How To Get Rid Of Household Bugs Like Ants, Bedbugs, Fleas and SIlverfish!
List of Bugs I Have Added This Far (More Coming Soon)
The Calm Before The Storm!
Every single year, when the weather begins to get warmer and I should be happily pawing through my closet for flip-flops, I find myself stationed upstairs getting ready for a fight. I clean my entire house top to bottom, careful not to miss one crumb or spill. I meticulously inspect every ceiling, floor and in between for cracks or crevices that could allow entry to my home. It all helps, but at the end of the day I get invaded, and no amount of preparation can keep it from happening entirely.
Pest control can become a very expensive endevour. You could, very quickly, spend hundreds of dollars on products and services without even realizing it. On the other hand, if you do nothing you could wind up with an infestation bigger then relatives when you win the powerball. So what can I do? Well fortunately you have come to the right place because I am about to run down a list of common household pests and how best to deal with them. Navigating the page should be a breeze, simply scroll down until you see the name of your enemy, and read on to find tips and tricks to defeating them, Forever! (Okay maybe just until next year but it sounded good, okay?)
Ants have got to be my worst pest enemy! I hate them with a Texas size passion and they don't seem like they are to fond of me either! For those of you who do not know already, ants send out scouts to find food. When the scouts find something interesting they make a sticky trail back to the nest. Now every ant in the colony can follow this trail back to the source of food and begin hauling it home. It is actually amazing when it is not going on in your kitchen! If you are tired of finding these little black demons in your cereal and floating in your drinks, then these tips might be just what you are looking for!
- Pepermint Oil works very well for some reason! Maybe the ants don't like the smell, but whatever it is they stay away from it! I mix about four tablespoons in a squirt bottle full of water and start spraying anywhere I think they are coming in or have left there scent trails.
- Cucumbers peel or grate some cucumber skins and leave them lying around in areas where you have seen ant activity. It deters them from returning, although I really don't know what it is about a cucumber that they don't like!
- Vinegar remember the sticky trail we talked about earlier, well this mixture will eliminate all traces of that. Spray a mixture of part water part vinegar in places you suspect there to be an ant trail. You may have to apply more then once but eventually the trail will stop.
- Nicotine is terrible for humans and apparently just as deadly to ants. Unfortunately, it kills them much faster then humans. Soak a bag of pipe tobacco in water overnight and in the morning soak the ant hill in the nicotine infused water. It should kill the entire colony!
- Cinnamon is great on sticky buns and for keeping ants out of your home! They absolutely hate the smell and your home won't smell half bad either. Sprinkle it around areas you have seen ants congregate or leave a couple sticks in places you think they are coming in.
- Borax mixed with sugar and placed in a spot ants like to scout can work wonders. What happens is the ants cannot distinguish between the borax crystals and the sugar crystals so they lug it all back home to feed to the queen. If she eats a borax crystal she will die and hopefully take the whole colony with her.
- Lemon is a good way to clean any of those sticky trails off the surfaces of your home and it also makes your house smell lemon fresh.
- Cornmeal is fascinating because the ants eat it but they cannot digest it so they end up exploding. If you sprinkle it around the house they will take it back to the nest for the others to eat as well, and you know how that will turn out! Yeast does essentially the same thing and works just as good.
- Boiling water will supposedly kill a nest if you pour it over a nest but honestly I don't have the heart to try this myself. See I hate the critters and I don't want them anywhere near me but I don't think anything should be boiled to death. However, someone else may not feel this way and this might work for you!
If you have found this page because you are dealing with a bed bug infestation, I am sorry! These little critters are what nightmares are made of, and there diet is just as creepy. They squeeze there flat little bodies into hiding spots and wait for you to lie down and get cozy. Once you are sleeping the feast begins. They eat blood, and when you have a whole army of the creepy crawly's munching on you every night that can be dangerous. So why can't I sleep else ware for a while and starve them? Well, because they can live up to a year on just one midnight snack. I am not kidding when I say, bed bugs were plucked right out of Stephen Kings mind. What really tops the whole thing off is that they are nearly impossible to get rid of and that can cause anxiety and distress for people dealing with these bugs. The good news is, while difficult, it is not impossible to get rid of them. Below you will find some tips and tricks to use when fighting the good fight against bed bugs!
1. Finding Then Problem
- If you are waking up with mysterious bug bites, or your neighbor has bed bugs, you may want to check to see if you have an infestation of bed bugs. Check your mattress, box spring, headboard, walls behind the bed, outlets near your bed, dressers, and any other dark place they may have hidden in. A good indicator that the bugs are present in a certain area is the fecal matter they leave behind. Look for dark, rust colored splotches, and if you find anything like this you most likely have them.
2. Dealing With The Infestation
- If you find that you unfortunately do have bed bugs, don't panic. Okay panic a little bit! No really, don't panic. Bedbugs are one of the only bugs that can effect peoples mental state of mind. When you try to eliminate these critters and fail repetitively, it can have a harsh effect. People report becoming anxious, paranoid and even depressed! Try to remain calm and remember that it may take time but you will win.
- Hopefully, you will find the infestation confined to your bedroom and if that is true then clean-up will be a breeze. For the sake of this site, we will keep a wide view lens on and cover all the bases. You will need to follow some steps to deal with your creepy crawly friends.
- Anything that is not nailed down will need to be vacuumed, washed and sealed in bags with special products to make sure any remaining bugs are dead. Things such as clothing, stuffed animals, pillows and any other soft items. Many people may not realize but because bedbugs are so thin they can (and love to) get inside electronics. You can seal these in bags as well, but because you cannot wash them you will need to spray with certain chemicals to insure no bugs hide inside.
- Vacuum your mattress really well and scrub any of the spots where the bedbugs have left any mess behind. It would be wise to wash it with a green machine if you have access to one. Some people find buying a new mattress altogether helps to ease their minds, but not everyone can afford to do this.
- If you have any furniture that can come apart, tear it down, wash and vacuum every single crevice and spray with bug spray before reassembling.
- Sometime bugs will get into cracks and crevices along the walls or baseboards and they can hide in their for a long time. What this means is you could do all of this cleaning just to be reinfected with the hidden bugs. Hence why these little insects are so maddening to get rid of. Make sure you check every place where a small critter could hide such as wall outlets, baseboard heating units, vents and registers.
- If you can afford it and don't want to deal with the hassle yourself, you can hire exterminators to come and fumigate. They can tent your house and raise the temperatures to ridiculously high levels that the bugs cannot endure. This kills every single one so you do not have to worry about re infestation later.
- If you have cleaned yourself and you are afraid to start un-bagging things or putting furniture back until you know for sure that the creepy crawly's are gone, you can hire people to bring in dogs that have been trained to sniff out bedbugs.
Products That Can Help!
~*~*~*~*~ Quick Bedbug Recap ~*~*~*~*~
- Identify that you have a problem by looking for soiled spots on your mattress or walls around your bed. Check sheets, blankets and headboards for bugs. Check yourself and others who live in your home for unusual bites or trouble sleeping.
- Remove all clothing, bedding, stuffed animals, and other soft things. Wash, dry and bag everything in heavy duty trash bags with special bedbug sprays.
- Check electronics such as TVs, radios, fans, computers and any other places that critters may like to hide. Bag these items with special bedbug products to prevent re infestation.
- Tear furniture apart, wash and vacuum everything before putting it back together again,
- Check any areas that bugs may be hiding to ensure you killed all of them before pulling everything out of bags and putting it back into the room.
- Vacuum everything one more time to ensure you have killed all of the bugs and also the eggs.
- Throw away EVERYTHING you used to clean the areas and make sure you empty your vacuum and dispose of the contents immediately.
Despite the name, these creatures are not fish, but they are found in damp areas which may be why they adopted the name. The last thing you want crawling into a shower with you is these little guys and there are many ways you can keep them from invading your home.
- First, know your enemy! They like dark, moist areas and you will usually find them in basements, kitchens, bathtubs, behind furniture, behind baseboards, and places where plumbing is present. They need large amounts of food that is high in starch to survive and it is not uncommon to find them eating the binding of a book, the paste behind wallpaper or mold. These critters are a nuisance year round and generally come out at night. They will stay close to food sources even though they can move quickly.
- There are a few key things to look for if you suspect you have a silverfish infestation. Look for small oddly shaped holes in fabric and wallpaper. Since silverfish molt, it is a good indicator if you find skin castings in dark areas of your home.
- Once you decide you have an infestation there are things you can do to keep them from living in your home. However, the first thing you need to do is get a basic idea of where these creepy bugs are lurking. Look for any spot that is dark and damp and if there are silverfish present you will find small black spots of excrement. Check around for skin castings as well, good places to check are attics, basements, bathrooms, and under cupboards in the kitchen.
- You can make inexpensive traps for silverfish and leave them in the areas you suspect they are living. Many sites offer ideas on homemade traps but here are a couple of the best ones for you to try.
- Wrap masking tape around a mason jar and put bread ( or another starchy food) in the bottom of the jar. The masking tape allows the bugs to crawl up the jar on the outside but the slippery inside of the glass keeps them trapped.
- Roll up a newspaper and tie string or use rubber bands to keep it rolled up loosely. Hold the newspaper underwater so that it gets nice and squishy. Leave in places you think the bugs are feeding and let it sit. Before it dries out throw the paper away, some people will burn the newspaper to make sure the bugs don't come back.
- Silverfish hate the smell of cedar so leaving wood chips scattered around will keep them away. You can put them under cupboards and they will also make your home smell like fresh cedar.
- You can use spice pouches in your cupboards to keep the insects from sneaking in and eating your food. If you eliminate the food source the bugs will eventually have to leave. Cinnamon, cloves, garlic, ginger, lavender, lemon and any spice that has a strong scent will keep them away.
- You can also make spray out of these spices, which I guess would be tea, and spray it around you home. Your house will smell like a spice garden but you won't have any silverfish bugging you in the shower!
Okay, so everyone is familiar with fleas. There is really nothing I could say about these bloodsucking pests that is not already known by anyone who owns a pet. You cannot own a pet that even steps foot outside and not have to worry about fleas. They are literally everywhere! So the question is not have to prevent fleas because that is a very hard thing to do, but it becomes how to get rid of and keep fleas away.
The very first thing with any infestation is to find the source of a problem and in this case we already know it is probably because you have an animal. In some cases, you could end up with fleas even if you do not own an animal since you can get them at the beach or even the park. However, if you do have a furry friend this is where the infestation will start every time. Treating your animal is easily done with shampoo and collars that are specificity designed for flea removal. Keeping up with a strict regiment will help you keep your pet flea free, as well as your home.
Now that you have dealt with the source, you still have the problem to deal with. No one wants fleas jumping into their drinks or biting their ankles. I'm pretty sure no one wants anything biting their ankles! Treating your home is really easy as well. Just follow the tips and ideas below and you should be flea free in no time!
- Clean everything that is fabric in your home, even the animal beds. You may even want to invest in a new animal bed to make sure there are no hidden eggs getting ready to hatch a whole new breed of problem! You will want to treat any furniture that your furry babies are around and change all of the bedding in the home. Washing and drying right at home is fine, but some people like to go the extra step and take everything to a dry cleaners. The basic idea is to get everything that fleas could live in or on.
- If your animal goes outside you can try replacing the dirt in the area they play with cedar wood chips. Fleas do not live in wood chips and therefore would not continue to jump on your pet while they are playing outside.If you want to repel fleas in your home you can use pieces of flea collars strategically placed in area that may be the most high risk. Your animals bed or places that they like to sit, just be sure not to leave in places your animals might eat them.
- Spraying areas such as your dog house with a salt water solution is said to keep fleas at bay. Spray the walls and flooring every couple of days.
- Rosemary can help in a couple of ways. It is a natural anti-inflammatory so if your animal is scratching a lot giving them a bath in some cooled rosemary tea will help sooth the inflammation. It will also ward off any fleas on them. You can sprinkle crushed rosemary around the areas they sleep and play to help keep them away as well.
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© 2016 Meagan Ireland