Common Household Pests and How to Get Rid of Them

Owning a home is a wonderful, freeing feeling. Until you realize all the stresses that involved with homeownership, like finding out your foundation is damaged or your pipes need to be replaced.

One of the biggest homeowner headaches comes in the form of household pests and common household bugs. If you have an infestation, we have a guide for you. We break down all the household bugs and rodents and how to finally get rid of them.

Common Household Bugs

Having bugs in your house is a super common problem many homeowners face. You might even find bug pop up in your summer home–they’re called pests for a reason.

Bugs are not the end of the world. Here’s how you can show these household bugs that they’re not welcome.

Clean It Up

Before we get into how to get rid of specific bugs and rodents, here some great preventative measures you can take.

First, clean up. Pests love to snack, so keep your food under wraps by storing flour, sugar and other dry ingredients in sealed bags, glass or plastic containers.

Take out your trash as often as you can, and store it in outdoor garbage cans with secure lids that are far from your door. Don’t leave pet food out overnight, and be sure to clean up spills and crumbs right away. On that note, be sure to wash your dishes after every meal, and not let food-filled plates and bowls hang out in the house.

Also be sure you regularly recycle old newspaper, cardboard, and boxes. Bugs and rodents love to burrow in these warm and cozy materials.

Stay Dry

Mosquitoes and cockroaches love bodies of water, so keep the house dry whenever possible. To do this, make sure to keep your sink drained, wipe puddles or spills that form pools of water, and fix leaky pipes, sinks, appliances, and bathroom fixtures so they don’t drip water.

Cockroaches

These creepy crawlers can not only give you a fright, they also can contaminate food, trigger allergies, and even carry viruses like polio.

The best way to get rid of cockroaches is to destroy their nest. You can do this with Boric acid, which is non-toxic for humans but deadly for these unwanted bugs. You should also be sure to set up adhesive-based traps to get them from their hiding spaces.

Centipedes

Centipedes are foodies just like humans, so to prevent them from dining in your home, spray your cabinets with cayenne pepper.

While centipedes love to eat, they hate spice and will avoid it at all costs, so all you have to do is sprinkle this spice near any doors or window that opens to the outdoors. Do this both indoors and outdoors for the best results.

Ants

If your home is not brand new, you will likely have an ant problem every year. Even if you just bought a house, you should still do pest checks. But instead of calling pest control when you see the first colony of ants going for your leftovers, try this simple homemade ant poison first.

All you need is sugar, boric acid, and warm water. Simply mix 1 cup of sugar with 3 tablespoons of boric acid, then slowly add warm water, making sure no clumps form. Next, soak a cotton ball in the solution and place it in a small cap or wax paper.

This mixture works because ants will drink this toxic fluid, then go back to their nest and share it with the rest of their colony. The boric acid will damage their digestive system, and they will be gone before you know it.

Spiders

The biggest phobia in the Western world is arachnophobia (fear of spiders), which has been ranked as the third worst phobia that people suffer from. At least 3.5% – 6.1% of the world population is likely to have arachnophobia and 30.5% of the population of the U.S suffer from arachnophobia.

While spiders can be harmless, they are terrifying to see when they catch you off guard. To keep your home spider-free, simply place orange peels around your home, since spiders hate citrus scents.

You can also keep spiders away by spraying your home with peppermint essential oil. Just add a few drops of this oil to a spray bottle, and apply this spray to your cabinets, cracks, and crevices.

Fruit Flies

Fruit flies seem to come out of nowhere, and it can feel impossible to get rid of them in the summer, but there are actually a lot of ways you can control these pesty flies.

Fruit flies love moist environments and fermented food, which is why sometimes even after you clean your home they’re still flying around.

Here’s how you can get rid of them. Combine vinegar and dish soap in a bowl and cover it with plastic wrap, then cut small holes in the plastic and watch the flies get trapped in just a few hours.

You also can trap them in your oven by cutting a lemon in half, keep the door open for a few hours, then shut it and turn your oven up to a boil for a few minutes.

Bed Bugs

This is perhaps one of the worst common household bugs to invade your home. Bed bugs hide in mattresses, bed frames, carpets, baseboards and anywhere else that keeps them out of sight.

Once you do see these pests, you can’t stop thinking about them, and we really can’t blame you. They’re a parasite that can spread some nasty diseases, so make sure you get rid of them as soon as you can.

First, you need to clean and disinfect your home, then you need to cover all the cracks and seals in your furniture and around your home to prevent them from hiding in these spaces.

You’ll also need to put all of your beddings and clothes in tight plastic bags or in high heat in the dryer to get rid of them.

Mosquitoes

Mosquitoes hate the scent of flowers like lavender, basil, and lemongrass. This is why some mosquito repellents have that lemongrass scent, which contains citronella, as one of their ingredients.

If this doesn’t work, you might also want to consider hiring a professional exterminator like the Desert Pest Control Experts. Especially if you live in a desert area like Tuscan where mosquitos are super common.

Ladybugs

Ladybug infestations are less common than other bug infestations, but they can happen. If you have a ladybug problem, simply use a lemon-scented furniture polish or lemon essential oil and wipe it on your walls, or any other areas they like to hang out.

These bugs also hate citrus smells and will find a more welcoming place to call home if your house is lemon-scented.

Earwigs

Earwigs love damp and humid conditions, so if you have these bugs, you definitely should get your gutters or drainage systems checked.

If earwigs are in your home, you can also get rid of them using cedar essential oil. If they’re in your garden, try to attract birds and toads to your garden so that they can eat them up.

Ticks

Possibly the one bug that people hate as much as cockroaches and spiders? Ticks, which can spread nasty things like Lyme disease.

You can protect your home from ticks by spreading food-grade diatomaceous earth on your property. This natural insecticide dehydrates the ticks to get rid of them. It will also get rid of the larvae.

Sprinkle this product around the edges of your property and repeat the process at least once a month.

Moths

Moths are your wardrobe’s worst nightmare. They will eat away at your cupboards and clothes. If this happens you may need to call in an exterminator to deal with the problem and catch every last pesky moth.

You can also keep these bugs away by trying to keep your porch lights off as much as you can. Another trick is keeping lavender, bay leaves, or mint in your cupboards to stop them from laying their eggs.

Dust Mites

Dust mites are everywhere, but they’re so small you’ll never have to see these microscopic critters. A dust mite can produce up to 200 times its own body weight in just waste.

This waste is what causes allergies, so the best way to get rid of dust mites is to always keep your house clean.

Wash your bedding regularly, replace your carpets with hard flooring if you can. If you can’t, vacuum at least once a week.

Lice

Lice can’t really be classified as a “common” household pest, but they do appear from time to time, especially if you have school kids.

There’s a lot of natural ways to treat head lice. Strong smells like garlic, baby oil, tea tree essential oil, and petroleum jelly will restrict their airflow and get rid of them in a matter of a few days.

Don’t Forget the Rodents

Rodents carry parasites and all sorts of diseases, to keep your family safe, stop setting up traps that don’t work, instead try spreading cat litter where you think their nesting sites are.

Rodents hate the strong smell of cat litter, and it also reminds them of one of their predators. This smell will drive them out of their nests, and that’s when you can catch them.

Bye Bye Bugs

Now that you know how to keep common household bugs and rodents out of your house, do it. Try these DIY extermination tips first, before you spend money on a professional exterminator.

For more information and posts on maintaining your home, check out our blog.