Warm, humid environments attract a variety of insects. Environments such as basements, bathrooms, kitchens (especially under the sink), and any other areas that have high moisture levels during the day are prime spots where some insects love to stay. Insects, such as carpenter ants, spiders, earwigs, centipedes, silverfish, and drain flies all nest and live in moist environments. Moist environments in homes can be caused by being careless or not being aware of the problem.
For instance, after a shower, if you just throw your towel on your floor or leave it in your hamper for a few days, don’t be surprised if the next time you look some insects are getting cozy in your towel. This is because certain insects love to be surrounded by moisture and will search for a place to stay. Rooms in your house where water pipes go in and out of are areas that will attract insects as well. Water will condense around the outside of pipes, creating a moist atmosphere. Insects are very versatile and able to reach almost anywhere in a room, so don’t be surprised if you find these insects on the ceiling in addition to the floor. Here are just a few tips to prevent moist environments from forming:
- Hang up all wet clothing, sheets, and towels. Even if they are dirty, make sure they are dry before you throw them in the hamper
- When it rains, make sure all windows are shut. If you forget to close a window and a few days later realize it, the rain could have made the carpet or anything on the floor wet.
- Conceal all cracks and crevices. Moisture from the outdoors can see into the house.
- Don’t leave pot are pants in the sink.
- Take out trash daily
- Clean up all spill immediately
By keeping a clean house and following these tips you are lowering your risk of having unwanted visitors. Don’t know what insect is what? Here are the insects you’ll find:
- Carpenter Ants: Carpenter ants are usually black, red, or brown. They have a small body with 4 or 6 legs and antennas. Carpenter ants do not sting but their bit can be painful. Carpenter ants like to dig through moist wood and nest in it. They do not eat the wood but can cause sever damage to wood and homes. To prevent these make sure there are not moist areas where sunlight cannot reach. You can tell if you have carpenter ants if there are little holes in the wood or saw dust around the base or saw.
- Spiders: Spiders come in different forms and colors, and you will most likely come across a variety of species. Most have a round body with 6 to 8 legs. Spiders feast on insects and any (human) food they can find. Spiders are mostly active at night but you can still see them during the day. Few spiders can actually bite though human skin and those who can, only leave a small mark. If you do get bit make sure to call a doctor because some people react differently to different venom, and some venom are more powerful than others. To prevent them make sure all windows, doors, and cracks are concealed.
- Earwigs: Earwigs get its name from the superstition that the bugs crawl into your ear at night and eat your brain. Not true. The color of earwigs range from a reddish color, to brown and black. They have a long, shell-like body with 4 wings, 6 legs and antennas. The two legs in back look like pinchers. Some may mistake them for beetles. Like most occasional invades, earwigs are nocturnal. Their eggs can only develop with moisture, so they always tend to find moist places to stay. Earwigs feed on plants so you will see them outside and indoors if they can get in.
- Centipedes: Centipedes are worm-like insects, with many legs. They have a pair of antennas and sometimes two pincher-like long legs in the back. They usually are an inch to an inch and a half. They love moisture and search for it in piles of leaves and then in houses.
- Silverfish: Silverfish have silvery scales for a body, with 6 legs, antennas, and 3 long pointy tails. They usually are between 1/2 and 3/4 of an inch. They like to hide in tight crevasses and are active at night. Once they find food they will stay in that are for a period of time. Silverfish can be found where any moisture is, attics, basements, and bathrooms.
- Drain Flies: Drain flies are very small flies with round wings. They are usually found in bathrooms near pipes and drains. Since they fly it is hard to get rid of them once they get it, so it is important you make sure you keep your bathroom clean and there are no gaps between the pipes and walls.
All of these pests are covered under JP McHale Pest Mangement’s New York Pest Control Service. If you have any further questions please search for us on Twitter or Facebook, or you may visit our blog.