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August 24, 2010 / Dave Gorham

Summer and Household Insects

I’ll be the first to admit just thinking about insects makes my skin crawl (my arms are literally itching while I write this). I’m not a fan of finding or disposing of them, especially spiders, cockroaches and centipedes (okay, especially centipedes­­­–those things creep me out). Let’s just say I had my fair share of experience with centipedes when I lived in Alabama. I lived in a first floor apartment and had a terrible time getting rid of these creepy crawlers. I would find them in the shower, crawling on the floor and up the wall. It was a hot and dry summer (we were actually in an extreme drought that year) and the centipedes were looking for a cool and moist environment to escape the heat. Unfortunately, they found my place. After several attempts to get rid of them, I finally asked to be transferred to a 3rd-floor apartment and after that I didn’t have any more problems. 

 

Centipede (right) inching up on spider (left). Photo: Wikipedia

Did you know that certain types of pest are more likely to invade your home depending on the weather situation? This summer most of my friends in Houston have complained about finding ants and silverfish in their homes. Silverfish are more common in humid climates and it sure has been a humid summer (and a hot one, too). Silverfish love moisture and that’s why they are often found in bathrooms. They’re also nocturnal so you most often see them at night. Here’s a random piece of information, but did you know silverfish can eat your cereal? Gross! That’s something I could have lived without knowing. Not only can they eat your cereal but they can also lay eggs in it. From now on I will think about that every time I have my Cheerios in the morning.

Silverfish can eat your clothes! They better not attempt to eat mine. Photo: Wikipedia

Hot/Dry

In both hot and dry conditions, pests will come into your home to seek water and get out of the heat.  Types of pest you may find inside during these conditions include crickets, spiders, earwigs, millipedes and ants. These pests will more likely invade your home when it’s hot, there’s a lack of rain or drought is in progress.

Rainy

Other type of pests such as spiders, cockroaches, crickets, ants, etc. thrive and reproduce when it rains a lot. The moisture actually promotes their reproduction/growth and you’ll see more of these pests indoors. When there’s excessive rainfall (flooding) insects will seek higher ground (especially ants). That’s why you’ll notice more ants indoors.

Depending on the weather situation, some pests like it hot while others like it cool and most of them like moisture and dark environments. Kitchens, bathrooms and basements are the main areas pests will inhabit. The summer season is the peak time for pests to invade your home so it’s important to take the necessary precautions. These can include but are not limited to removing trash from around your home on a daily basis, keeping doors/windows shut as much as possible or having screens installed, and keeping your kitchen counters cleaned and food stored in sealed containers.

 Pests aren’t only a problem during the summer, but also during the winter as they are trying to find a warm place to get out of the cold. They just tend to multiply during the spring/summer months.

 For a list of the common household pests year-round, click here.

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