Bugs, like all creatures, have their rightful place on this earth. But nobody wants that place to be in their home.
Like it or not, insects and all manner of creepy-crawlies make their way into our houses. But we don’t have to invite bugs in—or let them stay.
Most common bugs that we can find in our house are:
- Dust Mites
- Carpet Beetles
- Fruit Flies
- Drain Flies
The National Pest Management Association supports the practice of integrated pest management (IPM), a common-sense and environmentally sensitive approach for treating and controlling pests. IPM incorporates three basic techniques, the second of which is identification.
Let’s identify most common bugs from our houses.
Unpleasant though they may be, every house has dust mites. Because they feed off dead skin cells, dust mites can thrive in any plush surface that can hold tasty particles, whether carpet, upholstery, bedding, or kids’ toys.
While you can’t completely eliminate mites, you can keep their population down by practicing routine cleaning. Wash bedding in hot water at least once a week, and vacuum carpets and furniture regularly.
To remove dust mites from plush toys or delicates you’d rather not wash, look to your freezer. Seal the items in a ziplock bag, and place the bag in the freezer for at least 48 hours—dust mites won’t survive a deep freeze.
More detailed instruction to get rid of dust mites:
How to get rid of Dust Mites
These tiny pests thrive in the warmth and comfort of your favorite resting places, including your bed and your upholstered furniture. Keep the little critters under control with one of these easy solutions.
Though far from pleasant to think about, there’s a good chance your home is ridden with dust mites—microscopic organisms that feed off the steady supply of dead skin cells coating our carpets, couches, and most unsettling of all, our beds.
While you can’t ever completely eliminate these extremely common household pests, you can control them, which can go a long way toward alleviating the congestion, sneezing, and coughing that plague those who suffer from dust mite allergies.
To help keep your spaces—and your family—healthy, try one of these easy solutions that can minimize your mites.
1. Hot water
The most effective tactic for getting rid of dust mites is also the easiest: Wash your sheets, comforters, and pillowcases at least once a week in hot water (at a temperature of at least 130 degrees Fahrenheit), then machine dry them. Beyond your weekly load of linens, you’ll also want to toss your pillows in the dryer for about 15 to 20 minutes once a month to prevent dust mites from getting too cozy.
If getting into your clean routine doesn’t provide any relief from buggy nightmares or allergens, consider also changing out down pillows or comforters, as they attract the most dust mites. For especially sensitive sinuses, allergy-proof bedding may be a worthy investment; these sets can prevent the dust mites from burrowing into your slumber station and minimize the number of times you need to wash your bed linens.
2. Vacuum seal
Unfortunately, dust mites don’t just like to kick back in your bed. These creepy critters will make themselves comfortable in carpets and furniture upholstery as well. Bid them goodbye by simply sticking to a regular vacuuming schedule.
Make sure to hit every textile-covered element in a room, including couch cushions, rugs, throw pillows, and curtains. If you con’t already own one, consider upgrading to a vacuum with a HEPA filter.
This attachment makes a huge difference by trapping both dust mite waste and eggs—something that most non-HEPA models cannot accomplish.
If you already have a HEPA-equipped vacuum but can’t remember when you last replaced the filter, swap in a fresh one to ensure that you’re sucking up as much dusty debris as possible.
3. Freeze them out
For delicate materials or precious items like the kids’ stuffed animals (yep, dust mites hang out on them, too) that you’d rather not risk damaging in the washing machine, give dust mites the cold shoulder with this next easy, effective method. Drop the item in question in a large zip-lock bag, and pop it into the freezer for about 48 hours—it’s that simple. Dust mites love warm, humid conditions, so the freezer is just about the last place they’re likely to survive. You can also try setting up a dehumidifier or two at home to render your spaces inhospitably dry. Maintaining a humidity level below 50 percent should make dust mites’ lives intolerable, and yours much more comfortable.
Weevils usually get into your house by hitching a ride in your groceries. Adult weevils burrow into rice and other grains to lay their eggs, so you may not know you’ve brought home pests until they hatch and crawl all over your pantry!
The fastest remedy for an infestation?
Get rid of any unsealed dry foods, including flour, cornmeal, oats, rice, pasta, and prepackaged items that don’t have sealed pouches inside.
Then, throw away all the boxes of sealed items like soup mixes or gelatin. Even if weevils don’t eat these items, they could enter the boxes to hide, only to reemerge later to contaminate your food.
After you’ve tossed the affected foods, clean the pantry shelves and spray a household insecticide around the area.
Once the liquid has had a chance to dry, you can restock.
More detailed instruction to get rid of Weevils:
How to get rid of Weevils
Of the some 60,000 species of weevils, the ones that threaten your larder are the rice and maize varieties (dark reddish-brown with red or yellow spots, about 1/16-inch long) and the larger, shiny, dark brown-to-black grain weevils.
But have no fear!
The following step-by-step will walk you through how to get rid of weevils for good.
1. Purge your pantry of unsealed dry foods
By the time you spot weevils, odds are they’ve infested other nearby food items.
So in order to oust them, you’ve got to purge your pantry of unsealed dry foods, including oats, rice, barley, flour, corn meal, pasta—even pre-packaged box-type dinners that don’t have sealed internal pouches.
And don’t stop there: If boxed products have sealed airtight bags inside, toss the box and label the bag with an indelible marker.
Do this even for boxed products weevils won’t eat, such as gelatin, because the pests might have entered the box and could later emerge to re-infest new products.
2. Freeze them out
Put salvageable foodstuffs in the freezer for four days, which will kill any larvae that might be hiding in the product.
Items you don’t think will withstand freezing—dried herbs, for instance, that may lose their zing—can go in a sealed bag or container and be stored elsewhere.
Before returning anything to the shelves, proceed to Step 3.
3. Deep cleaning
Thoroughly clean the pantry and cabinet shelves. Everything has to come out—canned goods, spices, aluminum foil, whatever you store in there—in order to get rid of every weevil.
Vacuum the shelves, making sure to get the nooks and crannies, and then take your vacuum outside to dump its canister.
Wipe down the entire vacuum (canister included) with disinfectant before bringing it back inside.
Sponge all shelving and cabinet interiors with either hot soapy water or spray cleaner, and let dry thoroughly.