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10 Common Household Insects and How to Control Them

Ants on a board

Insects play a pivotal role in our ecosystem but when these insects cross the threshold into our homes, they transform from beneficial to bothersome. Understanding why household insects are attracted to our homes is the first step in effective pest control. Food availability, shelter, and favorable conditions can draw insects indoors. But we can all agree that insects can quickly become unwelcome guests when they invade our homes. They can cause damage, create discomfort, and even pose health risks. Here are 10 of the most common household insects and effective pest control strategies to keep your home free of them!

Ants: Tiny Invaders in Your Kitchen

Ants can quickly become a nuisance in any home – most likely your kitchen. They are particularly drawn to food sources, especially sweet substances. Effective ant control and prevention is easy though! Just make sure you are maintaining a clean kitchen, sealing potential entry points, and using ant baits or insecticides when necessary. 

Asian cockroach
Asian cockroach

Cockroaches: The Unwanted Nighttime Visitors

Cockroaches are nocturnal household insects that can carry and spread diseases. They are rapid breeders, and their adaptability to various conditions can make them a challenging pest to control. Maintaining cleanliness around your house, especially food, is vital to keeping cockroaches away. Also using roach baits or traps, and considering professional pest control services for severe infestations can help manage cockroaches.

Spiders: Creepy Crawlers in Corners

While most spiders are harmless many find their presence can be unsettling.  Spiders often inhabit corners, basements, and garages. For inside your home, effective spider control starts with keeping your home clutter-free. You’ll also want to make sure you seal any cracks or gaps especially around doors that lead to the outside. Using spider repellents can also be helpful.

A horsefly
A horsefly

Flies: Buzzing Annoyances

Flies are attracted to food and waste. And because of that they can easily spread diseases by landing on food or surfaces. Fly control strategies like many common household pests include maintaining cleanliness in your kitchen. Small things like regularly taking out the trash can be very impactful at keeping flies away. You’ll also want to ensure windows and doors are screened to prevent their entry. If flies are a common issue you are facing, fly traps can help. 

Bed bug on fabric
Bed bug on fabric

Bedbugs: The Invisible Bedroom Threat

Bed Bugs are tiny but mighty pests! These tiny insects that feed on human blood. They are little but can cause big discomfort with itchy bites and disrupting sleep. Bed bugs can get out of control really quickly once they get into your home so the best prevention is going to be keeping them out of your home. Inspect any hotels you stay at and make sure you read reviews about bed bugs. You can also leave your suitcase in the bathroom and make sure you’re not laying out your clothes on the bed. At home, you can regularly vacuum and use a bed-bug-proof mattress cover. 

If you do have bed bugs, we recommend considering professional pest control services can help in effective bed bug control.

Mosquito sucking blood
Sucking mosquito, dangerous vehicle of zika, dengue, chikungunya, malaria and other infections. Digital artwork on healthcare theme. Picture with space for your text.

Mosquitoes: Summer’s Unwelcome Guests

Mosquitoes can ruin a nice evening very quickly, not to mention they can spread diseases. Whether you’re spending time outside for a family BBQ or just enjoying the evenings it’s safe to assume you want that to be a mosquito free experience. Because they breed in stagnant water, one of the easiest things you can do to keep mosquitoes at bay is to make sure you don’t have any standing water. Any area of standing water – from puddles to buckets – can turn into a breeding ground. You can also use screens or mosquito netting for decks or patios as well as mosquito repellents.

Additional Reading: Top Tips for Keeping Mosquitoes and Ticks at Bay This Summer

Moths: The Silent Destroyers of Clothes

Moths, especially clothes moths, are infamous for their destructive tendencies. They can cause significant damage to clothes and fabric sometimes before you even know they are there! Moths are drawn to natural fibers such as cotton, silk, wool, and even fur. Once the moth larvae hatch, they feed on the fibers resulting in the characteristic holes indicative of a moth infestation. These silent destroyers can be found in dark, undisturbed areas like closets, drawers, and storage boxes. Because they are quiet and dark, they are the ideal moth  breeding grounds. Regular cleaning and airing out of dark spaces is a great way to keep them under control. Additionally, mothballs or repellents, which release a strong-smelling gas that kills moths, can further aid moth prevention.

Silverfish feeding on paper
Insect feeding on paper – silverfish. Pest books and newspapers.

Silverfish: The Unseen Damage Dealers

Silverfish are small, wingless insects that can damage books, wallpapers, and even textiles. They thrive in damp, dark areas like basements or under cupboards.  Reducing humidity and using insecticides can help control silverfish. If the issue persists or is ongoing, it might be time to call a professional pest control company to address the problem.

Termite colony
Termite colony

Termites: The Hidden Home Wreckers

Termites are often referred to as ‘silent destroyers’ because they can cause severe structural damage to homes. What makes termites particularly dangerous is their ability to remain undetected for long periods. These insects feed on wood and can silently eat away at the wooden structures of a home, often causing significant damage before their presence is even noticed. This stealthy nature of termites makes them one of the most destructive household pests.

Regular home inspections are crucial in termite control. These inspections should focus on areas of your home that are prone to termite infestations. Signs of an infestation can include discarded wings, mud tubes on exterior walls, and visible damage to wood structures. It’s important to remember that termites can infest and damage even the internal structures of wood, so visible damage might indicate a severe infestation.

Using termite baits or treatments can also be effective in controlling a termite infestation. However, it’s often best to consider professional pest control services. Professionals have the knowledge and tools to effectively treat termite infestations and can provide advice on preventing future infestations.

Additional Reading: How to Tell the Difference Between Flying Ants & Termites

Fleas: The Tiny Jumping Pests

Fleas are small, jumping insects that are more than just a nuisance. These pests feed on the blood of humans and animals, causing itchy, sometimes painful bites. In addition to the discomfort they cause, fleas can also spread diseases such as typhus and tapeworms, posing a significant health risk. Fleas are known for their incredible jumping abilities, which they use to move between hosts and avoid threats, making them difficult to catch and control.

Regular cleaning and vacuuming are essential first steps in flea control. Vacuuming is particularly effective as it can remove not only the eggs but also the larvae and pupae, which hide deep within carpets and upholstery. It’s important to immediately dispose of the vacuum bag in an outside trash can to prevent the fleas from escaping back into the home.

Treating pets for fleas is another crucial aspect of flea control. Pets, particularly dogs and cats, are often the primary hosts for fleas in homes. Regularly bathing pets with flea-killing shampoo and using flea treatments recommended by a veterinarian can help keep your pets flea-free. 

By maintaining cleanliness, reducing clutter, and regularly inspecting your home, you can significantly reduce the chances of an infestation. Insect prevention is not just about dealing with the pests but also about creating an environment where they are less likely to thrive.

Prevention is always better than cure. Regular pest control is a crucial aspect of maintaining a comfortable and healthy living environment. It helps prevent potential health risks and property damage associated with household insects. While the methods mentioned above can help control common household insects, severe infestations may require the expertise of professional pest control services.

Remember, a pest-free home is a happy home. By understanding the behaviors of these common household insects and implementing effective pest control strategies, you can ensure a comfortable and safe living space for you and your family.