5 Common Household Bugs and How To Show Them the Door

pest control sign with dead cockroach lying beside

Did you know that an estimated 10 quintillion insects are alive at any point in time? The US alone is home to about 91,000 described insect species!

As amazing as these creatures are, between 0.10% to 1% of them are pests. Granted, that's a tiny percentage, but that already translates to about 91 to 910 species of pests. Moreover, even only a few of these household pests can already cause serious damage to your home.

There are many common household bugs in the US, but some are more prevalent than others. There are also certain species that you need to be warier of, as they can transmit diseases to humans and pets.

Ready to learn all about the most common house bugs that invade US homes and how to get rid of them? Then let's dive right into it!

1. Bed Bugs

Between 1920 and 1930, more than one-third of all US homes have had a bed bug infestation. With the introduction of dichloro-diphenyl-trichloroethane (DDT), they disappeared up until the 50s.

However, the Department of Agriculture banned the use of DDT after they found it to be toxic.

Since then, bed bugs have made a comeback, and you can now find them in all 50 US states. The City of Baltimore remains the number one infested city. Seattle also ranked 39th on the list of the top US cities with the worst bed bug infestations.

Controlled heat treatment seems to be one of, if not the most effective way to get rid of bed bugs. Studies have shown that exposure to at least 118.8 °F for at least 95 minutes can kill the adult bugs. Their eggs are hardier though, as they only die after exposure to at least 130 °F for no less than 90 minutes.

2. Cockroaches

The 2017 American Housing Survey showed that 15,301 surveyed homes had signs of roaches. That's about 12.5% of all surveyed households.

As if these household bugs aren't creepy enough, they also carry up to 180 species of bacteria. They have also shown to house half a dozen parasites, such as whipworms and giant roundworms.

What's more, a study found a link between roach infestations and depressive symptoms. Those who lived in infested homes were almost three times more likely to show symptoms.

Worse, roaches, like bed bugs, are becoming more resistant to common insecticides.

As such, the best way to combat roach infestations is to use a variety of treatment methods. For starters, deprive these bugs of their sustenance (AKA your food supply). You can also use roach baits and traps while clearing cutter where they can harbor and reproduce.

It's also best to seal any gaps that allow entry from outside, such as cracks under doors and in windows. You can use clear caulk and door guards as sealants.

3. Termites

More than 600,000 US homes sustain some form of termite damage every year. Homes that have southern pine and spruce appear to be at the highest risk of infestations. Termites, especially the Formosan species, show preference over these species of hardwood.

Either way, anything that has cellulose in it, such as dry leaves and paper, is a termite food source. Some species can even go through cotton, linen, and wood if deprived of their wood food.

Flying swarms during spring are often the first symptom of termite infestation. Unfortunately, this likely means that the bugs have been feeding on your home for three to five years.

If you've seen swarms or mud tubes around your home, your best option is to contact a pest control service. In the meantime, you can use termite baits or controlled sprays to kill the existing bugs you see.

4. Ants

An estimated population of 10,000 trillion -- that's the number of individual ants in the world. That makes them the world's most populous animals and common house insects. 

Unfortunately, some of their species, such as the house ant, fire ant, and thief ant, can sting, bite, or both. In people who have serious allergies, these stings and bites can be life-threatening.

Worse, a study found that 100% of ants carried molds and yeast, while 52% harbored coliforms. 18% also had E. coli and 8% had Salmonella. The researchers also noted that the studied ants transferred E. coli at a frequency of 70%.

As with most other pests, you can prevent and get rid of ants by stripping them off their sustenance. Store dry and liquid food (especially sweet ones!) in airtight containers. Wipe food spills right away, as ants can detect these from 100 to 200 meters away.

You can also spray or wipe surfaces with glass cleaner, liquid detergent, or soapy water. These can get rid of the pheromone trail ants leave on areas they've already traversed. By cutting off this trail, they'll have a harder time finding their way back to your home.

5. Flies

About 16,000 species of flies call North America their home. Among the most common are fruit flies, phorid flies, drain flies, and house flies.

All four of these common household flies don't bite. However, many of them carry over 100 types of pathogens that cause diseases in humans and animals. Salmonella, E. coli, and Shigella are just to name a few of these dangerous organisms that flies carry.

Uncovered food, rotting matter, garbage, animal excrements, and manure all attract flies. That's why you should store cooked food properly, and if possible, always have it covered. Use tight-fitting lids on your disposal bins and bring the trash out of your home as soon as the bag is full.

Keep These Common Household Bugs out Of Your Home and Life

Just because they're the most common household bugs doesn't mean you have to live with them. So, as early as now, start getting rid of household bugs by decluttering your home. If you're dealing with a huge infestation though, it's best to get in touch with pest control experts.

Ready for more guides on how to get things done? Don't forget to bookmark this site then, so you can keep coming back for more how-tos like this!

 

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