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Common Bug Infestations

By Jack Powell ; Updated September 21, 2017
Bug infestations can be anywhere from annoying to devastating.

No home is airtight, which means bugs are free to move into a home and set up shop. There are a wide variety of insect species with prevalence that varies from region to region, though there are several common types that plague many homes. Some of these insects are known to carry diseases or make people sick, while others are completely benign or even beneficial.


The bane of any household, there are several common types of cockroaches that can be found under kitchen sinks and behind cabinetry. Cockroaches eat everything, including paper, leather and glue, so it is nearly impossible to eliminate their food source. Unlike some insects, though, cockroaches cannot live without water, so reducing their water sources in a home will kill them off.


While some ants, such as fire ants, are quite dangerous, especially to someone who is allergic to them, the ants usually found inside a home are benign. Since ants are social insects that form large communities, it is nearly impossible to wipe out entire colonies. Focusing on controlling the local populations is the best one can hope for. There are a number of pesticides and natural substances that will kill ants inside the home.


Perhaps the most destructive of the common household bugs, termites feast on the wood around the house, weakening walls and threatening foundations. Because they are so destructive, any evidence of termites in a home should be investigated immediately. If the infestation is not widespread, a pest control expert may be able to treat locally, but if the problem is throughout the house, the inhabitants must evacuate the home so it can be properly fumigated.

Dust Mites

Dust mites are microscopic mites that feed on the dead skin and hair found in dust. Every house contains dust mites and they are impossible to fully eliminate. Many people are allergic to dust mite dander and develop allergy symptoms, eczema or even asthma from exposure. It is important to dust and vacuum regularly to keep the dust mite population as low as possible. The use of HEPA air filters and protective coverings for mattresses can also help.


A little known fact about spiders is that all spiders are venomous. Most are harmless to humans, though, because few spiders bite, even if provoked, and small spiders typically cannot pierce skin. Spiders feed mainly on insects, so having them in the house is actually beneficial and helps to reduce the bug population.


About the Author


Jack Powell has been writing professionally since 2008. He graduated from Red River College with a degree in creative communications and currently writes for a variety of local publications.