Nobody likes dealing with pests. They’re creepy, crawly, and always appear at the most inopportune times. You’re not alone if you’re dealing with more pests than usual. Pest populations are rising in the United States due to various factors, including climate change and increased international travel.
Here are five of the most common pests in the United States and what you can do to get rid of them:
Cockroaches are among the most common—and most disliked—pests in the United States. These critters are typically brown or black and can range from half an inch to two inches long. They like food and stagnant water sources, so they’re often found in kitchens and bathrooms. They often carry diseases such as E. coli and Salmonella, so getting rid of them as soon as possible is essential.
Termites are tiny insects that live in colonies underground. These pests feed on wood, which makes them a major threat to homes and other structures made primarily of wood (like decks and fences).
Mosquitoes are small flying insects that are known for their irritating bites. These pests are found throughout the United States, and their populations tend to swell during the spring and summer. To avoid being bitten by mosquitoes, use insect repellent when you go outside and wear long-sleeved shirts and pants if possible. You can also eliminate standing water around your home, as mosquitoes lay their eggs in water.
Ticks are small parasitic insects that attach themselves to animals—and sometimes humans—to feed on their blood. Ticks are most active during the spring and summer months but can be found year-round in some parts of the country. To avoid being bitten by a tick, use insect repellent when you go outside and perform a full-body check for ticks after spending time outdoors (ticks typically attach themselves to areas like the hairline, armpits, groin, and waist). If you find a tick on your body, removal is simple: Just grab it with tweezers as close to the skin as possible and pull straight up until it lets go.
Ants are small insects living in colonies consisting of thousands—sometimes millions—of individual ants. These pests are attracted to sweet foods like candy or syrup and will also eat just about anything else if necessary. If you have an ant problem, there are several things you can do to get rid of them, including using baits or setting up traps near where you’ve seen them most often. You can also try spraying them with diluted vinegar or soapy water (though this will only work for temporary relief). For long-term solutions, however, it’s best to contact a professional exterminator who will be able to get rid of your ant problem for good.
No matter what type of pest problem you’re dealing with, there’s a solution for you. But here are some measures you can implement if you want to prevent them from entering your home in the first place.
Use a Gas Furnace For Heating
Insects love living inside air conditioners and heaters, especially if the heat suits their living conditions. If you want to reduce their population, especially during the winter, consider installing a gas furnace. A furnace comes with various benefits. First, it reduces pests because it’s a dry heat. This heat doesn’t support mold or mildew growth, which are common in humidifiers. Second, a furnace produces carbon monoxide. CO is an odorless, colorless gas that’s toxic to most pests. Just be careful not to inhale too much of it. Ensure that you also have a carbon monoxide detector in your home.
Replace Your Weather-Stripping
Pests enter your home through cracks and holes in the door. To reduce their population, replace your weather-stripping. This will prevent pests from coming in and save you money on your energy bill.
Clean Your Gutters
Your gutters play an important role in keeping your home pest-free. When they’re full of leaves and other debris, they provide a perfect hiding place for pests like rodents and insects. They can also cause water to back up and pool around your foundation, which creates an ideal breeding ground for mosquitoes. So, make sure to clean your gutters at least twice a year.
Use Pest-Repellent Plants
Pest-repellent plants are a great way to keep pests away from your home. Some of the best include marigolds, lavender, catnip, and rosemary. These plants repel pests and add a lovely fragrance to your home.
Keep Your Home Clean
A clean home is a pest-free home. So, make sure to vacuum and mop your floors regularly. Wash your dishes after every meal, and don’t leave food in the open. Also, empty your trash can every day. If you have pets, bathe them regularly to eliminate fleas and ticks.
Pests are problematic, especially if you have an infestation. But with the proper knowledge and preventive measures, you can keep them away from your home. Just remember to take action as soon as you see one. The sooner you address the problem, the easier it will be to eliminate them.