Hello dear readers and welcome back for another post in my Home Ownership 101 Series. Today’s topic deals with one of the least enjoyable aspects of home ownership (but absolutely necessary)…pest control. Household pests are annoying and troublesome! They can cause damage to your property, disturb you at night, and might even contribute to illnesses. Depending on your geographic location, you will encounter different types of pests. The most common are beetles, rats and mice, carpenter ants, termites, and wasps. Here are some of the most destructive household pests that you can encounter. *This post contains affiliate links.
Although powderpost beetles do not sting or bite, the small insects can cause major damages to your property. They are grouped into 70 species of wood-boring insects and come in various appearances. Most are reddish-brown to black in color and normally 1/16- to 1/4-inch long.
It’s difficult to identify a powderpost beetle infestation. Normally, you’ll notice piles of fine dust with small exit holes on the wood or walls. However, you’ll not see any insects on the site. You can prevent a powderpost beetle infestation by using preservative wood treatments, fine sanding your wood, and treating wood with pesticides.
Rats and Mice
In large numbers, rats and mice can be disturbing and dangerous for your health. To begin with, mice tend to make irritating noises in the evening and at night. You may hear scratching, scurrying, and squeaking noises in the ceiling and walls, which tend to be amplified at night. Secondly, mice, rats, and their parasites such as fleas also come with a variety of diseases, which can be deadly to humans and livestock, especially poultry.
It’s easy to identify rat and mice infestations. Some common signs include urine odors, gnaw and rub marks, rodent nests, unusual pet behaviors, strange noises at night, droppings, and rat fighting noises. For serious problems with rats and mice, consult a professional pest control company.
Termites are small insects, but they are visible to the eye. Winged termites can help you identify nearby colonies. However, non-winged termites are the most destructive. They tend to hide in walls, in crawl spaces, and inaccessible areas within your home. In addition to ruining your property, termites can contribute to asthma attacks and allergic reactions.
HVAC systems can contribute to the spread of the irritating dust particles from the termite nests. Since the creatures do not rest or sleep, they may be the most destructive pests in your home. Termites can be difficult to exterminate since they are normally well spread out. Seek pest control services as soon as possible to prevent major damages to your property.
Unlike termites, carpenter ants don’t live in the ground. They prefer to establish their nests in hollow places and in wet or moist wood. At first, you’ll begin to notice wood shavings found near windowsills and door jams. Carpenter ants will rarely bite you, and they’re not poisonous. However, their bites are incredibly painful if the ants are provoked.
Household pests cause homeowners much stress. Termites, for example, reportedly cause damages worth more than $5 billion annually. There are plenty of DIY organic and pesticide free options to eliminate pests in and around the home but don’t hesitate to call pest control professionals if you suspect a serious problem that you aren’t able to eradicate.
German cockroaches are the most common roaches in the United States. If you spotted one and unsuccessfully killed one (we’ve been there), prepare yourself with these hacks so the next time it comes around you will be ready.
How to spot them:
Grown-up German cockroaches are flat and tan or brown. Their size ranges from ½ inch to ⅝ inches long. They have two dark side-by-side lines starting at the back of its head. You may see fully developed wings, but do not worry. They cannot fly. Their young are are typically much darker, almost black, and smaller. They do not have wings.
Now that you know what to look for, you may be asking yourself, “Where do German cockroaches come from?” Your dwelling may be spic and span, but they get in where they can fit in. These roaches, and their eggs, can be brought into your home from your personal belongings like luggage, boxes or packages. They could also easily pass through from your grocery items, grocery bags, cartons and handbags.
These roaches are usually found in the kitchen or bathrooms because they love warm, moist places with lots of food options. They can easily move in and out of tiny places and can hide in the warmest spots in your house like around electric wiring, electronics, under sinks, and kitchen appliances like stoves, dishwashers and refrigerators.
How to Get Rid of Cockroaches
Baits are very effective and come in two different forms: bait stations and gel baits. The bait stations are made of plastic and they house food, water and roach poison. The food lures them in and they take the fatal bait. If the problem is an infestation you may need to resort to toxic bombs, insecticides or residual sprays.
It’s also important to remember that not all bugs are bad! Many of them are actually beneficial, including some spiders and most definitely honey bees! This summer I almost killed some swallowtail butterfly larvae unknowingly mistaking them for some other kind of invasive pest when I found them on my parsley. After my son researched what they were, I decided to let them chomp my parsley and go through their life cycle. We watched them grow into caterpillars, then within a few days we had a couple of new beautiful butterflies flying around the herbs! I can always pick up another small parsley plant for a few bucks but saving the butterflies was priceless!
While it’s not the most pleasant topic to discuss, dealing with pests occasionally is simply one of the less enjoyable aspects of home ownership. Remember to inspect your home, garage, deck and garden on a regular basis so that you will be aware of any problems and eradicate them as soon as possible.
Best of luck for keeping a pest free home. Thanks for visiting today!