Common Household Bugs
There are millions of insect species in the world but only a few dozen have developed the habit of invading human habitat. Just their names alone might send shivers down your spine. There are stink ants, deathwatch beetles, earwigs, hornets, German cockroaches, bed bugs, bees, weevils, fleas, flies, and lice. These bugs might feed on you or your food, act as disease vehicles, or cause serious property damage.
Ants are probably the most common household pests and there are likely tens of thousands of them crawling around on your property. While most ants are harmless, several species make the most unwelcomed house guests. Carpenter ants are huge, by ant standards, growing to nearly half an inch in length. These black, reddish or yellowish bugs love to make their homes in moist or decaying wood. They do not eat the wood – in fact, like many people, they prefer sweets and meats. However, when making their nests, they cut galleries in wood and connect them with passageways. Carpenter ants with wings are called swarmers and their presence indicates a major infestation.
While carpenter ants can cause building damage, they are amateurs compared to termites which destroy your home from the inside out. Termites create honeycomb patterns and form tunnels inside wood while leaving the external grain intact. The termite habit of remaining concealed means their presence often goes undetected until great damage is done. And contrary to popular belief, termites do not only damage wood. They can bore through plaster, drywall, swimming pool liners and filters. Termites cost Americans more than $5 billion in repair bills annually. If you see cracked and distorted paint or piles of wood-colored droppings, tap on the wood. If it sounds hollow you likely have a termite problem.
Cockroaches won’t eat your house but they might make you run out the front door if you accidentally discover a nest. Cockroaches come out at night to feed. The cupboards and garbage cans of most homes feature a bugs’ buffet of sweets, starches, grease, cheese, meat, and yes, even beer. The presence of cockroaches during the day may indicate a large population is scavenging and populating on your property.