9 Common House Pests That Are Destroying Your Home

Winter is almost over, and you’re singing about April showers bringing May flowers. Have you scheduled your spring and summer pest control?

Warmer weather signals more than spring showers. It’s also the time when common house pests return and make a nuisance of themselves.

Don’t let your guard down—take a minute and find out more about 9 household pests and what they can do to your home. You may want to find the number to your local exterminator and keep it handy so that you can call as soon as you finish reading today’s post.

1. Ants

They look adorable, marching across the red checkered tablecloth at a Teddy Bear’s picnic. Ants lose their charm as soon as they step over the threshold of your home.

Most ants don’t cause physical damage to your home. Instead, they feed on sweets, starches, and meat. When they invade your pantry and share your snacks, ants can contaminate food, making it unedible.

Carpenter ants, the largest of the common ants found in homes, cause the most damage. They excavate wood, creating a potential for structural damage. Be aware that carpenter ants also eat some of the same things as other ant species.

Many homeowners mistake carpenter ants for the next pest we’ll talk about—termites.

2. Termites

Another common house pest causes over 5 billion dollars in damages to homes all over the country Often mistaken for flying ants, termites set up residence in underground tunnels. The tunnels connect to feeding areas throughout your home. Termites are subtle, and by the time you realize you have an infestation, they’ve had plenty of time to feast on your home’s structure.

You see, termites eat cellulose—it’s their primary diet. They’ll devour your home’s wood structure, decks, and fences. Once they’ve won the war on wood, they’ll move on to insulation, drywall paper, and even carpets.

3. Fruit Flies

If you’ve ever had an abundance of ripe fruit or other produce on your countertop, you’ve likely shared your kitchen space with fruit flies. They

don’t only enjoy rotting food. They love sugary, syrupy liquid spills, and anything fermented.

Sure, they make a nuisance of themselves, but the problem with fruit flies goes beyond annoyance.

Fruit flies pose a problem to humans because they can contaminate food with bacteria and other pathogens.

4. Cockroaches

The thought of living in a home infested with cockroaches strikes fear into every homeowner. It’s not about the structural damage they cause—cockroaches don’t do much physical damage—it’s the hazard they pose to human health. Cockroaches spread disease through the variety of bacteria and viruses they carry. They can also cause allergic reactions.

These nasty pests may not devour the wood structure of your home, but they will damage fabric, paper products, and food. They also leave behind a foul smell and oily stains in their nesting areas.

5. Silverfish

If you think someone got mixed up when they name this house pest, all you have to do is see one. The silverfish has a silvery, metallic fishlike body and makes movements like a fish.

The resemblance stops there! Silverfish have a bristle-like tail on the back end and antennae on the front end of their bodies.

While silverfish won’t destroy your home’s structure, they will eat the starch found on wallpaper. They chew on books, magazines, and baseball cards. Silverfish also snack on natural and synthetic fabrics.

6. Moths

Like silverfish, moths can’t do much damage to the structure of your home. Instead, they destroy your personal belongings, especially clothing. Moths can also make you and your pets sick!

First, if moth feces or their cocoon touch food, they may contaminate it. If you touch moth infested food, you could have an allergic reaction. Eating said food might cause illness.

As far as what they do to your clothing, wool blankets, and carpets, moths get a bad rap. Adult moths focus on one thing—reproduction. Their larvae feed on your clothes and rugs!

7. and 8. Mice and Rats

Since they find plenty of food outside, mice and rats don’t usually visit human homes during the warm weather months. Once the cold weather arrives, they both seek out cozy places to spend the winter.

Mice get in through cracks and small holes. They’ll often scurry in the minute you open the door to the outside.

A nickel-size opening is all a mouse needs to get inside Rats need a bit bigger hole to gain access, and if they can’t find one, they’ll chew until they make a big enough opening.

Once they’re in, they make nests where they give birth to their offspring. Female mice can deliver between 5-10 litters of anywhere from 5-12 pups in one year. Rats can give birth to 7 litters of up to 14 young each year.

Fun fact about rats: if you have a group of rats, they’re called a mischief.

Mischief is precisely what both rats and mice get into—they shred paper and fabric to make their nests. They’re not shy about rummaging in your pantry at night, contaminating food, and leaving filthy droppings.

9. Squirrels

Aren’t squirrels cute? Many people enjoy leaving food in a squirrel feeder and watching their hilarious antics.

As cute as they are to watch from a window, squirrels often decide it’s much better inside your home than outside. In winter, they get inside and look for a place they can nest and raise their young.

Most of the time, they find their way in through the attic, and they’ll nest there. If they can squeeze in through an opening in your basement or garage, they’ll gladly take up residence there too.

Once inside, squirrels get to work shredding insulation and chewing through electrical wiring. They’ll also chew right PVC pipes, which can result in water damage.

You may not know it until you already have damage, but most homeowner’s insurance policies don’t cover damage caused by squirrels or other rodents.

Ready to Tackle Common House Pests?

No one wants uninvited guests dropping in, especially not insects and rodents. Knowledge is power, and now that you know more about common house pests, you’re better prepared to deal with them.

If you’ve enjoyed reading this post, hang out with us a little longer. We’ve put together a collection of articles to help you enjoy and manage every aspect of your home!

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