Pests are small creatures with big appetites and a will to survive that’s stronger than most humans. If you’re reading this, chances are good that you have an infestation of some form of pest at your residence. They sneak in, hide under things, and…well…eat anything they can get their little paws on. Pests seem to especially love human dwellings. There’s just something about the way we live that makes it perfect for creepy crawlers and their ilk.
What Are the Most Common Pests?
Pests are any type of animal that lives in or around your home and causes damage to your property. They can be insects, rodents, or even birds. It’s important to know what species of pests you’re dealing with. The best way to do that is to get educated about the most common pests in your area.
Ants can be found almost anywhere, but they love warm, humid environments. They are attracted to sweets, like sugar and soda. They are also known to bite, which can cause itching and irritation. Ants also have the ability to sting if they feel threatened, but they rarely do.
Bedbugs are tiny, parasitic insects that live off human blood. They are nocturnal, so they are most active at night. Bedbugs are very small, so they can be difcult to spot. They leave a red rash and look similar to a mosquito bite. Bedbugs smell bad, so if you smell something bad, check your sheets and mattress.
All three of these pests are known for their stinging abilities. Bees and wasps are social insects and live in large colonies. Yellow jackets, however, are not social insects.
Termites love wood. They will eat the wood in your home and leave it riddled with holes. Termites also destroy wood in your yard, such as decks and fences. Termites can cause tens of thousands of dollars in damage to your home. If you live in an area where termites are prevalent do not take their threat lightly.
Mice, rats, and squirrels are all types of rodents. They chew through materials, including wires and rubber. They also leave droppings and smell really bad.
Cockroaches, feas, centipedes, spiders, fies, and more can all be pests.
However, if you are dealing with any of these, you need to call an exterminator.
How to Spot a Pest
Before you decide to take action against pests, you should frst identify what type of pest you’re dealing with. It’s easy to identify a pest by its appearance and typical behavior.
Ants will leave behind a pheromone trail to lead others to a food source. You’ll most likely see ants coming in and out of cracks in your home. Ants can come in any colour and range in size.
Bedbugs are tiny and fat. They can be rusty red in colour and are about the size of an apple seed. Bedbugs also leave behind a pheromone trail. However, they are usually found on beds, couches, and chairs. It can be difcult to erudite bed bugs because sometimes they have a reservoir colony. We spoke to one pest inspector who found a backpack with bed bugs in it. This was after three inspections had killed the known bed bugs and yet they kept coming back.
These pests, especially yellow jackets, have very distinct markings. Bees and wasps also have an incredibly painful sting.
Termites love dark, warm and moist places. They thrive in wooden structures and eat away at the wood until it’s completely destroyed. A termite inspection will be able to determine if you have an infestation. Remove dead wood, moisture and debris from around your home.
Rodents, like mice, live in dark spaces. They chew through wires and leave droppings and urine behind. You should also keep an eye out for nests.
What to Do if You Have Pests
First, take a deep breath. It’s important to stay calm and collected when dealing with pests. Your emotions can put your family at risk, especially if you decide to take things into your own hands and engage in pest control DIY. There are many ways to kill pests, however, not all of them are safe to use around humans. Here are a few safe ways to kill pests in your home.
Seal off Entry Points
The frst thing you need to do is fnd any entry points pests have and seal them off. This will prevent any new pests from coming in and any old ones from escaping. Check around your home and make sure there are no gaps or holes around your pipes, vents, or windows. You can also seal up any holes with steel wool.
Get a Professional Inspection
Before you take any drastic action, you need to get a professional inspection done, especially if dealing with termites. This will let you know what type of pests you’re dealing with and how to best proceed with pest control.
Use Non-toxic Methods
There are a ton of non-toxic methods you can use to kill pests. Some of the best include vacuuming, sealing off entry points, and keeping your home free of food sources. As we stated previously, termites love dark and moist areas. Make sure you have no debris around or under your home, no dark moist spaces, and get regular inspections. Borax is known to kill ants. Add borax to a sugar solution, dab a cotton ball in it and leave it where you see ants. Cedar blocks are known to ward off moths. Leave one hanging in your wardrobe. Every living creature needs water to survive. Clean all surfaces and keep them free of excess moisture. If you’re getting professional pest control make sure they minimise the use of chemicals. For instance, ant gel can be used judiciously to kill ants, instead of spraying. Termite bait stations contain an inert substance that kills termites. This is preferable to large-scale poisons and chemical barriers. Please also be aware that many bees and wasps are native and harmless if not disturbed. Before you have them removed, consider changing your habits and trying to live with them.
You’re not alone if you have pests in your home. Many people deal with this every year. Pests are annoying, but they can be dealt with. They are also easy to identify and kill. The great thing is that there are many safe, non-toxic pest control methods out there. All you need to do is get educated and take the proper precautions. Then, you can focus your energy on other, more important things.