Debunking 12 Of The Biggest Pennsylvania Pest Myths

Like most things in life, owning a home has both negative and positive aspects. It can be a rewarding, joyful and comforting experience, but it can also be a never-ending nightmare if pests invade and infest a residence. 

In Pennsylvania, there are many varieties of bad dreams to choose from, and each species is a close encounter of the most unpleasant kind, presenting its own unique set of challenges for pest control and pest management specialists, such as our highly trained technicians at Pestco to eliminate. 

No home owner finds solace in or gets much sleep over the fact that insect evolution has always coincided with humans development. Invading pests have become highly skilled at thriving on our garbage and unwanted items (and in many cases, such as with termites, essential things, like the infrastructure of our homes! Some of the most common Pennsylvania invaders include: termites; pantry pests; carpenter ants; rodents; German cockroaches; bedbugs; flies, and silverfish. 

These creepy crawlies and their cousins twice and thrice removed are persistent, and over the course of many centuries have perfected their ability to permeate residences and make themselves comfortable at the expense of home owners. Eliminating them almost always demands outside pest control and pest management reinforcements.

Follow these 10 steps to keep your home bed bug free this fall and winter!

Tips To Protect Your Home From Bedbugs

Myths About Some Common Bugs

Many insect species are associated with ancient tales and legends; some related to agriculture and farming, and others to everyday life and foreboding events and illnesses. Those terrifying aspects of living that cannot be controlled by human action or thought will, somehow find a sort of pragmatic clarification via myths and legends. Our nation is rife with folklore about common insects that invade both our space and our daily lives. 

Below are twelve examples of myths and legends associated with creepy crawlies that have persisted over the years in the state of Pennsylvania and elsewhere as well.

Insects Die Off In Winter Months

While this a common belief, it is not in any way true. The cold weather does not kill bugs; it drives them inside an unsuspecting residence where it is warm and cozy and they can hunker down and breed. This is especially true for spiders, ants roaches, and mosquitoes because these species are unable to produce heat on their own.

Cockroaches Spread Disease

Mice Actually Don’t Love Cheese

Mice are often thought of as critters that absolutely love cheese. While studies do indicate that mice will eat cheese, this is not because it is a cherished delicacy, but rather because it is there. Their preferred munching items are: sweets, cereals, grains and dried fruits. They are also fond of honey, peanut butter and chocolate. 

The exact origins of this myth are not known, but it is surmised that most likely it dates back to the Middle Ages, long before before the advent of modern refrigeration. Medieval families stored grains in bags or bins and left large wheels of cheese out, shielded from invading pests by just a thin coating of wax or a layer of cheese cloth.

The Praying Mantis Is A Protected and Endangered Species

This is simply not so. This idea first came to light in the 1950s, but there has never been either a state or federal law prohibiting the killing of a praying mantis. Also, their contribution to the eco system is sometimes overrated, as they eat all bugs they encounter and not just those that damage vegetables and fruits.

Bess, Wasps and Hornets Will Only Attack When Provoked

This is a common.misconception that has a shred of truth in it in the sense that much depends on the particular species. Honeybees, for example, will not normally sting unless they are provoked, or get trapped inside clothing, such as collars and socks.

Bees, wasps, hornets, yellow jackets, and other stinging insects however, will not hesitate to attack if they sense danger to their colony. In human terms, this could simply mean unknowingly walking too close to a nest.

Honey Bee Hive Relocation

If a homeowner spots a nest on their property, they are advised to immediately call our pest-control and pest-management specialists at Pestco Professional Services for professional help — (412) 252-5200.

Lady Bugs Portend Many Things

Many world cultures believe that a ladybug is an omen of good luck and fortune, and that killing one is a precursor to sorrow and trouble. Some myths claim that if a ladybug is held in the hand while making a wish, the direction in which it flies away indicates the source from where the good luck will arrive. 

Some legends go further and speak of counting spots on the back of a ladybug to reveal how many months of good fortune one will be granted in the coming year, how many children the holder of the ladybug will have, and/or how much money one may expect to gain. 

There is also folklore that mentions ladybugs as deflectors of illness if they land on a human and fly away unassisted. They are often seen as symbols of safety and health, and it is for this reason images of ladybugs are so often stitched or embedded into children’s clothing. For some farmers, a gathering of ladybugs signifies a plentiful harvest, and to others, a forecast of pleasant weather.

Mosquitoes Arose From The Ashes Of A Vengeful Giant

A legend indigenous to the Tlingit Indians of the Pacific Northwest Coast of North America speaks of a carnivorous giant monster who loved to feed on hearts and suck human blood. 

A proud warrior, upon discovering that the heart of the monster lay in his left heel, ambushed and killed him. It is said that upon his funeral pyre the monster became a cloud of ashes that transformed into a swarm of mosquitoes determined to plague mankind for all eternity. 

Sprays Can Easily Eliminate Ants

This is not always true and greatly depends on the invading ant species. For example, sugar ants can often be contained by those ant traps sold in most hardware stores and supermarkets.

However, treating an infestation of carpenter, pavement or odorous house ants is much more difficult, and requires the professional pest control and pest management expertise to effectively treat and eradicate.

Pittsburgh Ant Infestation Control

Eliminating Bugs Requires Liberal Applications Of Chemicals

Somewhere, somehow, the idea that some is good but more is better translated into the application of too many chemicals when trying to eliminate pests in the modern home. This is a serious error that no professional technician would ever make. 

Too much pesticide and a surplus of chemicals can cause resistance in many insect species and pose serious danger to humans, pets and indoor air quality. Pesticide exposure is perilous because effects are not totally understood on over-the counter sprays and other DIY solutions. 

They are also not subject to strict governmental regulations beyond the assessment concerning the safety of individual chemicals.

Seeing A Cockroach Means Your House Is Dirty

Cockroaches, like all the pest invaders, seek food and refuge in a residence whether or not house-keeping moguls like Martha Stewart ever come to visit or no. 

While it may be true that these critters can find more places to hide and more food to eat in a dirty home, a clean threshold will not prevent their entry, and once an infestation has occurred, and it can be very difficult to eradicate without the professional help of the pest control and pest management specialists at Pestco. 

While it may not seem possible, roaches can enter through an opening the size of a quarter. This is why sealing any possible entry points is critical in preventing their ingress. 

Termites Can’t Damage Brick Or Concrete Slab Homes

This myth is more complicated to unravel than others because it does retain a grain of truth. While termites cannot technically eat their way through brick or concrete, they often just crawl over them to gain access to the wood beam structures that are the framework of a home. 

Termites are tiny, but highly destructive and en masse they can enter a home through minuscule cracks in the foundation that may be as small as the width of an average business card. Termites have also been known to gain entry via untreated hollow spaces in cement blocks or bricks.

If You Don’t See Any Bugs, There Aren’t Any 

This can be a tragic and very expensive misconception, and often is, especially when dealing with termites or carpenter ants. These two species are known to cause a great deal of damage to wooden structures for even months before there are any visible signs. 

Carpenter ants cause destruction by excavating tunnels into weakened and decaying wood. They do not consume it, which is often believed. Termites, however, feed on the cellulose found in the wood.

All Spiders In Fact Do Not Weave Webs

Only about half of the world’s known spider species weave silken structures to catch prey. Others, such as the wolf spider., sac, lynx and other spider species sit patiently and wait for unsuspecting passersby that soon become brunch or dinner. These varieties include trap door and crab spiders.

While many of the above mentioned myths have still not been completely dispelled, one fact does stand alone. Prevention is and always will be the best way to avoid a pest infestation, and this means understanding how to protect a home via tried and true techniques before pests can invade and wreak havoc within a residence.

The Best Residential And Commercial Pittsburgh Pest Control

Since our formation in 1948, we have been a consistent leader in the provision of pest-control and pest-management solutions for commercial and industrial spaces throughout Pittsburgh and western Pennsylvania. 

Our consistent growth over the last seventy years is largely attributed to their superior services, products and pest- control strategies. For the last year or two, under the diligent helm of Robert A. Wiemer, Executive General Manager, the company has altered its focus to include residential pest solutions.


Pittsburgh Pest And Sanitizing Services


We have the proud distinction of being the only pest control company within the United States that manufactures the same products it uses. All are environmentally friendly and promote a carbon footprint policy that will insure the legacy of a green planet. 

Our integrated pest control and pest management services (IPM) have practical, hands-on approaches that entail an extensive and thorough examination of the affected residence and the subsequent sealing up of any cracks and crevices that might permit future ingress. 

Our pro-active pest exclusion services are focused on the selection of appropriate products that will vary in how well they can withstand pest invaders, and one critical consideration is always the realization that there are never any one-size-fits-all solutions. Our highly-trained technicians attend workshops on a regular basis to ensure they are not only always on top of, but also a few steps ahead of the many pests they encounter.

In Conclusion

If you are a homeowner living in the Pittsburgh area and plagued by any kind of pest infestation on your property, consider giving yourself a dose of serenity and some peace of mind by calling our specialists at Pestco Professional Services — (412) 252-5200.

We can help keep your residence pest-free… forever!

Final thought on pest invaders:

If you think you are too small to make a difference, try spending.a night with a mosquito. ~ African proverb 

Photo Credits: Pixabay

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