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What are the ten most common household pests?

Common household pests challenge homeowners regularly and throughout the seasons. While the pests seasonally change, identification, treatment, and prevention are foremost in keeping your pets, home, and family free from infestation.

It all starts with identification, but don’t worry. A licensed pest professional can visit your home for a free inspection, and together, you can work on an action plan.

Which factors contribute to the presence of household pests?

The most common household pests can be found vary depending on many factors, including the following:

  • Season- Pests vary significantly by season!
  • Climate- Temperature, moisture, and humidity play a prominent role.
  • Location- Lakefront or oceanfront, mountains, summer homes, arid/dry terrain
  • Structure- Residential or commercial properties each present unique challenges while encompassing the factors listed above

Depending on these factors, treatment and prevention plans may vary.

What are the ten most common household pests?

Well, we could write about pests forever, but rather than overwhelm you, here is a list of the top ten household pests we regularly receive calls about.

  1. Ants & Carpenter Ants- Ants & Carpenter Ants cause damage to your home. Treating ants found in your kitchen can be simple, but carpenter ants destroy your home and business structures. If you see them in your home or business, please contact us. Spraying alone will not get rid of carpenter ants.
  2. Mice- Rodents, including mice and rats, leave behind filth and disease. They travel easily from outdoors to inside your home, through cracks and between the walls. So, if you hear the familiar sound of a scampering noise in the attic, please call us. When moving through your home, rodents bring disease to floors, counters, and inside your walls. Trapping is effective, yet finding the entry points into your home is important.
  3. Cockroaches- Cockroaches, including American, German, and Oriental cockroaches, are highly adaptable and resilient pests. Cockroaches leave behind droppings that look like soil or coffee grounds. These traces are commonly found near bathrooms, kitchens, damp basements, or attics. They breed disease.
  4. Bees or wasps- Bees, Wasps, and Hornets may present a danger to your family but benefit your yard and flowers. So before you spray, contact us, and we can discuss the best ways to keep you and your family safe and nature in balance.
  5. Termites- Termites are often discovered when a homeowner is renovating or during demolition, termites are found. They are tenacious and destructive. Even after removal, they can return. Termite treatment packages are available to ensure termites do not return to cause more damage.
  6. Bedbugs- Bedbugs are a pest that feeds off human blood. They can enter your home by tagging along on luggage or a gym bag. Bed bugs leave humans with red, itchy bites. They infest your home at a rapid rate. It takes more than washing linens in hot water to eradicate them.
  7. Ticks- Ticks are dangerous to both people and pets. Treatment for ticks should be more than lawn treatment. Ticks leave the lawn in the heat of the summer and survive in the brush and bushes surrounding your yard.
  8. Fleas- Fleas are industrious and survivors. They can lay upwards of 50 eggs per day. The treatment goes beyond a flea bath for your pet. Your home should be treated before the pet returns home. Fleas also carry diseases and can cause illness.
  9. Bats- Bats can gain entry to your home easily and quickly. If you hear a noise in the attic, it can be a group of bats. Outside, they are voracious feeders of mosquitos and insects. Inside your home or attic, they are dangerous. Their droppings, or guano, can leave behind disease and infection. In addition, they are truly nocturnal; you may see them flying rapidly at dawn and dusk.
  10. Stink bugs- Stink bugs appear in the spring and stay as unwelcome guests until the frost. They do not harm people or pets, but they are very annoying. An exterior treatment can help reduce the appearance of stink bugs.

How can I take preventative steps to stop household pest issues?

According to Penn State Extension, pest identification is essential when addressing this problem or communicating with a licensed pest control service.

Pests enter homes and buildings looking for food, water, and shelter, and no “one-size-fits-all” solution will solve all pest problems. Here are some basic preventative steps that can help stop a pest problem before it starts:

  1. Eliminate food. Store food in rigid, reusable containers with airtight, fitted lids; keep trash in a can with a tight-fitting lid and take it out regularly; clean or vacuum up crumbs and spills when they occur; keep food in the refrigerator when possible.
  2. Eliminate water. Fix leaky and dripping pipes, faucets, and roofs; reduce humidity in basements and other moist areas of the home, such as bathrooms and kitchens; place metal screens in drains where feasible.
  3. Eliminate shelter. Get rid of clutter; seal cracks and crevices with silicone caulking and copper mesh where appropriate; fix or replace broken screens; maintain yard and outside areas; remove trash; prune trees, shrubs, and ground cover to avoid touching the building.
  4. Talk with neighbors about pest management. Pests don’t stay in one location, so work together to minimize pest issues in the community.

Integrated pest management (IPM) is a safe, economical, and effective way to control pest problems while protecting human and environmental health. Before choosing and using effective IPM tactics, you must first know what pest you are dealing with. Proper identification and management may require the assistance of a licensed pest management professional. Remember, sometimes different species need different tactics (e.g., the Norway rat versus the roof rat). After the pest is identified, other sources of information can be used to determine what tactics are best to use to manage it.

I need help keeping my house free of household pests!

Identifying, treating, and preventing infestations of common household pests is what we do. Contact us for professional pest control services. Our technicians are licensed by the DEC and certified by New York State. Visit our FAQ page to learn more about us and our services.

Please note: Please seek immediate medical attention if you have been stung or bitten by a household pest and are unsure of your reaction. Please do not delay.

Resources: pestworld.org, Penn State Extension, Forbes

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