Don’t bug me! Get rid of creepy, crawly house guests

It can happen to anyone at any time: you’re sitting in the living room peacefully watching TV and munching on popcorn when suddenly you’re hit by an unwanted guest — a carpenter ant. The lowly black insect may seem lonely crawling along the edge of your coffee table, but you know that if there is one, there have got to be more.

Household pests can crop up in some rental properties. These opportunistic pests live anywhere they can find food, water, warmth and shelter. Some pests can become a serious health hazard and your landlord is responsible for getting rid of them. If you’ve already tried to fix the problem with a product from the hardware store but have had no success, tell your landlord. He or she is obliged to hire a professional exterminator. Most landlords want to help, as it’s in their best interest to keep their properties clean. If your landlord is reluctant to do anything, the local health department can aid you in handling the pest problem.

Although you may never be disturbed by carpenter ants or silverfish, it’s a good idea to learn how to identify pests, their risks and how to get rid of them.

Silverfish

Silverfish

Silverfish
Long, flat silver-grey body.
Broad at head and narrow at rear.
Move quickly.
Prefer damp, warm areas.
Active at night.
Contaminate food.

Elimination/prevention
Seal areas of entry.
Eliminate dampness.

Bedbugs

Bedbugs

Bedbugs
Small, oval and flattened.
Reddish-brown.
Active at night.
Bites leave minor to severe lumps or swelling and can cause bleeding.

Elimination/prevention
Clean and air bedding.
Replace mattresses that are infected.
Vacuum frequently.

Carpenter ants

Carpenter ants

Carpenter ants
Large black ant or black with red marks.
Active at night.
Prefer moist areas.
Live in walls, ceilings, doors and insulation.
Destroy wood structures by tunnelling.
Carry germs with their bite.

Elimination/prevention
Keep areas dry.
Remove food sources.
Seal honey, jelly, fruit and meat.
Keep areas around the outside of house free of wood.
Spread diatomaceous earth along the foundation.
If infestation is present, locate and destroy the nest.

 

Related Reading:

5 Ways to keep pesky critters out of your home

Bed bugs – what you need to know

 

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