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Identifying common household pests in your area is the first step toward maintaining a pest-free home. When you know what to look for, you'll be better equipped to spot problems early. The sooner you can tackle pest problems, the easier they'll be to treat.
If you're not well-informed about possible pests in your part of the country, you might miss the sign of an infestation in the earlier stages and end up with a major problem. When you're dealing with something like termites, this can be catastrophic for your home. Learn to identify pests now so you'll be prepared to act quickly should problems arise.
There are several pests that are particularly common in the United States. Getting acquainted with these will give you an idea of what to look out for in your home.
Ants are a common household pest. There are many different species, which makes proper identification critical. Some ants seek sweet food sources while others consume only liquids. Knowing your ants will also give you the information you need to get rid of them.
Ant infestations are often readily visible. You might find the ants marching boldly through your kitchen, nicking food from your pet's bowl, or simply roaming through the home looking for a source of food. Carpenter ants are identifiable by a rustling sound in the walls or the presence of wood shavings around their entry points.
A professional can help you identify the species of ant in your home and select the right bait to get rid of this type of infestation quickly.
Scorpions are a common pest in the southwestern United States. If you live in Arizona, New Mexico, or California, you might find these pests in your area. Measuring between two and four inches in length, scorpions are easy to see when they come out. These nocturnal pests will hide during the day and come out to hunt at night.
Scorpions look for shady places to hide during the day and a handy source of food and water that they can enjoy at night. If you have another type of pest in your home, scorpions may follow to feed on those insects. Scorpions are solitary creatures, so you'll typically find only one or two in your home at a time.
Spiders are common throughout the United States. There are many different species that you may find in your home. The most obvious sign of these pests are the signature webs that they weave in your home. Not all webs are large and flat like you may picture. Some are messy cobwebs while others are shaped like a funnel. Some spiders hide in burrows rather than webs.
Spiders seek dark, moist environments and areas with an ample supply of food. They like to capture ants, flies, other spiders, and various other insects. Keeping pests of all kinds out of your house will also help you keep spiders under control.
There are about 70 species of cockroaches in the United States. These pests can be found in a variety of locations. The American cockroach prefers damp locations like sewers, while the Brownbanded cockroach lives in warm, dry spots like high cabinets. Cockroaches like to hide in small, dark places and may be found in nearly any nook and cranny of the home.
Some common signs of a cockroach infestation include cockroach droppings, brown smears near water sources, and shed cockroach skins. Cockroaches also produce an unpleasant odor in infested areas. An exterminator can help you locate cockroaches in your home, identify the species that you're dealing with, and come up with an action plan to eradicate them.
Termites are an extremely destructive pest. These insects often go undetected until there's a major problem in the home. Swarming termites are the easiest ones to see, but they closely resemble ants and are often misidentified. Unlike ants, swarming termites have a straight body, uniform wings, and straight antennae.
A serious termite infestation will leave behind signs like hollow timber, papery walls, and piles of termite droppings. You may even hear the termites in the walls making a banging sound.
Pest patterns vary with the season, so you'll notice different types of activity taking place throughout the year. In the spring, pests are mating. This is when you'll see swarming ants and termites. Insects and other pests thrive outside in summer. In fall and winter, as temperatures drop, you'll find some of these pests coming into the house. Seeking shelter from the cold outside, pests will begin actively seeking ways to get into the house. Those that don't find a way in will typically die off or hibernate in winter until the cycle begins again.
Pests are an unwanted nuisance in any home. They can get into your food, damage your home, and even bite or sting the people living in your home. Take preventive steps to make sure pests don't have an easy access point to get into your home. Keep your kitchen clean, don't leave food scraps out, and avoid standing water anywhere in the home.
If you do experience a pest problem, contact an exterminator for the fastest and most efficient solution. An experienced pest control specialist can accurately identify the species in your home and help you develop a customized solution to not only kill off the current infestation, but also prevent any future issues.