According to the National Pest Management Association (NPMA), termites alone cause $5 billion in property damage in an average year. That number rises after a year with excessive rain or moisture, so it’s no wonder that the pest control industry reports some $7.213 billion in annual billing. However, not every bug requires red flags and an exterminator. So how do you what is a common household pest, when you can treat the nuisance yourself and when to call in a professional?
Bed bugs usually hitch a ride on a suitcase, bag, box or anything that has been traveling and entering your home. Many homeowners believe cleaning and scouring their homes will keep the invaders at bay, but bed bugs feed on blood, and will happily reside in the cleanest of houses.
Unfortunately, bed bugs are difficult to suppress and are unfazed by insecticides. We first recommend trying a nontoxic remedy for bed bugs like the Stop Bugging Me! brand. If that does not work, call a professional. Have someone come out as soon as possible to kill the bed bugs and their eggs before they have a chance to hatch and multiply.
The Halyomorpha halys, or brown marmorated stink bug, can fill a room with a noxious stench. Originally from Asia, stink bugs were first largely reported in the late 1990s in Pennsylvania. As the stink bugs spread, they started damaging crops and foliage across the U.S.
However, stink bugs are mostly just a nuisance to home owners. They are slow and relatively easy to catch. But, if you squash them, they omit an odor that can attract even more stink bugs. The best way to combat these bugs is to seal cracks, windows and doors and place vents over chimneys. Make sure every entry point in your home is secure.
Run, don’t walk, to your phone to call an exterminator about termites. You should ask for a nontoxic solution without chemicals including heat treatment, extreme cold and electronic methods. Also, Neem oil works directly on drywood safely for both humans and pets. According to Termites.com, some 45 species of termites reside in the U.S. and fall into subterranean, drywood or dampwood categories with unique habits of where they build nests and damage homes.
Termites aren’t known to bite humans, but can damage your wood, cause sagging floors and ceilings and dig mud tunnels near your foundation. It’s not enough to treat and get rid of a small area of termites. A professional needs to come in, locate the infestation and eliminate it completely.
Not only are cockroaches ugly but they can carry diseases such as salmonella, dysentery and gastroenteritis. The rubbing of their legs also creates dander, which can aggravate asthma.
If you just have a handful of cockroaches scurrying around, ask your hardware store about traps, or try a home remedy that is safe for kids and pests like leaving out dishes of baking soda, which will cause their innards to explode when they ingest it. However, cockroaches carry too many diseases to take a chance with an infestation. If you can’t get on top of the problem immediately, call an exterminator to come and find the source and eliminate it. We recommend using Integrated Pest Management techniques which utilizes the least possible hazard to people, property, and the environment.
Silverfish are largely harmless to homeowners, but love eating through books and anything starchy or moldy. They thrive in humidity and moisture, so to get rid of these pests treat and seal any dripping, leaking or moist areas like pipes and standing water in the yard. Vacuum cracks and crevices around your home and store food in tight containers. If necessary, a standard insecticide will usually take care of a silverfish problem.
Most ants are simply a nuisance and can be eliminated with nontoxic remedies found HERE. However, carpenter ants can be trickier to handle and more destructive. These large black ants aren’t known to bite, but do like to eat through wood, which can cause structural damage. Because of their healthy diet of wood, carpenter ants are sometimes mistaken for termites. Although they pose little risk to humans, carpenter ants require a professional for immediate help.