at large in your home.
Common Household Pests
The above could be any of a number of insects that infiltrate our homes and give us the creeps just to see them. Of course, people suggest that they are more afraid of you, then you of them… but don’t believe it.
The most-common insect pests in the home are centipedes, spiders, cockroaches, bedbugs, termites and ants.
Insects aren’t the only critters that terrify and infiltrate our homes… mice are right up there too.
Crawling home invaders
Before resorting to chemical treatment of pesky insects, you should also perform this brief checklist:
- Keep your home clean and tidy and eliminate any seldom-used boxes or untamed clutter, especially in the basement, as they provide a haven for insects to hide and breed undisturbed.
- If you have ongoing water sources around the home, such as dehumidifiers constantly standing out with water in their intake tray, or water leaks, you are inviting centipedes to visit.
- Likewise, if you have spiders or other insects in your basement, or other areas of the house, you are providing a food source for those centipedes.
- The occasional creepy crawlers will get into your house, but to thwart easy entry into your home, start sealing any holes, cracks or gaps in your bricks or around doors or windows that enable centipedes, spiders or other insects to gain access to the inside of your home.
Services of an exterminator
Everyone has insects in and around their home and don’t let anyone try to tell you otherwise. You can knock them down off the wall, or stomp on them, but, if the population is fairly large, at some point you might need to resort to hiring an exterminator. Though the thought of an exterminator’s truck pulling up in your driveway and alerting your neighbors to your… ahem… problem, they are the best bet for eliminating pesky insects. A professional exterminator will come to your home, survey the situation and offer his or her best solution for pest control. Sometimes the annoying pests may be eradicated in one visit – one fell swoop and they are all gone – well, lucky you. Sometimes a return visit will be needed. Some exterminators will recommend a preventative maintenance schedule to keep the pests at bay. If you are on a preventative maintenance schedule, you will likely be sprayed in the interior of the home and garage interior semi-annually, usually in Spring and Fall, and around the exterior of the home (entire perimeter) three or four times from Spring through Fall. A pest control expert is skilled in the use of the specific chemicals geared to destroying the particular pest.
Common household insects
- Centipedes – These fast-moving critters can skitter up and down and all around with anywhere from 12 to 175 pair of long legs. They cannot see well, but bite their prey. They bite humans as well, but, although the bite is painful, it cannot kill you.
- Spiders – Though they only have 8 legs and cannot move as fast as centipedes, they are equally terrifying. All spiders are predators – the outside variety spins webs and eats every insect that flies or happens to get caught in their sticky lair. They attack and suck the life out of their prey then feast upon them little by little. They grow big and fat and look pretty terrifying, but those same spiders can get into your home as well. Spiders bite, but with the exception of the Brown Recluse and Black Widow, most spider bites are harmless.
- Cockroaches – Here is another pest that you might wonder why God created such an ugly insect. In the tropical climes, the cockroaches are very large and prevalent. Cockroaches are nocturnal, which means they skulk about at night. If you see them, it is because you turned on a light and scared them, or they were overcrowding your drain and some of them had to escape suddenly. They reproduce quickly and not only are they a terror to find, but their sloughed-off skin, dead bodies and droppings can not only emit a bad smell, but can cause allergic reactions in some people.
- Bedbugs – Bedbugs are one of the most unwelcome visitors in your home. They may have jumped aboard your suitcase when you were traveling, your purse at a restaurant, or brought along with a friend when he or she visited your home. You can get them from public transportation, even from school backpacks… they are nobody’s friend and once you have them, you need to eradicate them as soon as possible.
- Termites – Termites are not the scariest insects in the world, but the damage these pests can do is mighty scary to your home. This is because termites thrive on cellulose-based plant materials – translation: wood. They have powerful jaws and feast on woody-type materials like plants, trees and wood areas in your home. They can cause much damage to your home’s foundation and do interior and exterior damage as well, as they silently chew their way through your home. Like centipedes, they are attracted to damp or moist areas, so try not to encourage their presence by eliminating all water sources in your home.
- Ants – You don’t want ants at your picnic, and you don’t want them in your home either. There are multiple varieties of ants, but the two most-destructive species are the Grease ants and the Carpenter ants. Grease ants can access and infiltrate your pantry in an effort to seek out sweet or greasy food. Carpenter ants, can destroy your trees outside, or use those trees that might be leaning against your house, to march in a row right into your home. Like termites, they will eat and destroy wood.
These are the most-popular household pests. There are others like silverfish that attack the starch and pages of books or periodicals or those pesky pantry moths that get into dried goods or flour. The common housefly or mosquitoes are pests we usually think of more on the outside of the house, but they occasionally get into the home as well in the Summer months.
Though we’ve mostly discussed insects, the bane of most people’s existence is mice. Did you know a house mouse can access your home through a hole as small as a quarter of an inch large? They can scale the bricks of your home then scurry into it while you are opening or closing the door. Yikes! Having a cat in the house helps, but once you have a mice infestation, the cat can’t keep up, no more than a lowly spring trap with cheese might. Sadly, you must call in the professionals.