We’ve all been there! You’re lying in bed, your eyes are closing, when suddenly you see something moving out the corner of your eye. It’s there, just above you on the ceiling, an indistinguishable shape in the darkness. You lean over and switch on your bedside lamp, only to see whatever it is scurry behind the curtains! As much as we might hate to admit it, the reality is that we often share our homes with unwanted squatters. There is a wide range of creatures and critters that call our houses home. Here are some fun facts about the three most common household pests which can help you eradicate them from your home forever.
1. Bed bugs
When we think of bed bugs we usually think of a bad hotel experience with an uncomfortable night spent under musty old sheets. We associate the presence of bed bugs with poor laundry service or subpar hygiene. In fact, this is a major misconception. Bed bugs are parasites that can be found wherever there are people. Though we might think that they have been lying in wait for us to arrive in our hotel bed, the reality is we quite possibly have brought them home with us from our office or from our seat on the train. They are nature’s master hitchhikers which is why they can be found in homes in every country across the globe.
But this love of free travel also provides us with the best solution to prevent an infestation. The easiest way for bed bugs to hitch a ride is in your suitcase. It’s like a Greyhound service for pests. When you get home from a trip, simply vacuum out your luggage to make sure that you are not unleashing a bed bug colony into your bedroom. If you want to go one step further, take a large trash bag with you on trips and keep your luggage safely tied up inside it.
If there is any bug guaranteed to give most people the heebie-jeebies, it is the cockroach. Quiz any person with an insect phobia and the cockroach ticks every terrifying box: too many legs, ability to scurry, uncanny tendency to fly. There are about 4,600 species of cockroaches of which around thirty are known to live in our homes. Unlike bed bugs, hygiene plays a major role in attracting these hair raising critters. It is important to note, however, that this does not mean that only filthy homes will become the residence of a cockroach infestation.
Cockroaches are attracted to the tiniest amount of food that has been left on the kitchen counter. Crumbs on the table or even just dirty dishes in the sink can attract them. Whilst diligent cleaning and household hygiene can stop a colony from establishing, once there is a major infestation, it is very difficult to combat. As these experts of pest control say, “roaches have a reputation to endure anything,” even nuclear strikes or well-aimed shoes. The best advice is to keep your home spick and span, and if you do find yourself invaded, to promptly call in the professionals.
Perhaps the least skin-crawling pest on our list, ants are nevertheless a nuisance in many of our homes. Whilst ants do not tend to cause any health problems, once a colony has established itself, it can be next to impossible to fully eradicate. Like cockroaches, ants are drawn to food and crumbs that have not been cleaned away properly. However, unlike cockroaches, which tend to be shy and elusive, it is the sheer number of ants that invade that makes them such a difficult problem to deal with.
The important thing to remember about ants is that it is very unlikely that the nest is located inside your home. Ant nests are usually found under lawns or beneath patios and this gives us a big advantage in combating these tiny pests. First of all, try to locate and seal up all the points of entry into your home that the ants are using to gain access. After that, try to find the location of the nest, and having done so, put down one of the widely available treatments or baits onto the trails that the ants are using.
Whilst household pests certainly cause shivers down the spines of the bravest of us, the reality is that the majority of the pests we find in our home are relatively harmless. As long as we exercise good common sense hygiene and cleaning practices, we should be able to keep our homes safe and free from these annoying critters. Just remember, if your infestation is getting out of hand, the best thing to do is to call in the professionals.