Having pests in your home or office is frustrating, aggravating and generally off-putting. If you’ve ever had to deal with infestations of any kind, you’ll understand how time consuming and emotionally draining it can be.
To keep you vigilant about wiping crumbs off the counter tops, here’s a list of nine indoor pests that will definitely ruin your day. The list is in no particular order, since all of these guys are pretty nasty.
There are hundreds of different species of ants, almost all of which are indoor pests. Some types of ant’s bite, leaving sore or itchy marks on your skin. However, most ants are just plain annoying.
They eat tiny particles of food found on floors or tables, and congregate in kitchens dining areas. Because they live in huge colonies, when you find one ant in your house you can be confident that more are on their way.
Silverfish are small, whitish insects. They’re long and resemble worms, though look a little bit like a wriggling fish when they move. They like to live in dark places: you’ll find them living in attics, basements, cabinets and wall cavities.
These pests will eat organic materials found in your home, often ruining paper and fabrics (specifically silks and synthetics). They’ll also get into pantry items, like flower and corn starch, not stored in airtight containers. Be sure to check your cake batter!
Mice and Rats
Rats and mice are one of the most threatening pests to have in your home. These creatures often live in extremely unsanitary conditions and carry diseases with them on their feet and in their droppings.
Not only that, but rates have been known to cause electrical fires by chewing through wires and electrical boxes. Rats and mice are especially problematic in the winter, when they try to escape the cold by building nests indoors.
Cockroaches also carry some pretty serious diseases: things like salmonella, dysentery and gastroenteritis, which you can get by eating food these pests have crawled on. The worst part? No matter how much you clean your home, it’s nearly impossible to avoid them: they feed on any organic matter including grease deposits, pet food and even book bindings.
Bats, the world’s only flying mammals, love to make their homes in attics and eaves. They can fit through gaps as small as half a square inch, and particularly seek out spaces where they feel safe from predators.
Having bats living in your yard is great (they eat a lot of the other pests on this list), but having them in your home is another story… Piles of at droppings not only smell terrible, but have been known to leech into the ceiling between the attic and the house, causing brown spots and decomposition. Bats also carry deadly disease, such as rabies.
Fleas are parasites, meaning they feed off the flesh of humans and animals. These are most often brought into the house by a dog or cat, but can then establish themselves in carpeting or grass at your house. Aside from being itchy and annoying, flea bites can lead to infection and also possibly carry new parasites (like tapeworms) with them.
Bedbugs are another common parasite. These, as you would expect from their name, tend to live in bedding and furniture. The bugs bite you at night, as you’re sleeping, leaving you with itchy bites to deal with in the morning.
Bed bugs are notoriously difficult to get rid of, and are definitely not something you should attempt to control on your own. Using pest control chemicals on the fabrics you sleep on can be hazardous to your health, so it’s best to leave it to the professionals.
Wasps, not to be confused with less aggressive bees, occasionally build nests in eaves and wall cavities of houses. These pests are very territorial and are known to sting anyone who gets too close to the nest.
Wasp sting are painful and can be deadly if you have an allergy to their venom. Further, wasps are attracted to sugar and it’s not unheard of for these insects to crawl into a can or bottle of soda only to be swallowed accidentally. Then venom injected inside your throat can cause massive swelling and even asphyxiation.
Like ants, termites live in large colonies, so when you see one termite, you can be the rest are lurking somewhere nearby. Termites eat dead plant material, like old leaves, grass clipping and, most importantly, wood. They can cause major damage to homes and other building by boring through the wooden structures and degrading the framework.
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