There are hundreds of pests living in your home and garden. Some of them are pretty harmless—like the common spider that weaves its web in the attic, or the butterflies flitting to and fro your rosebushes. Other bugs, on the other hand, can bring disease. Here are some of the most common household pests and what you can do to get rid of them.
Mosquitos cause dengue, encephalitis, malaria, and brain fever. They lay eggs in standing water (pails, flower pots, even the small puddle of water beneath your washing machine or kitchen sink) or even on dry, hidden areas. The eggs will just remain dormant—sometimes for weeks or even months—till they are covered with water. To prevent mosquitos from breeding in your home, cover drums, basins , and toilets, and clear drains and gutters of any dirt that can interrupt the steady flow of water.
Cockroaches carry salmonella, E. Coli, typhoid and dysentery. Particles of dried cockroach skeletons can also be inhaled, causing asthma, allergies and lung disorders. They like to hide in moist areas, like kitchens and bathrooms, as well as drains and pipes.
Cockroaches seem to be able to live in the worst conditions and breed very quickly, which is probably why they’ve been around since the time of the dinosaurs. The only way to keep them at bay is to spray religiously and keep your house clean. Cockroaches love food. Don’t dump dishes in the sink overnight; clean them right away, and store in closed containers. Rinse sponges and keep in a covered soap dish. Always mop any food or water spills, and cover both food containers and trash bags. Regular vacuuming can help remove cockroach feces, discarded skins, nymphs and egg capsules.
Fleas and ticks
A single flea or tick can bite your pet up to 400 times, leaving very itchy sores that (if scratched too much) can blister or become infected. These pests will also bite kids, too—leaving multiple, grouped red bumps with a central area of crusting.
Fleas and ticks hide not just in pet’s fur, but also in the house. They also like to build their ‘nests’ in forgotten stacks of papers, so check your bodega and filing cabinet. To prevent flea and tick infestations, regularly check your pet’s coat and skin for infestations, and ask your vet about a safe, preventive treatment (especially if your pet spends a lot of time outdoors). You can also try using aromatherapy to get rid of fleas.
Ant bites are very painful, and fire ants in particular can cause severe and swollen bumps that may turn into blisters. Ants often bite multiple times, and 10 to 20 bites is enough to cause serious reactions in a young baby.
Ants will only go where they can find food. Store food in tight containers and wipe up food spills. Spraying your home perimeter every month can also discourage outdoor ants from trekking inside your home in search of food.
Photo from homedecor