How to Identify the Different Household Pests
Read on for our fully inclusive, room – by – room guide on how to identify the different household pests.
When it comes to household pests, they are NEVER desirable. It feels almost a little intrusive, doesn’t it? You’re sitting in the comfort of your own home, your sanctuary, and your safe space – then BAM! You spy a pesky critter either running across the carpet, or lurking in the corners of the rooms in your home. Yikes.
And worse still, once you’ve seen them, they’re difficult to forget – and it’s not surprising. The truth of the matter is that usually, if you’ve seen one of these pests, there are going to be several more hidden away in a more subtle place. Furthermore, if there aren’t several more yet, the likelihood is that they’re going to be breeding in the comfort of your home. Breeding = literally multiplying. It’s the last thing that any of us want.
The fact of the matter is, not all of these pests are harmful, but some can be. In some cases, pests can spread diseases, and in others, they may sting / bite and are semi – poisonous.
The trick to getting rid of these pests effectively, is by identifying what they are. After all, how can you possibly know how to deal with the pest at hand, if you don’t even know what it is?
Today, we’re going to be providing you with a fully inclusive guide on how to identify different household pests. Better yet, we’re going to be doing it room – by – room for you, meaning that regardless of where you find your pest, you’re going to be able to identify them, and ultimately get rid of them more effectively.
Read on to find out more on the different pests you’re likely to find in each room of your home, and how you can identify them.
We’re going to be starting at the very bottom of the house and building our way up – so any sections that aren’t relevant to you, it’ll be easy to skip them. First things first, we’re starting with the basement.
It doesn’t matter what you’ve done with your basement, whether you use it as a laundry room, or you’ve transformed it into your own personal little cave for chilling. Your basement will be susceptible to different kinds of pest infestations.
The issue with the basement, is that because it’s below the ground, it’s always going to be damp and dark to a certain extent. This means that critters who thrive in these circumstances will immediately gravitate towards the basement.
But what can you expect to find down there, and how can you identify them?
Termites in the Basement
First things first, we come to basement termites – which are usually the subterranean termite variety. They live in underground colonies, which makes it all too easy for them to “accidentally on purpose” come across a basement.
These pests destroy wood work, which mean that they can be dangerous to the structural integrity of your home, and will find their way through the crevices in the foundation of your home. They’ll very quickly find their way towards your wooden beams.
Cockroaches in the Basement
Usually, cockroaches can be found in sewers, and other damp, dark places. The main breed of cockroach which will thrive on finding a basement to live in, is the oriental cockroach. Cockroaches tend to infiltrate the basement through floor drains, utility pipes, and quite literally through the door.
The lack of sanitisation as well as a build up of moisture in the basement will attract cockroaches.
Spiders in the Basement
One for our arachnophobes out there now, as we identify the typical eight – legged pests that reside in the basement.
Certain breeds of spider, such as long – bodied cellar spiders, will thrive on spinning their webs in a dark and moist environment, meaning your basement is a perfect place for them to reside.
Luckily, cellar spiders do not pose any threat to humans, so if you don’t bother them, they won’t really bother you.
However, other types of spider, for example the deadly black widow spider, can also thrive in a basement environment. So be sure to take a look at what kind of spider it is.
Rodents in the Basement
Next up, we move away from insects and come to rodents in the basement. If you’ve ever found what look to be like rat or mouse droppings in the basement, then trust us, you are not alone.
Mice and rats are the most common type of pest to be found in a basement environment. The particular breeds of mice and rats that tend to reside in basements are Norway Rats and House Mice, who tend to enter through holes and cracks, and they like dark and secluded areas.
If you are looking out for the signs of a vermin infestation in your home, then watch out for any gnaw marks, rodent droppings, greasy rub marks, and items being damaged.
Centipedes and Millipedes in the Basement
You might not think of them as being all that common, but centipedes and millipedes are found in damp and dark environments – and yup, you’ve guessed it, that includes your basement.
Centipedes are considered to be carnivorous meaning they will prey on other pests such as flies and crickets, so they can be useful in some capacity. They prefer to hunt in dark and damp conditions.
Furthermore, millipedes tend to migrate in the autumn, and come in large numbers. Luckily, millipedes don’t usually survive indoors for any more than a few days, so they shouldn’t cause too many issues for you.
Crickets in the Basement
Last of all on our list of basement critters, we come to the cricket, more specifically the camel cricket, which is named as so for its’ appearance of having a humpback.
Usually they’ll become an issue in the Summer, and will infiltrate the basement when the outdoors become too hot for them. They hide during the day, and only come out at night, meaning if you want to catch them, you’ll have to wait until dark.
Not all that different from the basement, the garage is also very much susceptible to having pests infiltrate the space.
Silverfish in the Garage
A little bit of an obscure pest, silverfish can be found in the garage more commonly than anywhere else. They tend to come in under doors, or are brought in as they have infested cardboard boxes or similar.
These insects tend to feed on glue, paper, clothing, flour, meat – and even other silverfish. Yep, they eat anything to the extent where they are quite literally cannibals.
The females lay up to as many as three eggs per day, meaning an infestation can happen quickly, and action should be taken immediately once they’ve been identified.
Mice in the Garage
When it comes to mice, in the garage, it tends to be Deer Mice that find their way inside – usually to nest during the cold Winter months.
They are happy enough to build nests in storage boxes and voids in the walls. If you keep your car in the garage, they may even attempt to nest in there for warmth.
They are great at sneaking through holes, so any garage that isn’t properly sealed is at risk of hosting Deer Mice.
Sowbugs in the Garage
Next up, we come to sowbugs in the garage.
Sowbugs are a crustacean, which live on the land. They tend to stick to areas which are high in moisture. This is because they don’t have a closing device within their respiratory systems.
They are also inactive during the day, meaning to rid yourself of them, you’d have to find them at night.
If you have sliding glass doors in your property, you’re far more likely to be susceptible to sowbugs in the garage.
Flies in the Garage
Although they are prevalent in other areas of the home also, they are quite keen on the garage.
They are attracted to the interior of buildings by the odours that come out of them. They usually enter the garage when the door is open, and they will rest in various areas in the garage.
Beetles in the Garage
Next up, we come to beetles in the garage, more specifically ground beetles in the garage.
Ground beetles will usually be found hiding under stones during the day time, and their name derives from the back that their main place of dwelling is the ground – so you know where to look!
They tend to enter the home through the garage because of doors which aren’t sealed properly, and as they are nocturnal, if you want to catch them, you’ll have to look at night.
They can also fly so can come in through open windows as well as under garage doors.
Next up, we’re visiting the place where you keep, prepare, and potentially eat your food – and primarily, a space wherein you don’t want visiting pests. The kitchen.
All kinds of pests are likely to be found in the pantry and around the kitchen because they are attracted by the aromas of cooking – and who can blame them? However, for hygiene purposes and the health and safety for your family, they are certainly less than welcome.
Let’s take a look at what kinds of critters you’re most likely to find in the kitchen.
Ants in the Kitchen
First and foremost, we’re taking a look at ants in the kitchen environment.
If you find them on the kitchen benches, the variety of ant you’re likely to be encountering is either Argentine ants, odorous house ants, or pavement ants.
This is because all three varieties of ants are attracted to food and moisture, and have healthy appetites, making the kitchen an ideal place for them.
Different ants, however, do have different taste buds. An odorous ant will be attracted to sweet smells and flavours, whereas Argentine and pavement ants look for meat, oils, fats, and bread.
All ants tend to be found habituating near water pipes, in wall voids, and under the sink if there is a leak. This is because they thrive in a moist environment.
Pantry Specific Pests in the Kitchen
There are some pests which are specific to the pantry in the kitchen, and can also be referred to as stored product pests.
These pests include Indian meal moths, and merchant grain beetles. They are attracted to pantries and other places that have stored products in them, because this is the kind of food that they enjoy eating.
Merchant grain beetles tend to go for grains, cereals, and other corn products, whereas Indian meal moths are more likely to feed on nuts, dried fruit, and different kinds of pet food.
Flies in the Kitchen
Finally, we come to flies, which are commonly found in the kitchen, so you won’t be surprised that they’ve made it onto this list.
House flies and fruit flies are the flies most commonly found in the kitchen. They are commonly found in areas where food is prepared, and as the name suggests, fruit flies are primarily attracted to fruits and vegetables.
Leaving fresh fruit and veg out on the bench is a sure fire way of attracting fruit flies into your kitchen.
The Living Room
The living room gives away its’ purpose in its’ name. It’s the room in the house in which the family spends most of their down time during the day.
With that in mind, let’s take a look at which pesky creatures try and invade this space.
Bed Bugs in the Living Room
First up, and it might surprise you to see them mentioned anywhere other than the bedroom, we’re taking a look at bed bugs in the living room.
Their main area of choice is, of course, the bed, but they can also be found within furniture in the living room, such as sofas, armchairs, and other soft furnishings.
They get into the living room by clinging to your clothes or personal items, and are easy to pick up in public indoor places such as hotels and schools. They tend to hide between couch cushions, and will happily come and snack on your blood if you get a little too comfy on the sofa late in the evening, and drift off.
Other Types of Living Room Pest
As you can see, the living room isn’t quite as appealing to pests as some of the other rooms we have covered. However, there are a few other types of living room pest you should be aware of. These include:
- Carpet beetles
- Stink bugs.
These usually find their way into the living room easily because this space tends to be located on the ground floor of the home, near the front door. Furthermore, it’s very easy for them to come in through open windows and doors.
Next up, we come to a room of real necessity within the home. we all need it, and we all use it – it’s the bathroom!
And admittedly, we’d rather use it in peace, without the interruption of pests. Here’s what you should be looking out for in your bathroom.
Cockroaches in the Bathroom
They’ve been said to survive war zones and bombings, and they thrive in your bathroom. They likely give you the ick too. No one wants a cockroach in their bathroom while they’re trying to relax in their pre – bed bath.
Cockroaches are commonly associated with drains and pipes, which makes it no surprise that they seemingly thrive in the bathroom.
They thrive in warm, moist environments. Think about the space when you shower, and you’ll sharp see why cockroaches love your bathroom so much.
If you don’t clean and cover your drains regularly, they become far more likely to be the home of cockroaches. Yuck.
Ants in the Bathroom
Pharaoh and carpenter ants are the most likely species of ant to invade your bathroom space. This is because their preferred nesting space needs to be warm, moist, and humid. They also need a ready access to water.
They will tend to hide their nests behind baseboards, under floorboards and in voids in the wall. Furthermore, it’s worth noting that carpenter ants need water to survive, and therefore will be most likely to attack wet wood. If you have any wooden furniture in your bathroom, look out for these.
Other Kinds of Bathroom Pests
To round up our exploration or pests in the bathroom, we’re going to be taking a look at some of the other common types of pest found in the bathroom.
We mentioned silverfish earlier on. Although these are arguably more commonly found in garages than technically inside of the home, it is possible to find them in the bathroom. The growth of mould and a build up of moisture tends to be the reason that silverfish are attracted to bathrooms. They also thrive in moist, humid environments, and are likely to come in through drains.
Spiders and centipedes are also found in the bathroom on occasion, as they prey on smaller insects which are more commonly found in the bathroom.
You might sleep here soundly, but are you really sleeping undisturbed?
Last of all, but by no means least, let’s take a look at the commonly found bedroom pests.
Bed Bugs in the Bedroom
We couldn’t talk about bedroom pests without covering bed bugs – and their dwelling is directly given away in their namesake.
They can be found literally anywhere where humans congregate – as we mentioned earlier in schools and hotels – and will hitch a lift into your home on your clothes or belongings. They can even come in books and suitcases.
They tend to hide in bed frames and between sheets, and are nocturnal so only come out at night – unfortunately when you’re most likely to be sleeping soundly in your bed. They use humans as their hosts, and suck blood to survive. They’re quite literally like miniature vampires.
We know, it doesn’t even bear thinking about.
Fleas in the Bedroom
Another bedroom vampire or so to speak, happens to be the humble flea – which can cause a lot of problems despite its tiny physical size.
Fleas will feed on any warm – blooded animal. This means that fleas can find their way into the home when attached to the coat of dogs, cats and so on. Many people let their pets sleep next to, or even on their beds, so you can imagine how fleas can infiltrate the human space.
They do prefer to feed on your pets, but they won’t pass up a good meal if it’s presented to them, meaning they won’t hesitate to feed on the humans in the room either – particularly if there isn’t another food source available at current.
Furthermore, they’re incredibly itchy and unhygienic. You really don’t want a flea infestation in your home, as they’re often proven as being difficult to get rid of.
Other Kinds of Pests in the Bedroom
Now, although we have covered the main two types of pest found in the bedroom in beg bugs and fleas, there are some other less commonly found pests to be found harbouring in your bedroom.
If you eat in your room at all – even for the occasional midnight snack or drunken pre – sleep feast – then you’re far more likely to find these pests in your bedroom if you don’t at all. If you don’t clean up crumbs etc, then cockroaches and ants can become prevalent in the bedroom space.
Furthermore, if your room happens to be cluttered, spiders may invade. They sometimes go under piles of clothes and / or throws for warmth, or otherwise will simply create webs in the dusty corners of bedrooms.
The best way of keeping spiders, cockroaches, and ants out of the bedroom, is to very simply keep it clean, and be hygienic. It’s that easy.
Thanks for reading!
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