We’re now spending more time at home than ever before, with the silver lining being that we’re getting more time with those we love. But without taking proper precautions, you could have some unexpected guests trying to get in on the family fun. Read below to learn about five arthropods that wouldn’t mind staying in with you, and check out our best tips for keeping them out.
Once bedbugs have found a way in, it’s difficult to kick them out, which might make them the most loathed and unwelcome house guest of this bunch. Bed bugs like to feed on warm-blooded animals who are at rest. They can detect carbon-dioxide emitted from the host and then become responsive to the warmth and moisture of their prey. Bed bugs require blood to reproduce and fulfill their life cycle, usually feeding every 3-4 days. Their bites usually go unnoticed, but continual feeding can result in a disrupted sleep pattern that could impact a person’s mood. While many assume that bed bugs are only found in poorly maintained buildings and homes, they can be found in all types of dwellings – including apartments, dorms, hotels, and movie theaters. Once they’ve checked in to an establishment, they then like to hide beneath loose flooring, behind electric switch plates, and inside box springs, mattresses, and upholstered furniture.
From kitchens to bathrooms to patios, it’s not uncommon to find ants go marching one by one across your entire home. Ants enjoy moisture and are constantly on the hunt for food. Most colonies build their nests outdoors, but frequently invite themselves over when they discover a food source in your home. The kitchen is usually their favorite room in the house, with all the crumbs and spills that can accumulate. However, they can also be found in the bathroom and laundry room, as sinks provide a water source crucial to ant survival.
Earning its name for the odor they emit when disturbed or crushed, these little stinkers can be found in the sunny, warm parts of your home. Looking for warmth, they’re most likely to journey indoors in late summer or early fall when temperatures start to drop. Stinkbugs can gain access to your home through any crack, crevice, or hole. Once they’ve found a spot to get cozy, they release a pheromone that attracts other stinkbugs to their location. While their presence can be annoying and their odor intimidating, stinkbugs won’t cause damage to your home’s structure, destroy your furniture or fabrics, or eat food stored in your home. Stinkbugs journey indoors as the temperature drops because they need a warm spot to experience the diapause phase of their life cycle. In this phase, they are not feeding or reproducing, but are inactive.
Has the sight of one of these creepy, crawly 15-legged arthropods scurrying across your floor and into a dark hiding spot made you jump? While centipedes look ominous, they lend a helping hand to your household by preying on other pests. These carnivorous arthropods prey on roaches, silverfish, and termites. House centipedes are nocturnal creatures who use a “lassoing” technique to scoop up their prey with their legs and wrap themselves around them. They then attack their prey with two of their modified, pincer-like legs, which contain venom. House centipede are active hunters who prefer dark, damp hunting grounds and can most likely be found in in your attic, bathroom, or basement.
A common misconception about these notorious invaders is that cockroaches only invade dirty homes. Unfortunately, keeping your home sparkling clean won’t ensure that you never see one. Cockroaches are resilient pests that are always searching for food and water. They can find their way inside by crawling through small holes or cracks, traveling as stowaways in bags, suitcases, and boxes, or by moving from one home to the next through holes and pipes inside of shared walls. These pests are experts at hiding in plain sight, preferring dark, damp spaces. They’re not picky eaters and are happy to help themselves to any sweet, starchy, greasy, or fermented food you have to offer.
While prevention methods can vary for each of the individual insects listed, there are some common things you can do to help keep a range of pests from venturing indoors.
- Fill holes and seal cracks or openings
- Repair damaged window screens or loose weather stripping
- Combat excess moisture; fix leaky faucets or pipes and dehumidify damp areas like the basement
- Keep the kitchen clean; sweep up crumbs, store food in sealed containers, and cover pet bowls
- Check your outdoor furniture and tools for stow-aways before putting them away for the season
- When inspecting your outdoor furniture. remove ponding water by draining surfaces which are a common breeding ground
Now that you know how to handle pests in and around your home, let us help you take care of the nuisances found in your yard. To combat mosquitoes and ticks, contact your local Mosquito Squad today!