Although Halloween and all its scary aspects lies just around the corner, there is something particularly edgy about the world of sleep all year round, and the fact that undesirable things can happen when we are helpless and not watching.
The idea that creepy crawlies such as: bedbugs; mosquitoes; centipedes; cockroaches and rodents are awake and in our homes while we peacefully slumber, and are able to roam at will among our belongings and our bodies is unnerving to say the least.
Nocturnal pests not only wander about; they also do significant damage and can often escape detection and eradication until a full blown infestation takes hold, causing much consternation and considerable expense.
Nocturnal insects are most active at night for a variety of reasons. They seek new food sources, water and mates.
After resting all day in hidden nooks and crannies, they come out at night to seek their prey, which is also nocturnal.
They are also avoiding becoming prey themselves to their own daytime predators, such as birds. Some insects also prefer the cooler temperatures the night brings.
Not all nocturnal insects are harmful, but those mentioned above and in more detail below can greatly impact a homeowner’s quality of life in a very negative way.
5 Pests That Might Haunt You At Night
Here are some of the night time pests that creep across our sheets and crawl along our bed covers, but hopefully not on our faces or inside our mouths (ugh!!) when we are in our most vulnerable state namely, asleep.
Perhaps the most dreaded nighttime pest of them all, bed bugs are considered a public health pest even though they are not known to transmit or spread disease.
These blood suckers hide in nooks and crannies and are almost undetectable to the untrained eye.
According to a recent National Pest Management Association survey, more than 50% of people reach out to pest-control and pest-management specialists after noticing bites on their bodies.
Unfortunately, once bites appear, it is very likely there is a full-blown infestation.
Experts believe the recent increase in bed bugs in the United States may be due to more travel, lack of knowledge about preventing infestations, increased resistance of bed bugs to pesticides, and ineffective pest control practices.
Allergic reactions to their bites can be severe, ranging from a small bite mark to in rare cases, anaphylaxis (severe, whole-body reaction).
Secondary infections of the skin from the bite can also occur such as: impetigo, ecthyma, and lymphangitis.
Bed bugs also impact mental health on those living in infested homes.
Reports of anxiety, insomnia and systemic reactions often accompany a bed bag infestation.
A cockroach infestation can mean serious trouble for both a commercial enterprise and a private home or residence, and it must be addressed immediately by our pest-control and pest-maintenance specialists at Pestco.
At least 3,500 species of these unhygienic scavengers are known to exist worldwide, but only about 55 species exist in the United States.
They are nocturnal and one upsetting rule of thumb is that if roaches are seen scattering about in daylight, they have either been disturbed or worse, the home in question may have an infestation so serious that there are more bugs than there are spaces within which to hide.
Once the sun goes down, these nasty critters that have been invading the sleep pf mankind since the dawn of time, come out to scavenge for food.
While cockroaches aren’t bloodsuckers, they do leave behind excrement that poses a health risk to humans. Cockroach feces can also trigger asthma and allergies.
These small critters with many legs that Pittsburgh homeowners spot scampering across their floors in basements and attics were first recorded in Pennsylvania in 1849.
While their origins are linked to the Mediterranean region of the world, this species has scampered all across it, and in some countries they can grow to be up to a foot in length!
They reside in homes filled with screaming women and frightened pets, and are often the source of cries for help to our pest-control and pest-maintenance specialists at Pestco.
House centipedes feed on other insects and small arthropods.
They have poison glands and the means to inject their venom into their prey, but they aren’t easily able to puncture the skin of a human and bites are uncommon.
While they don’t cause or carry diseases like other insects and rodents, they can be very distressing to have around. One Pennsylvania newspaper reported the story of a woman who found one crawling inside her shoe just as she was about to slip it on!
The Pennsylvania house centipede cannot survive winters outdoors, but easily reproduces in heated structures.
They are unique in the sense that they are able to complete their entire lifecycle, from egg to old age, indoors.
Despite their scary appearance, house centipedes are somewhat beneficial, as they kill and eat other insects and arachnids.
Still, it is far better to be without them, and if they are seen frequently in a home or residence, it’s time to call the pest-control and pest-management specialists, as this usually indicates that some food source is in abundance, which may further signify a greater problem then the presence of centipedes.
Mosquitoes cannot survive Pittsburgh winters, but it is vitally important that home owners prevent them from laying overwintering eggs before the cold sets in.
At this time of year, leaves that are not raked up can create pools that mosquitoes will use to make it through winter.
Even thought they have no venom, they are the most dangerous insects in the world because they are vectors for serious diseases such as Malaria, Dengue Fever, Yellow Fever, West Nile Virus, Encephalitis, Tularemia, Ross River Fever and others.
They attack when humans are the most vulnerable and unable to defend themselves; namely, while they sleep.
For consistent control, seasonal mosquito reduction services performed by our friendly staff at Pestco are highly recommended, as their experts treat ponds, pools, and other standing water with larvicides, and provide important advice about how to keep them away from a Pittsburgh home or residence.
Mice And Rats
The stuff of nightmares and horror movies fitting for this Halloween time of year, rodents are the most unhealthy and damaging pests that can render a home unsuitable for habitation.
Their nocturnal habits can allow them to live undisturbed for some time, and if the get inside a house and enter a bedroom, they can bite and terrify residents awakened by their activities.
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: kitchen counters, floors, silverware drawers and food cupboards. Mice can live undetected in the walls of a home and their scratching and crawling sounds can be very disturbing.
Roof and Norway rats, also leave feces and urine behind that are laden with pathogens that are capable 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.
A Few Interesting Facts About Nocturnal Pests
Bed Bugs Can Ingest 7 Times Their Own Body Weight In Blood
No Halloween vampire could ever compete with that disturbing factoid!
This is the equivalent of an average adult male holding 120 gallons of liquid in his stomach all at once. Something to think (or even scream) about.
The Cockroach Can Live For Up To A Week Without Its Head
It is a startling fact that the anatomy of the cockroach permits it to survive even after its head has been cut off.
Clotting seals off the neck to prevent blood loss and the brain of the roach has nothing to do with its ability to breathe.
Little holes in their bodies called spiracles send air directly to the tissues using tubes, which are called tracheae.
In addition, the insect’s blood does not carry oxygen throughout the body, as is the case with humans.
There Are An Estimated 8,000 Species Of Centipedes
Centipedes live all over the world and have even been found as far north as near the Arctic Circle!
They are extremely diverse and range in size from 0.4 inches to as large as 12 inches.
Their colors vary from dark brown to red and white, among others. Some species are solid, singular colors while others are multi-toned.
Mosquitoes Love Carbon Dioxide
Mosquitoes locate their next blood feast via carbon dioxide.
They use a special organ called a maxillary palp to follow the smell of CO2 released from human breath.
Mice Vary Their Sleeping Habits by Environment
Although house mice do sleep during the day and come out when all is quiet and dark because that is the time when homeowners are not wandering about to scare them.
They much prefer, in their own rodent way, a situation that is the other way around. In the wild, however, mice are often active in the early morning because many predators are not yet roaming about.
Rats Tails Keep Them Cool
Rats don’t sweat like humans, nor do they pant to relieve the heat like a dog. Instead, rats control their body temperature by expanding and contracting the blood vessels in their tails.
The Best Defense Against Haunting Pittsburgh Pests
Our highly-trained technicians at Pestco offer many pest control solutions that can relieve homeowner anxiety about insects that haunt their sleep and peace of mind.
In continuous operation since the late 1940s, we are a family-owned and operated company which began our long and arduous climb to prominence throughout Greater Pittsburgh, Western PA counties and the surrounding areas shortly after World War II.
Our unwavering mission over the course of the years has remained the same; namely, to provide experienced, responsive and uncompromising service to all of our customers.
Our consistent growth over the last seven decades is largely due to our superior services, products and pest control strategies.
Our knowledgeable and highly-trained technicians attend company workshops to ensure we are always on top of and a few steps ahead of the pests we encounter.
We guarantee results for any residential infestation and take the time to educate homeowners as to what they can do to minimize the risk of returning pests.
Even more, we always welcome any questions and offer helpful solutions!
We’re here to help ensure that you will get a good night’s sleep after we have addressed your particular home infestation problem!
Photo Credits: Pixabay