When it comes to insects, humans are out numbered by over 1.5 billion to one. A first step to controlling household insect pests is to correctly identify them. The following are common insects that may become a problem in your home if given the chance.
One of the most common of all ant species, Carpenter ants also hold the distinction of being some of the most difficult to control. This species of ants will vary in size and in color, but typically they are larger and black. Swarms of winged Carpenter ants within a home or building is an indication that a colony is nesting within the structure. Aside from being unpleasant to have in the home, they can do a great deal of damage to wood by hollowing it out in order to nest. Carpenter ants will excavate galleries in wood that is smooth, with a sandpapered appearance. While they will nest in both dry and moist wood, they prefer the latter. Experts say that the best control method is to find their nest and destroy it, but that is definitely easier said that done. Repair leaks, fix drainage problems, and correct ventilation problems. Make certain that once found, infested and rotted wood is removed and replaced whenever it is possible.
Not as destructive in the adult stage of the life cycle, Carpet beetles in their larval stage can be to nearly anything organic. Contrary to their name, since modern carpets are made of synthetic materials that aren't affected by the beetles, carpets are rarely damaged, but they can cause a problem for other natural fibers in a home. They will make their homes behind baseboards and molding, in heating system air ducts, clothing and in furniture. They do occasionally live in carpets as well. Experts often suggest that if an infestation is observed it is best to let it be handled by a pest control professional. For prevention, all storage areas, especially food and other natural fiber storage spaces should be frequently and thoroughly cleaned.
Silverfish are wingless insects that are common household pests. Named for their covering of silver scales, Silverfish have two long antennae and three long tail bristles. In homes, they make their meals from book binding starch, wallpaper, clothing, stored foods like dried meats, paste, and paper. Although sanitation alone likely will not completely eradicate the infestation, it can go a long way in preventing more from occurring. Silverfish prefer warmer temperatures between 70-80 degrees Fahrenheit and are drawn to lower levels of a home or building.
Said to be the least commonly seen of all the household pests, termites can potentially do a great deal of damage to wood and the foundation of a home. Termites infest and feed on the outside layers of wood for the cellulose plant and wood products contain. It is estimated that two billion dollars a year is spent on prevention and control treatments involved with termites.
There are thousands of cockroach species in the world, but only a handful are considered household pests. Adaptable to nearly any environment, roaches can carry several disease pathogens, including salmonella, E. coli, streptococcus, Hepatitis B and dysentery. Decaying carcasses have been proven to cause allergies as well as respiratory problems for children. Typically, roaches are drawn to cardboard boxes, paper bags and other storage containers that aren't well sealed. Inspect all cartons, used furniture and large appliances before bringing them into the home.
Although improvements to hygiene and sanitation practices all but eliminated them in the United States in the past, the same is not true for other areas of the world. Recently, the bugs have also made a comeback in the US as well. Increasingly they are being reported in homes, apartment buildings, hotels, motels, dormitories and other shelters. A clear indication of an infestation of bed bugs are dark spotting and staining on mattresses and other places, which is the dried excrement and molten skin of the insects. Bed bugs are a problem primarily at night when they bite people while they are sleeping and feed on the blood they suck from the skin.
There are several types of moths that may appear in and feed on stored foods in pantries or other storage areas. Perhaps the most common is the Indian Meal Moth, whose larvae will crawl into the cracks behind cabinets and moldings. This particular moth's diet is limited to grains and will find them wherever they can. Other pantry moth pests include Mediterranean Flour Moths and Merchant Grain Beetles.
Pest Control - Interesting Facts
Carpenter ants do more damage to a home in a shorter amount of time than termites.