5 common home pests and how to eliminate them

(BPT) – Who’s enjoying your home the most, you or your household pests? Consider this: If you’ve seen just one pest, there could be hundreds that have been living in or around your home for at least a year.

With more time spent at home and the summer heat often sending pests on a quest for cooler environments, now is the best time for pest control before these invaders make your house a home for the winter.

Use this guide from the experts at Aptive Environmental to identify and eliminate the five most common house pests so your family can get back to being the only ones enjoying your home:

1. Ants

One of the most common home invaders, ants are one of the hardest to get rid of without professional help since most consumer products don’t permanently eliminate them. While ants are mostly a nuisance, one thing’s for sure — nobody wants a kitchen full of ants after their food, even if they seem harmless. Some ants do bite, such as fire ants, and often ruin your landscaping by leaving large, unsightly mounds of dirt in the yard. If you see ants inside, on the sidewalk or an ant hill near your home, you may have hundreds, if not thousands, of ants inside searching for food — in other words, your food.

2. Spiders

Spiders are found in nearly every environment, though many prefer dark, damp areas. Most spider bites may only cause irritation and swelling, but others pose serious health risks such as the infamous Black Widow and Brown Recluse spider. Keep an eye out for unsightly webs that can be seen on the outside of your home, in corners or around light fixtures, as these invaders may point to other pests who may also be enjoying the comfort of your home.

3. Wasps

Wasps also build unsightly nests under your eaves or around windows. Even if they don’t get inside, wasps can pose a hazard outside to your family with their painful bite or sting.

4. Rodents

Rats and mice chew through almost anything, making it easy to invade your home — and they can cause thousands of dollars in damage. Rodents chewing through electrical wiring cause up to 25% of house fires each year. They can also transmit dangerous diseases and leave 40-100 unsightly droppings per day throughout your home. And as if that weren’t enough, they may also bring fleas, mites, ticks and lice with them. Keep an eye out for: Droppings, holes, rub marks along the walls or baseboards and even nibbles on your food.

5. Cockroaches

Typically found in kitchens and bathrooms where they have access to food and water, cockroaches are one of the world’s most common house bugs. Even if your home appears clean, they can still find human or pet food to feast on, and they have excellent hiding skills. Cockroaches can cause major health issues, such as allergy and asthma, and contaminate your food. They spread 33 kinds of bacteria, including E. coli and Salmonella, 6 types of parasitic worms and 7 kinds of human pathogens. And, they are one of the most difficult pests to eliminate without professional help.

How can you get rid of pests?

If you suspect you have pests in your home, it’s crucial to treat the situation as soon as possible. Here are some approaches to prevent and control common household pests:

Walk around your home and seal entry points. Look for entry points or cracks in exterior walls or door frames where pests could enter. Re-caulk, re-screen or repaint these areas.

Keep your yard tidy. Leaf litter in window sills, plus mulch, wood, plants or tree branches against your home create areas where pests may make a home — or find their way into yours. Areas “left to nature” are where nature will live, so tidying your yard can discourage pests.

Keep your house clean. Vacuum and clean to eliminate crumbs in the kitchen and other living areas. Make sure food is sealed securely in cupboards.

Hire professional pest control. Treating pest problems yourself can often just reroute them — pests are simply trying to survive. Aptive’s team of pest control experts are not only equipped to effectively eliminate existing problems through solutions customized to your home, but also spot potential concerns in advance.

Service begins with a thorough interior and exterior inspection by a certified specialist. Risk areas are identified, then treated using responsibly sourced products that are both family- and pet-friendly. After the first visit, the specialist will return the following month to rid the exterior of any surviving pests and will continue treating the home on a quarterly basis with a customized protection plan designed to keep your home and property pest-free year-round.

To learn more and identify other common pests, visit the Aptive Learning Center.