Being a home owner can be a joyful and rewarding experience, but it can also be a living, waking nightmare if pests invade a residence. Unfortunately, there are many varieties to choose from, and they all present their own unique set of problems and challenges to eliminate.
Our experts at Pestco Professional Services have all the pest-control and pest- management answers when it comes to insect infestations aka close encounters of the most unpleasant kind and they are always there when help is needed.
Outside reinforcements are often called in because invading pests and their relatives have been very successful at breaking into homes and making themselves comfortable for centuries.
It does not make any home owner feel warm and fuzzy to learn that insect evolution has coincided with that of humans, as they have become experts at thriving on our garbage and unwanted items and in many cases, such as with termites, essential items, like the infra structure of our homes!
How Many Species Of Insect Pests Can Be Found In Residences
Conducted by researchers from North Carolina State University, this recent study attempted to estimate how many species of insect pests (arthropods) could be found in residences. They intensively searched homes and managed to identify 579 different species from 304 different insect families.
In fact, out of the 554 rooms scoured for the research, only 5 had no detectable insects, albeit some believe that perhaps they didn’t search throughly enough. There is still an element of mystery concerning these unwelcome critters that infest our homes and our peace of mind.
Hopefully, this article will shed some light on twelve of the most common among them that if not eliminated can drastically affect the selling value of a home and the quality of life for those who live within.
The Most Undesirable Pests For Homeowners
Without question, termites are the smallest, yet most devastating, wood- destroying insects on planet Earth. There are over 2,700 species found throughout the world, and according to the National Pest Management Association, termites are known to cause over $5 billion of damage to property in the United Sates each year.
To compound the problem, termite damage is usually not covered by homeowner’s insurance. Termite control cannot be accomplished by amateurs. The professional pest-management specialists at Pestco can help to identify the specific species and offer the safest, most effective tools to combat their spread and eliminate them forever from a home.
2. Bald Faced Hornet
There may be a few things that are more unpleasant than an encounter with one of these terrifying stinging critters, but upon a chance meeting with one, no others come to mind.
With an appearance that seems conjured from the pen of a disturbed cartoonist with a penchant for stark white, which is the color of its terrifying face, this hornet can reach lengths of up to 2 inches.
Originating in Japan where many people die every year from their stings, this species has a long stinger and venom that contains powerful chemicals that ravage human tissue and nervous systems. The nests of these fearsome hornets are usually football-shaped with an opening at the bottom which allows ingress and egress.
One terrifying tale told by Pestco CEO, Bob Weimer, concerns the frightful discovery of a nest in the attic of a Pittsburgh home that ran for approximately 8 feet and rested between two joists! He donned both a wetsuit, and despite his expertise, whispered several fervent prayers before daring to approach.
3. Powderpost Beetles
The larvae of these insect pests present major problems for new home- owners living mostly in the southern states, although they are not unheard of in other parts of the nation.
These wood-boring beetles attack hardwood only, which means they can not only infest the infrastructure of a home, but also molding, flooring, cabinets and doors. They are known to attack woods with a high moisture content and wooden antiques made of ash, hickory, oak, walnut and cherry often fall prey to their destruction.
Active infestations are identified by the presence of very fine sawdust coming from the holes. Most occur in homes from one to five years old that have been constructed with infested wood.The most economical solution usually involves removing the affected wood.
4. Pantry Pests
These insects feed on the dried and processed food products that are stored in the average home owner’s kitchen cabinets. They include: flour; cereal; powdered milk; pasta; dry pet food; cornstarch; crackers; spices; bread; bird seed; dried nuts and fruit.
These destructive marauders can breed almost continuously, as they tend to live inside the food products they thrive on. The most common pantry pests are: the Indian Meal Moth, the Saw-Toothed Drain Beetle, the Flour Beetle, weevils and the Cigarette Beetle.
5. Carpenter Ants
While they don’t eat wood, most species of carpenter ants are major structural pests with well-muscled jaws that are fully capable of hollowing out solid pine or fir lumber to build their nests. They are considered wood destroyers in most American states and are reportable on all real estate transactions.
Although the damage caused by carpenter ants is not as severe as that caused by termites, as their nests continue to grow and expand so does the extent of the damage they incur to wood in attic vents, foundations, cracks, electric wires, pipes and telephone lines.
Proper treatment of a carpenter ant infestation via strategies performed by the pest-control and pest-management specialists at Pestco can greatly reduce the chances that a carpenter ant colony will return to the scene of the crime.
6. Rats and Mice
The stuff of nightmares and horror movies, rodents are two of the most unhealthy and damaging pests that can render a home unsuitable for habitation. It is estimated that a single house mouse leaves behind 3,000 micro-droplets of urine per day.
To fully understand the implications of this, consider that this urine contains a myriad of bacteria and viruses that land wherever mice travel. These include places like: kitchen counters, floors, silverware drawers and food cupboards.
Their cousins, Roof and Norway rats, also leave behind feces and urine with pathogens capable of spreading salmonella, murine typhus and other illnesses. To compound their damage, rats chew on attic wiring in Pittsburgh homes, which often causes fires and contaminates insulation.
These rodents can be destructive nightmares if they find their way into a Pittsburgh home. They chew holes in siding and soffits, breed in attics and damage backyard, trees. In tandem with rats and mice, squirrels are estimated to cause up to 25% of all unexplainable fires. The highly-trained technicians at Pestco offer several solutions, some of which may include exclusionary techniques and one-way door installations.
8. Indoor Ants
While these unpleasant insects are not known to cause direct damage to a Pittsburgh home, they can make living there day to day a repugnant experience.
The first step in controlling these critters is the identification of the particular invading species. It is usually best to avoid the use of sprays against ants, at least when they are indoors. Baits are safer and more effective, with the liquid variety being much better than solid bait pellets inside plastic stations.
Baits should be placed out of reach of children and pets and wherever there is ant activity. Do not spray around the bait stations because the idea is to keep the insects alive until they carry it back to their nesting relatives.
9. German Cockroaches
Research has indicated that children growing up in homes infested with German cockroaches are more likely to suffer from allergies and asthma.
These roaches are both disgusting to behold and unhealthy to boot. Their feces and shed skins are not only allergenic, they can also carry pathogens that cause bacterial diseases such as: food poisoning, salmonella, and shigella, dysentery and diarrhea.
Eliminating these insects requires a vigorous cleanup effort that is usually best left to the pest-control and pest-management specialists at Pestco.
10. Bed Bugs
These nasty bugs feed on human blood and they are truly the stuff of bad dreams. Even though they are not vectors of disease, their bites can cause skin rashes, psychological effects and allergic symptoms.
Bed bug bites can lead to skin alterations ranging from small areas of redness to prominent blisters. They reduce the attractiveness and livability of any Pittsburgh home and the presence of bed bugs is always highly undesirable. Travel is considered the most common cause of bed bug infestations.
Often unbeknownst to the traveler, bed bugs will hitchhike on people, clothing, luggage, or other personal belongings and be accidentally transported to other properties. Professional pest control help is the only solution to their permanent elimination.
Our pest control and pest management specialists are often called upon to eradicate the house flies and the fruit flies from Pittsburgh homes. Both species thrive in heavily populated metropolitan areas throughout the country.
House flies are dangerous to human health, as studies indicate that they are vectors of more than 65 diseases, the pathogens of which they transmit via touch or from bodily fluids such as: saliva, feces, vomit, and urine. This disgusting process take only a few seconds.
Contamination occurs as these insects move between clean and tainted food sources, transporting both the filth on their bodies and internal micro- organisms. In a repugnant aside, houseflies are also known to regurgitate digestive juices and defecate while feeding.
These unpleasant insect pests, which are also known as: bristletails, firebrats, fish moths and urban silverfish, severely damage books and fabrics. Other materials are also at risk, as they will eat any materials that contain high percentages of cellulose, which is the starchy sugar found in: paste, newspapers, bookbindings, wallpaper; fabric, adhesive, mold and even dead insects.
The average Pittsburgh home-owner will often find silverfish in moist, humid areas with little foot traffic and a plentiful food supply. They need some water to survive, but cannot live without proteins, sugars and starches.
The pest-control and pest-management specialists at Pestco recommend sealing dry goods like cereal, pasta, rice, quinoa, flour, sugar, and pet food in sturdy, airtight containers to prevent silverfish from reaching these tempting food sources.
Pittsburgh Pest Control Treatments and Solutions
Pestco Professional Services is a 5-star, family-owned company with an impeccable reputation for qualified customer service that dates back more than seven decades. We are Google Guaranteed, Quality Pro and Sentricon Certified, and proud members of the National Pest Management Society, and 2 of the 7 Ace-certified technicians throughout all of Western PA are a part of our close-nit family!
The first step our highly trained technicians will take in dealing with any insect infestation is to locate its source. This process can be complex and time-consuming, depending on the pest and the severity of the invasion. Then, based on our findings, we will implement a specific treatment plan that will both eliminate the current infestation and prevent future problems.
So, if you are a Pittsburgh homeowner plagued with an infestation of creepy crawlies, call our teams today. We’re here to help!
Final thought on insects:
We can only hope that, when the insects take over the world, they will remember with gratitude how we took them along on all our picnics.~ Bill Vaughan
Photo Credits: Pixabay