5 Signs You May Have an Insect Infestation in Your Home

5 Signs You May Have an Insect Infestation in Your Home

 

When you think of insects being present in a home, you may associate it with poor housekeeping or an unsanitary environment. However, because of the supreme adaptability of most insects, they have learned how to live among humans and thrive on a whole new level. Even the cleanest of homes can suffer a bug invasion, and if you suspect these tiny pests are sharing your home uninvited, there are a few signs you can watch for that may clue you in about their presence.

 

1.      Damage to Indoor Plants

 

If you keep plants indoors and they suddenly begin to look poorly, this may be a sign of insect activity. Spider mites, aphids, and scale bugs all feed off plant sap and can spread from one plant to another without being noticed. Check the stems of your houseplants for clusters of insects or what is known as sooty mold, which can form on the plants as the bugs excrete their feces. If you do discover an infestation on any of your plants, move them outdoors until you can treat them to protect other plants.

 

2.      Unexplained Powdery Dust

 

Wood-boring insects and other species may leave behind tiny piles of powdery dust as they eat, breed, and defecate. This substance is known as frass, and while it has recently become a popular additive in natural fertilizer, finding it indoors usually means the presence of termites, carpenter ants, or bark beetles. Knowing which insect you are dealing with may require the services of a professional exterminator, and it is wise not to delay this because many wood-boring insects can cause severe damage to your home over time.

 

3.      Droppings in the Pantry

 

While seeing the occasional stray beetle or roach near your pantry is usually no cause for alarm, finding frass, shed exoskeletons, or egg casings may be signs that bugs have discovered your location. Boxes and bags of dry goods present an opportunity for chewing insects that can access and infest your food. Cereal, dried potatoes, and rice are all common food sources for foraging insects, including different species of ants.

 

If you find signs of insect activity near your pantry, it is a good idea to inspect any cardboard or paper-based containers. To discourage bugs from returning, store cereal and other foods in airtight plastic or glass jars, where they can be kept fresh and safe. Clean your shelves with diluted vinegar and let them dry to eliminate any scent trails left behind by invasive insects.

 

4.      Unexplained Odors

 

Some bugs emit a pungent odor when an infestation gets worse, but two that have strong and distinct smells are roaches and bedbugs. You may see roaches before you smell them, but if they are congregating under a sink or in your basement, you might notice a greasy, oily odor. Bedbugs create an odor that may remind you of coriander. The bigger the infestation, the stronger the odor, so if either become noticeable, you may want to have your home and furniture treated right away.

 

5.      Damage to Books and Wallpaper

 

Some bugs, such as silverfish, have an appetite for linen, glue, and other adhesives. As a result, they may target your laundry room or bookshelves. They have also been known to eat wallpaper glue. Stored books in cardboard boxes are like a feast for these creatures, so it is a good idea to use glassed-in shelves or keep books in plastic bins with snap-tight containers. Treating a silverfish infestation is best left to a professional extermination company, as these insects can be stubborn and resistant to commercial bug sprays.

 

Keeping a clean home can help reduce the risk of inviting bugs in. However, if these uninvited guests make their way inside, knowing how to spot signs of their presence can help you eradicate them quickly.

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