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Be Aware Of These Moisture-loving Pests In Your Home
Whenever we identify a pest problem in the home, our first step in treating the infestation is to look for the source. All living things require three things to survive: food, water, and shelter from the elements. Pests who have wandered into or colonized a human home are looking for (or have already found) at least one of these three must-haves.
Even in the tidiest home with clean kitchen countertops and food stored in air-tight containers, pests can lurk in corners and crevices waiting to take advantage of your indoor plumbing. Moisture is enough to attract many insects into a home, and shelter from bad weather and predators is just an added bonus.
We generally tend to see certain pests in specific areas of our homes based on their needs and behaviors. Do they prefer darkness or light? Are they carnivorous or herbivores in search of plant-based material? Household pests can appear in any area of your home, but there are hot spots that tend to attract the most attention from insects and rodents once they get inside.
Kitchens are the most obvious space for pests to search for food and moisture. Even the ...
... tiniest crumb of last night’s dinner can be a feast for a tiny insect. Kitchens also tend to have higher humidity and contain stray drops of water from the sink or condensation from cold foods and dishes.
Bathrooms contain many sources of moisture: toilets, sinks, showers, bathtubs, and more. Bathrooms can also contain organic matter like hair, skin, and nails that could be appetizing to some pests. Because steam from our baths and showers makes these rooms damp so frequently, some bathrooms also contain mildew, which many pests can feed on.
Basements can often contain residual moisture from the rest of the house. Gravity pulls water and cool air down to the lowest level in your house, making basements exceptionally prone to mold and mildew and hospitable to pests. Many pests are also nocturnal and prefer to live in dark, quiet spaces, making basements the perfect hideout.
Moisture-Loving Pests In Your Home
The presence of water, combined with other factors and pests’ preferences, makes certain pests more likely to appear and remain in certain areas. However, any pest in your home can move to any other area at any time. Some of the most common household pests attracted to moisture include:
Mosquitoes can be incredibly annoying as they buzz around your space and bite animals and humans, producing large, itchy red welts. Mosquitoes are extremely common pests and can be found in large numbers in all 50 of the United States. Mosquitoes lay eggs in standing water, and their larvae attach themselves to the surface of the water while they mature. This happens most often in still water outside (like in buckets, pots, or anything that can collect rainwater), but can also happen inside the home if there is undisturbed standing water available. It only takes one mosquito to find the right water source to jump-start a mosquito infestation in your home.
Termites are incredibly destructive, and cause so much damage to homes each year. These wood-eating pests frequently build entire colonies inside or underneath homes that provide food, water, and shelter from weather and predators. Termites often first discover the home via “exploratory” tunnels, or mud tubes, as they search the area around their colony for food (any cellulose-based material, including wood, paper, plaster, and more) and moisture. Once a source of food and water is located, the entire colony might migrate to be closer to or even inside of the structure. Termites are frequently found inside homes’ walls, but can also build a colony under the house’s foundation and create mud tubes that allow them to travel back and forth between their colony and the home’s food and water sources.
Cockroaches are nocturnal scavengers and prefer to hide in small, dark spaces during the day. This can make them extremely startling pests, who will scurry and jump when cabinet doors are opened or basement lights are turned on. Cockroaches are attracted to food, moisture, and warmth, and they can eat just about anything. Cockroaches are most frequently found in damp basements, bathrooms, and especially in kitchens, thanks to the abundance of food sources. One female cockroach produces an average of 150 offspring in her lifetime, so addressing an infestation early is critical.
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