Bug Off: 7 Common Bugs Found in Homes and How to Keep Them Under Control
More than 10 percent of the population is afraid of pests, whether it’s spiders, mice, rats, or other unwanted critters. But insects are a fact of life.
They hide out in our homes, build nests in the basement, and live alongside us no matter how much we try to get rid of them.
Understanding the most common bugs found in homes can help make them less terrifying. Even better, it can help you keep infestations from happening in the first place.
Here are a few of the most common household insects and what you need to do to get rid of and prevent those unwanted infestations.
1. Fruit Flies
Fruit flies are one of the most annoying pests homeowners deal with. Their eggs hatch quickly, meaning your kitchen can go from clean to infested in as little as a day.
Most often, fruit flies take up residence around food prep areas, in sunny windows, and near trash cans. But what makes them such an issue is their ability to bring disease and increase food decay inside the house.
Luckily, they’re relatively easy to get rid of and prevent over time. Build a trap for existing fruit flies by filling a glass with warm water and a tablespoon each of apple cider vinegar and dish soap.
The vinegar lures them to the glass and the soap coats their wings so they can’t fly away.
Keep them from coming back by cleaning the kitchen thoroughly every day. Store fruits and vegetables in the refrigerator whenever possible and wipe down surfaces after cooking.
Ants are always on the hunt for food and water. And the best place to find a steady supply of both is at your house. They slip in through cracks and open doorways, scout the house out, and send for reinforcements back at the colony.
Getting rid of them takes a bit more effort than other pests. If you don’t have pets or children in the house, traditional pesticides are effective.
If you want a pesticide-free way to keep them at bay, sprinkle a few drops of peppermint oil on cotton balls and set them where you’ve seen ants entering the house. You can also use diatomaceous earth powder to create barriers around the kitchen. Both methods are safe for kids and pets.
Once you’ve got the current infestation under control, keep ants from coming back by cleaning your house thoroughly. Wipe down countertops, vacuum and mop floors, and take out smelly trash every few days.
3. Bed Bugs
Bed bugs are a major problem especially for residents in large cities or those that travel often. They’re small, brown, and often shiny in direct light. Most bed bugs hide along the seams of mattresses, in upholstered items, and in the joints of wooden furniture.
Most often, people discover the infestation after seeing bites on their legs, neck, or hands. Read more here to learn about the signs and symptoms to watch for.
Getting rid of them requires professional treatments from specialized pest control teams. You’ll also need to buy bed bug mattress covers to keep them from spreading throughout the house.
Avoiding bed bugs is relatively simple. Avoid buying used furniture and avoid setting your suitcase on the floor or bed when traveling. Once you’re home, unpack your luggage outside and wash your clothes in hot water.
Where there’s one roach, there are dozens of others hiding in your house. When left unchecked, roaches spread disease and startle nearly everyone who sees them.
Setting roach traps from your local hardware or grocery store is usually enough to control the problem. If the infestation is severe, consider hiring a professional pest control team to spray for them.
To keep roaches from coming back, keep your house clean and keep all food in sealed containers. Also, consider taking the trash out more often as it removes temptation and makes your home more inhospitable to roaches.
Mosquitos lead to uncomfortable and itchy bites, but they also spread illnesses like West Nile Virus and Zika. Getting rid of them is an ongoing battle, but it is possible.
Get rid of any standing water on your property. If you have a pool or pond, circulate the water with a pump. This keeps mosquitos from successfully laying eggs.
Use bug spray, and citronella candles or torches when spending time outside. You may also want to wear long sleeves and pants to cover up against their bites.
Spiders are a fact of life no matter where you live. They’re in every house, condo, RV, and dwelling across the globe.
Though they’re creepy, most spiders are harmless and help control the population of unwanted insects like flies, mosquitos, and even roaches. Keeping them around is in your best interest. But you can reduce the number you see in your house.
Start by giving your house a good deep cleaning. Get rid of clutter, dust behind knickknacks, and vacuum weekly.
Outside the house, start improving your landscaping. Keep plants pruned and trimmed away from the house to make it harder for spiders to slip inside.
If you’re worried about poisonous spiders, you can call a pest control team to inspect the property. But remember, getting rid of all spiders isn’t in your best interest.
Silverfish are among some of the most destructive common household bugs. They thrive in areas of high humidity and eat fabrics, upholstery, paper, cardboard, and food items without discrimination.
They’re easy to spot with their bright silver color and are even easier to prevent.
Keep your house clean. Get rid of piles of cardboard boxes and newspapers lying around. And make sure to keep food in sealed containers.
If you already have an infestation, tidy up your house and spread diatomaceous earth in areas with the highest silverfish populations. You can also use insecticide and traps to get rid of more stubborn pests.
Beat the Common Bugs Found in Homes
No matter what you do, these common bugs found in homes will always be an issue. But as long as you stay on top of your preventative measures, you’ll keep the worst infestations from happening in the first place.
Keeping a clean house is the best way to reduce your risk of an insect infestation. But finding the right place to call home can be a challenge.
Check out our current listings and let Sky Five Properties help you find the perfect house or condo to call your own.