Insects that invade homes can be divided into two categories: true indoor pests and occasional house pests. Cockroaches, ants, and termites all fall into the first category since they truly prefer to live in homes. Other pests, like earwigs, ladybugs, and silverfish, are referred to as occasional house pests because they usually live outside and only invade homes on occasion — under the right conditions.
Occasional house pests can be tough to get rid of once they move in, but the good news is, there are some great strategies to keep them from coming inside in the first place.
1. Fix Plumbing Leaks Promptly
Moisture is highly attractive to most occasional indoor pests, from earwigs to crickets. If there is a shortage of rain and they set off in search of moisture, the bugs may settle into your bathroom, kitchen, or basement if they find a good source of moisture there. Keep moisture levels under close control by checking for plumbing leaks often. If you do discover any leaking pipes or valves, have them repaired ASAP.
Also keep an eye out for less-obvious signs of plumbing leaks, such as moist spots on walls and a mysterious musty odor in the room.
2. Install a Dehumidifier
Moist air might be enough to attract desperate bugs. Install a dehumidifier in your home to remove moisture from the air and keep your relative humidity around the ideal 45 percent. If a whole-home dehumidifier is a bit outside of your budget, you can find portable dehumidifiers for a lot less.
Set up your dehumidifier in the basement to keep the air and building materials dry and less appealing to bugs.
3. Use Yellow-Hue LED Lights Outside
Sometimes bugs are first attracted to an outdoor light, and then they find their way inside because the doors and windows are just feet away. If you switch your outdoor lights to yellow-hued LEDs, the bugs will be less attracted to them. Ecologists at the University of North Carolina, Greensboro have found that insects are less likely to swarm around these bulbs than around cool, blue light bulbs.
This strategy is quite effective in keeping ladybugs and box elder bugs, in particular, away from your home. If you’ve had trouble with these pests in the past, changing your lights may keep them from coming back and wandering inside.
4. Spray if You See Them Outside
If you start seeing large swarms of any insect on the exterior of your home, contact a pest control company. They can eradicate the bugs outdoors and also spray the perimeter of your home to make sure the insects don’t migrate inside.
5. Keep a Cleaner Home
Even if you consider yourself to be pretty tidy, there are probably some food sources in your home that could attract occasional pests under the right conditions. Here are a few tips to improve your cleanliness and remove possible food sources that might attract ladybugs, crickets, silverfish, and more:
- Do not eat over the carpet; you might drop small crumbs that bugs could feed on.
- Keep all grain products, like flour and oats, in sealed containers rather than in bags.
- Keep a lid on your trash, and take your trash outside daily.
- Rinse out recyclable jars and containers before putting them in the recycling bin.
- Do not let dirty dishes sit in the sink; wash them immediately.
With the tips listed above, you can make your home much less appealing to occasional pests. If you do start seeing ladybugs, crickets, earwigs, silverfish, or other pests inside your home, then contact the friendly team of experts at PermaTreat Pest & Termite Control.