No homeowner enjoys having pests on their property. These pesky creatures cause damage to structures and pose a significant health risk to the people who live or work inside the infested building. Somehow, they often find their way indoors despite our best efforts to keep them at bay. This is because even the tiniest cracks in a house’s exterior provide easy access for the critters to enter. Once inside, they quickly multiply and become a serious concern.
In this article, we will be discussing the top five most common household pests. Specifically, we will cover the signs of infestation, the health risks associated with each insect and how to prevent future infestations. By the end of this article, you’ll better understand how to keep your space pest-free.
Most Common Household Pests and How to Eradicate Them
Knowing the most common household pests is the first step in identifying whether you have an infestation, allowing you to promptly take the necessary steps in household pest control.
The following are the usual vermin found in homes:
Cockroaches are brownish-black insects that adapt to a wide range of environments and are found in many parts of the world. They are nocturnal pests and are most active at night.
Dangers of a Cockroach Infestation
Cockroaches are more than just a nuisance. The main danger they bring into your home is their ability to spread diseases that are particularly dangerous for young children, the elderly and those with weakened immune systems.
In addition to spreading disease, cockroach droppings, saliva and shed skin trigger allergic reactions, which can exacerbate asthma symptoms. This leads to difficulties in breathing and may sometimes result in a life-threatening asthma attack.
Signs That You Have a Cockroach Infestation
If you notice any of the following, you might have a cockroach infestation in your hands:
- Foul Smells: Cockroaches produce a pheromone with a distinctive musty odor, which can be particularly strong in areas with severe infestation.
- Shed Skin: Cockroaches shed their skin as they grow, leaving behind tiny, brown exoskeletons found near their hiding places.
- Droppings: Cockroaches leave behind small, dark and cylindrical droppings.
- Egg Cases: These cases, also known as oothecae, contain multiple eggs and are the clearest sign of a cockroach infestation in homes.
- Dead or Alive Cockroaches: The ultimate sign is seeing the cockroach, whether dead or alive.
2. Bed Bug
Bed bugs are small insects that feed on the blood of both humans and animals. They are found in areas where people rest, like couches, beds and other upholstered furniture. These insects are flat and oval, with a size ranging from 1mm to 7mm, making them difficult to spot.
Dangers of a Bed Bug Infestation
Unlike cockroaches, bed bugs do not transmit any diseases, but their bites cause various health problems. Some people may experience an allergic reaction, resulting in redness, itching and swelling around the bitten area. In severe cases, bed bug bites lead to anaphylaxis, a life-threatening reaction that requires immediate medical attention.
Aside from physical discomfort, bed bugs also cause psychological distress. An infestation can cause anxiety and fear of being bitten, leading to depression, insomnia and other mental health concerns.
Signs That You Have a Bed Bug Infestation
Do you suspect that you have bed bugs in your home? Keep an eye out for the following signs:
- Musty Odors: Bed bugs produce chemicals to communicate with their kind, and this causes musty smells.
- Specks of Blood on Beddings: These specks of blood are usually caused by bed bugs that have been crushed while feeding on their hosts.
- Exoskeletons: Bed bugs shed their exoskeletons as they grow and develop. These are found near their hiding places, like the seams of mattresses, box springs or bed frames.
- Eggs: Bed bug eggs are small and white. They are about the size of a pinhead and are often in clusters.
- Tiny Black Spots: These spots are bed bug excrements that are easily mistaken for dirt or mold.
Mosquitoes are small, winged insects that feed on the blood of humans and animals, which they require to develop their eggs. Mosquitoes are found worldwide but are most common in warm and humid places. There are over 3,500 species of mosquitoes, each with its unique characteristics. Most of them are active during the evening and are attracted to their hosts by the carbon dioxide they exhale.
Dangers of Having Mosquitoes in Your Home
Mosquitoes are feared because they carry life-threatening diseases like malaria, dengue fever, Zika virus and West Nile virus. These conditions cause various symptoms, from mild fever to more severe complications such as paralysis and even death. For those with weak immune systems, such as young children and older adults, the dangers of mosquito bites can be even greater. Therefore, preventing mosquitoes from entering your home is essential to protect yourself and your family from their bites.
Ticks are tiny, blood-sucking arachnids commonly found in wooded areas and grasslands. They are ectoparasites, meaning they feed on the blood of other animals, including humans. These insects have a hard, protective outer shell called a cuticle, which helps them to survive in harsh environments. They also have specialized mouthparts that allow them to attach to their host and feed for extended periods.
While ticks are commonly found outdoors, they can also infest a house by hitching a ride on pets. Once inside, they can hide in cracks and multiply quickly. Ticks are particularly attracted to warm and damp areas and usually hide in basements and crawl spaces. You can also find them where pets spend time, such as bedding, carpets and furniture.
Dangers of a Tick Infestation
While not all ticks carry diseases, those that do can pose a severe threat to human health. Lyme disease, Rocky Mountain spotted fever and ehrlichiosis are just some conditions that ticks can transmit.
In addition to disease transmission, they can also cause health issues for your pets. Animals with ticks may experience symptoms such as lethargy, loss of appetite and fever.
Signs That Your Home Is Infested With Ticks
The first sign of a tick infestation is often the presence of ticks themselves. They are usually brought indoors by pets, so pay close attention to areas where ticks are commonly found in animals, such as the scalp, neck and armpits.
Termites are small, pale pests that eat wood and other cellulose-based materials. They are social insects that work together to build and maintain their colonies. They communicate with each other through chemical signals and pheromones, and each member of the group has a specific role to play.
Dangers of a Termite Infestation
A termite infestation is hazardous since they cause significant structural damage. Termites feed on wood and consume large portions of your home’s structure, including support beams, walls and floors. This weakens the structural integrity of a building, making it unstable and unsafe. Termites also cause damage to personal belongings because they chew through books, clothing and furniture.
Signs of Termites in Your Home
Unfortunately, termites are often difficult to detect until it’s too late. However, there are some signs that can indicate their presence in a building.
A telling sign of a termite infestation is seeing mud tubes or tunnels. These are made from soil, wood and saliva, providing a protected pathway for the insects to move from their nest to a food source. You can find these tubes on the exterior or interior of your home, particularly around the foundation, walls or plumbing.
Another sign of termites is the presence of discarded wings. After termites swarm, they shed their wings, leaving them behind in piles near windows, doors or light sources.
Tips for Sustainable Home Maintenance to Deter Future Infestations
Preventing pest infestations is essential in keeping your home safe from the dangers these pests carry. You can do several things to prevent them from entering your space. First, ensure all entry points are appropriately sealed, including windows, doors and any cracks or crevices in the walls. Use weather stripping and caulking to fill gaps they may use as an entryway to your house.
Next, be sure to keep your space clean and tidy. Pests are attracted to food and garbage, so ensure all food is stored in airtight containers and that garbage is taken out regularly. Keep your floors and countertops clean, and don’t leave dirty dishes in the sink for too long. Also, keep your yard clean and well-maintained. Pests, particularly ticks, like to hide in tall grass, so make sure your lawn is regularly mowed.
Pests are a nuisance and potential health hazards. However, by doing simple household pest control practices, you can prevent them from infesting your home.
However, if you are already dealing with a pest problem, it’s crucial to address it quickly to prevent it from worsening.
Contact Pest Control Unlimited immediately. With our licensed technicians, state-of-the-art equipment and professional-grade products, we guarantee to eliminate any pest infestation and prevent future occurrences.
Don’t let pests take over your property and call today.