What’s the most difficult thing about being a homeowner? Whether you own a house or rent, you face many difficulties.
House bugs are one of the problems that nearly everyone faces at some point. There are many kinds of bugs that can make their way into your home. Luckily, you don’t need to put up with them!
We’ve put together a guide on how to get rid of common house bugs. Keep reading to find out what pests are living in your home and how you can get rid of them.
1. Bed Bugs
Though bed bugs don’t only live in beds, these bugs can often be found in bedding because it’s a dark, moist, and soft place to hide.
Bed bugs are a common pest across the world. They live in dark, soft places like in bedding, furniture, and carpets. Bed bugs can affect your sleep because they come out at night and leave uncomfortable bug bites.
Get rid of bed bugs by traveling smarter! Whenever you take a trip, inspect bedding and furniture for signs of bed bugs: dead bugs, shed skin, fecal matter, or dark stains from their latest blood meal. If you see signs, don’t stay there!
When you come home from a trip, wash all your clothes in hot water and check luggage for signs of bugs. You should also clean bedding in hot water after you’ve had guests in your home. Here is a detailed guide on how to get rid of bed bugs.
2. Carpenter Ants
Carpenter ants can be black, brown, red, or even yellow.
Carpenter ants are a dangerous pest because they can cause severe property damage. These large ants build tunnels in wood and can damage the structural integrity of your home. Carpenter ants can also chew on wires, causing electrical fires in your home.
Carpenter ants come into houses in search of food and shelter. You can eliminate their food source by cleaning your kitchen well. Wipe up spills and crumbs, and take the time to clean under large appliances.
Never leave food out overnight, even dog food, and store food and garbage in airtight containers.
Centipedes can often be found in damp, dark areas of the home, such as basements, garages, and attics.
There are actually two common species of centipede that might be in your home. Long centipedes can grow up to six inches long. In contrast, house centipedes are usually less than two inches. These pests can have between 17 and 170 pairs of legs!
Centipedes love moisture. To get rid of centipedes, use a dehumidifier. Place the dehumidifier in damp areas such as the bathroom, basement, and attic.
Another important step in centipede prevention is to check the exterior of your home for holes and cracks that might be allowing these house bugs inside. Use caulking and mesh to cover these entry points and keep these pests out.
Rotting food and garbage are the most common attracting factors for cockroaches.
As far as pests go, cockroaches are my least favorite. This large beetles spend their time around garbage, fecal matter, and decaying materials. When cockroaches get into your house, they spread bacteria and disease.
Cockroach prevention is similar to prevention for other house bugs. In order to avoid cockroaches, you’ll want to minimize moisture and access to food. To keep away cockroaches, you need to keep garbage in a sealed container with an airtight lid. You’ll also need to be intentional about cleaning the kitchen and never leaving dirty dishes out overnight to keep cockroaches away.
Fleas survive by consuming blood from their host–which can include animals and humans.
We often associate fleas with pets, because dogs and cats are especially susceptible to picking up fleas. However, fleas can also bite humans. They can live in furniture, clothing, and bedding.. Fleas leave itchy bug bites that can last for days. They definitely aren’t a pest you want around.
The best flea prevention includes help from your veterinarian if you have pets. A vet can help you find a good flea-prevention product for your pet, whether that’s a collar, drops, or pills. You can also lower your chance of a flea infestation by washing pet bedding and toys frequently, and washing your pets after they’ve spent significant amounts of time outside.
A female fly can lay up to 600 eggs in her lifetime.
I think flies are one of the most annoying house bugs out there. Flies are loud and seem to always be flying into your face or landing on your food. Like cockroaches, flies spend a lot of time around decaying materials. They’ll pick up bacteria from these sources and bring them into your home.
To keep flies out of your home, start by making sure you have screens installed on all doors and windows. Avoid attracting them by keeping food stored in airtight containers. Make sure all garbage and compost is in a bin with a tightly closed lid.
If flies have already gotten into your home, you can use fly tape to trap these insects before they have a chance to annoy you. You can also create a homemade trap by putting a sticky liquid in a jar and covering it with plastic wrap with small holes. The flies will get in but won’t be able to get out.
7. Fruit Flies
Fruit flies eat bacteria and sugars from fruits and vegetables in stages of decay.
Like house flies, fruit flies can also be an annoying house bug. Though much smaller, they multiply quickly. They love sugary foods, especially fruit, and are attracted to decaying matter. Here’s how you can get rid of fruit flies.
The best fruit fly trap is easy to make and quite effective. All you need is a jar, apple cider vinegar, dish soap, and plastic wrap. You put the vinegar in the bottom of the jar with a drop of dish soap to break the surface tension. Then you cover the jar with plastic wrap and make small holes that fruit flies can just barely fit into. Like the house fly trap, they’ll be able to get in without getting back in.
In order to keep fruit flies out, make sure you are also storing organic trash in a bin with a sealed lid, and never leave fresh or rotting fruit sitting uncovered on the counter.
8. House Ants
The odorous house ant releases a smell like rotting coconut when crushed.
There are many species of ant that can affect your home. The odorous house ant is one of the most common, sometimes called the sugar ant, coconut ant, or stink ant. These tiny black ants come into your home looking for food. They prefer meats and sugars.
Besides causing problems on their own, odorous ants can also attract other hinsects, which can cause even more problems.
To keep out odorous house ants, you’ll need to deep clean the kitchen. They can get inside through tiny cracks in the exterior of your home, and as long as they can find food, they’ll keep coming in. To keep them from finding food, you’ll need to clean under appliances and the backs of cupboards.
You can also try mixing baking soda and powdered sugar and placing this mixture around the ants’ entry points. They’ll be attracted to the powdered sugar, but the baking soda will kill them.
9. Indian Meal Moths
Indian meal moths may leave silk-like strands in the food they’ve contaminated. Once meal moths have gotten into food, it should be discarded immediately
Indian meal moths are a pantry pest, a variety of house bug. Adult moths will lay eggs in cereals and grains. You may accidentally bring home eggs with your flour or granola, and soon you’ll have larvae crawling around your pantry. They can chew through packaging to contaminate even more food items.
Prevent this by inspecting food carefully when you buy it. If there are holes or tears in the packaging, don’t buy it! Once you do buy food, store grains and cereals in airtight containers made of hard plastic or glass. This way, even if you find meal moths in one food, they won’t be able to spread across your pantry.
Mosquitoes can drink up to three times their weight in blood. Only females need blood in order to lay their eggs.
If you’ve ever had a mosquito problem, you know how frustrating these pests can be. Mosquitoes need blood in order to breed, and they get this blood by biting you. Mosquito bites can be quite itchy and can form hard, red bumps. Many people have allergic reactions which can result in rashes or intense pain.
To stop mosquitoes you need to keep them from breeding. Along with blood meals, they also need standing water in order to lay their eggs. Remove all standing water from your yard. This includes emptying out buckets, checking for puddles, and even looking for toys that may be collecting water. By limiting mosquitoes’ access to water, you’re also limiting the number of mosquitoes around your home.
Though not all spiders have webs, most species build webs and wait for prey to come to them. They only bite people if they feel threatened.
No matter where you live, there are several species of spiders that can make their way into your home. Luckily, in most places, only black widow spiders and brown recluse spiders are considered dangerous. However, any spider can bite if threatened, and all spiders can be a nuisance.
Spiders don’t like humans, so they look for dark, undisturbed places to build webs. If you regularly clean and dust unused areas like the garage, basement, and closets, you’ll make your home less appealing for these arachnids.
Spiders also come into homes looking for food–other bugs. If you have a spider problem, there’s a good chance you also have too many flies, mosquitoes, or other house bugs. Focus on getting rid of other insects and spiders may also disappear.
12. Stink Bugs
Killing a stink bug outside may act as a warning for other stink bugs to stay away, since the smell will let them know that one was killed.
Stink bugs are small grey bugs shaped like a shield. They don’t bite humans, and they aren’t known to carry any diseases. However, they can appear in large numbers during the fall and spring and may damage house plants.
During the fall they will try to find a warm place to overwinter, such as inside your walls. Come spring, they’ll crawl back out. You could be finding stink bugs in your home for weeks.
These bugs get their name because of the smell they emit when squashed. Instead of using a shoe to kill these house bugs, try vacuuming them or flushing them down the toilet. Stink bugs are repelled by scents like dryer sheets and mint. To keep them out in the fall, you can rub down surfaces around doors and windows with dryer sheets or spray mint essential oil mixed with water around these areas.
Subterranean termites live in an underground nest and build tunnels to travel back and forth in search of food.
Termites are one of the more damaging house bugs. Although they don’t hurt humans, they can badly hurt your home. Termites eat cellulose, which is found in wood. As they feed, they build tunnels through the wooden structures of your home, damaging the integrity of your house. They can cause thousands of dollars in repair costs.
The best way to prevent a termite infestation is to get help from professional pest control services. These bugs don’t come out into the open, so they can be hard to spot until the damage is already done. You can also prevent them by repairing damaged wood and using a dehumidifier to keep your home dry, since they are attracted to moisture.
When ticks attach to a host to feed, these bugs can remain attached for days if they aren’t spotted.
Ticks are small bugs that feed on blood from mammals. These bugs like to hide in tall grasses and climb up passing humans or animals. Their bites can lead to dangerous diseases such as Lymes disease, tularemia, and Rocky Mountain spotted fever.
You often encounter ticks after spending time in wooded areas. To lower your chances of a bug bite from this house bug, wear long pants and light colored clothes. This way, you will be able to spot a tick that is crawling up your leg and get it off before it bites you.
To keep ticks away from your home, you’ll need to use fences to keep away wild animals. Ticks will travel on the backs of deer, squirrels, and other animals. If they jump off in your yard, you’ll have more chance of being bit by these bugs.
The long snout of mature weevils is called a rostrum. Their mouth is located at the tip of the rostrum.
Like Indian meal moths, weevils are a pantry pest. These beetles are attracted to grains, cereals, dried fruit, and other pantry essentials. As with meal moths, they often get into food items before they get to the store.
Take extra care to check for damaged and broken packaging, and inspect the food for signs of eggs of house bugs before buying. Once you’ve purchased food, keep it in a sealed container that can’t be chewed through. This way, even if weevils get into a bag of flour, they won’t be able to contaminate the rest of the food in your pantry.
Hope this guide on how to get rid of house bugs was helpful!
Cailey Johanna Thiessen lives in Atlanta, Georgia. Though born in Colorado, she spent most of her formative years in Morelos and Oaxaca, Mexico. She attended college in Vermont, where she received her Bachelor of Science in Professional Writing and a minor in Foreign Languages from Champlain College. She writes about pest control, travel, gardening, and more. Though currently living in an apartment, she loves caring for her large selection of houseplants and is looking forward to owning her own garden. She’s an avid cook and interested in finding easy and enjoyable ways to be healthier and happier. She’s passionate about writing and creating and seeing finished projects come to life.