10/14/2017 | 4 Pests You May Not Know You Have
Pest infestations are never a negligible problem, and they only get worse the longer they go unaddressed. A couple rats sneaking into a warehouse is annoying, but multiple generations of rats? That’s a problem on a whole new scale. Not only do infestations get harder to counteract as they become established, they can cause much greater damage.
The faster you figure out you have pests, the faster you can do something about them. Unfortunately, not all pests are as easy to spot as, say, rodents or roaches. These four pests tend to go unnoticed for long periods of time; you may even have them now! Keep an eye out for signs of these sneaky pests, so you know the moment they darken your door.
Silverfish are tiny, metallic grey or silver wingless insects with segmented bodies, long antennae, and bristled backsides. They’re called “silverfish” because they resemble aquatic species like shrimp, and the way they wiggle from side-to-side when they crawl looks like swimming. Silverfish tend to be difficult to spot because they’re small, nocturnal, quick, and shy. Look for them in the most dark and humid places, like basements, attics, garages, sheds, warehouses, and crawl spaces.
Silverfish primarily feed on polysaccharide carbohydrates in sugars, starches, and paper products. The most troubling thing about silverfish is how quickly they can reproduce. Most species of silverfish lay many eggs at a time, and those eggs hatch very quickly. Silverfish frequently eat and damage cardboard, paper, fabrics, and the glue inside various products. They also leave behind very small, pepper-like feces pellets in the areas where they eat and reproduce.
Carpenter ants are black, and around ¼- to ½-inch long. Though they look very similar to non-carpenter ants, they tend to be a little bigger. The reproductive caste of a carpenter ant colony can fly. These pests only get into buildings for one reason: wood. Though they don’t cause as much damage as termites, carpenter ants’ incessant wood feeding can still pose a distinct threat to wood-based products.
Unlike termites, carpenter ants don’t live in the wood they feed on. Instead, they build colonies either in dirt or in hollowed-out or moist places near wood. When carpenter ants excavate tunnels in wood to reach these places, they leave behind sawdust. Finding this sawdust is your best means of identifying an infestation. Finding one colony doesn’t mean your work is finished, however. As colonies expand, ants are prone to create “satellite” colonies nearby. Unfortunately, that means the longer you have carpenter ants, the more damage they’ll do.
Unfortunately, bed bugs aren’t content to infest beds exclusively. Our blood-feeding nocturnal nemesis will happily creep in anywhere it can hide in darkness, warmth, and dampness. Bed bugs are small, oval-shaped bugs that are about 3/16 to ¼ inches long (the size of an apple seed). They’re usually flat and dark brown, but after a meal they may swell and turn a translucent brown-red color.
Bed bugs can be hard to notice because they spend all day hiding. They only come out to look for food at night. After they’ve eaten, they can remain motionless for days. Look for these gross bugs under boxes and furniture, inside bags, and in small nooks and crannies. They need warmth and humidity to survive, so basements, attics, and kitchens are likely haunts. If you can’t find the bugs themselves, look for stains made by their waste.
Contrary to popular belief, adult fabric moths like the Webbing Clothes moth don’t actually eat clothes themselves. The truth, as always, is grosser. Fabric moths lay eggs on the fabric they inhabit. When these eggs hatch, the larvae eat the fabric until they grow into adult moths. Fabric moths infest a wide variety of fabric, not just clothes. They may lay eggs on carpeting, rugs, drapes, and pretty much any other fabric product.
Fabric moths infest dark, humid, and warm places where they can get food. Dark storage areas like closets are where you’ll probably find the wardrobe-wreckers. They’re particularly attracted to moist fabrics. Look for distinct silken cases or webbing along the surface of fabric to find your infestation. Moth larvae spin this silk out of the fibers they consume to help protect them and keep them warm while they grow.
The more damage a pest infestation could do, the more evidence that infestation will leave behind. The trick to preventing that damage is finding the evidence and acting on it fast.
If you need some help with either step, you can always call Assured Environments. Our experts can track even the sneakiest pest back to their nests, and wipe them out for good.