Bugs, for the most part, have their place and their purpose in nature. Exactly what that purpose is depends entirely on the type of bug itself. For many, regardless of what type of bug it is, its place is outside of the home. Bugs can be creepy or frightening to some, and certain types of bugs may even bite. When they enter one’s house, it can quickly feel as if they’ve overrun the place and they can become a nuisance or even a health threat. In some cases they can even be both. While almost any type of insect can make its way indoors, there are certain ones that are commonly associated with invading the home.
- These are thin, flat, wingless pests that are around 2.5mm in length. They have six legs that are long and aid in jumping.
- On a daily basis female fleas consume as much as 15 times the weight of their bodies in blood.
- Fleas lay eggs after a meal, often between four and eight of them. They begin this cycle 48 hours after their very first meal as an adult.
- Flea eggs typically fall off of the host and land in carpeting, upholstery, and/or bedding where they hatch into larvae in a period of one to 12 days.
- Fleas prefer furred animals and are often carried into the home by a family pet.
- Visible fleas moving between the fur, excessive itching, redness of the skin, and hair loss are all signs that a pet has fleas. They may also leave reddish or black droppings behind on the animal’s skin.
- Cat fleas are the most common type of flea in the country. Despite their name they are not only found on cats and can be found on dogs.
- Dog fleas are more common in European countries.
- Disease such as murine typhus can be transmitted via a flea bite.
- Cat fleas bite humans and cause spots that are round and red, as well as itching.
- Dampwood, drywood, subterranean, conehead, and formosa termites are all common types of termite.
- There are more than 2,000 termite species in the world.
- Forty-five species of termites are found in the U.S., primarily in the South.
- When a home is infested by drywood termites, they are typically in the walls and/or wood furniture. A subterranean termite, however, forms its home beneath the ground in mounds.
- Signs of termite infestations are not always apparent or visible.
- Termites are called detritus feeders or detritivores because they consume dead parts of trees and plants.
- Cracked or bubbling paint can be a sign of termite infestation & need for treatment, as can tubes of mud, which are called shelter or mud tubes.
- A swarm of winged insects in the home may also indicate termites.
- A colony of ants can reach as high as 500,000 ants.
- Colonies under threat can relocate quickly.
- Although it varies depending on species, on average a queen ant can survive up to 15 years.
- Worker ants may live as long as 7 years.
- At 1/2-inch for a major worker, 7/16-inch for a winged reproductive, and 9/16-inch for queens, carpenter ants are easily some of the largest ants to be found in the U.S.
- Some species of carpenter ant are red or yellow, but primarily these ants are black.
- Ants follow a “scent trail” of pheromones which allows them to follow other ants to discovered food sources.
- Carpenter ants eat other insects and will also eat sweet human food, grease, or meat.
- Wood that is hollow or decayed is a preferred location for carpenter ants to live.
- Homeowners can detect carpenter ants by the debris they leave behind, which is a mixture of dead ants and bits of insects, wood shavings or dust. The sound of movement or “rustling” in wood is another indication.
- Depending on the species of ant, greasy or sweet food and even water can attract them.
- Ants enter the home through nearly any crack or opening, even ones that seem tiny.
- The right treatment for destroying ants will depend on the type of ant.
- In the United States there are approximately 3,000 different types of spiders.
- Spiders have two body regions and eight legs.
- Depending on the type of spider, some prefer dark and dry areas while others prefer damper areas.
- In the United States the two spider species that are the most harmful to humans are the brown recluse and the black widow.
- Spiders tend to find places where they can be undisturbed in the home, such as the basement, storage closets, or the garage, for example.
- Spiders found in homes are most often males.
- Web-building and “wandering” spiders are two species of spiders that are commonly found in homes.
- There are many as 55 species of cockroaches in the U.S.
- German cockroach is the most common cockroach found in homes across the United States.
- Some cockroaches have wings; however, this does not guarantee that they can fly. For example, with brown-banded cockroaches only the male has the ability to take flight.
- Cockroaches are resistant to some methods of extermination. The best method of extermination often depends on the type of cockroach in question.
- Some cockroaches, such as the American cockroach, can release unpleasant odors.
- Cockroaches can enter the home via cracks, boxes, purses and bags. This type of bug can even be carried into the home on an individual’s person.
- They are a nocturnal bug.
- The home is appealing to cockroaches because it has ingredients that the bug needs such as warmth, food, and water.
- Cockroaches are more likely to be found in the kitchen, particularly German cockroaches.
- When a cockroach is seen during the day, it may be a sign of severe infestation.
- The droppings or feces, saliva, and the remains of the cockroach after death are all allergens. As such they are common triggers for people with allergies and/or asthma.
- Cockroaches are fast breeders and their numbers can grow significantly.
- The German cockroach reproduces faster than any other.
- Cockroaches are pests that may carry diseases such as typhoid fever and cholera.