The Lowcountry is no stranger to insect pests. Just because we are “used” to them does not mean we like them! Insect pests bring with them a variety risks. These risks range from annoyance to food contamination, to the spreading of disease and possible risk of death. They span the entire length of the spectrum, from minor to severe. However, maintaining regular pest control services in and around your home will keep these pests at bay. Check out our list of 5 pests we love to hate, and next time you encounter one in your home… give us a call!
Pest #1: Bed Bugs
Bedbugs are parasitic insects that feed on the blood of humans. Just the thought of these pests feeding on people while they are sound asleep is enough to make anyone scared. Bed bugs love to travel… the only way they appear in your house is if they have hitched a ride on used clothing, bedding, luggage, etc. During the 1940’s these blood thirsty pests were nearly eradicated from the United States, but when pesticides like DDT were banned in the 1970’s they made a bold comeback. Bed bug populations continue to rise, and they took the media by storm a few years ago as news of bug-infested dorm rooms and big box retail chains swept the country. What this tells us is: bed bugs are everywhere and you can get them too!
Unfortunately for us, bed bugs are extremely elusive pests and they can hide just about anywhere. This makes treating an infestation with DIY measures nearly impossible. Vigilance is key to avoiding a bed bug infestation, but lucky for you if you do find them in your home – we can help.
Tip from the Pro’s: If you shop second hand, thoroughly wash all linens/bedding/clothing immediately before storing it in your home. The same goes for anything else you bring in the home second hand. When traveling and staying in AirBNB’s/B&B’s/Hotels, be sure to complete a thorough inspection for bed bugs immediately upon check in.
Pest #2: Mosquitoes
It is officially mosquito season in the Lowcountry! With the onset of warmer weather, most of us are busy planning trips to parks, the beach, and organizing outdoor socially distanced gatherings – giving little thought to the devil dressed as a mosquito. Pesky mosquitoes really know how to spoil a party!
Mosquitoes are not only just pesky creatures that we all love to hate! They are incredibly dangerous bloodsucking beasts that not only spread disease but can cause fever, diarrhea, dengue (breakbone fever), and even death! These buzzing blood suckers reproduce in standing water and have been known to travel up to 20 miles just to feed! Fun fact about mosquitoes – both males and females feed on nectar, but females also feed on human and animal blood to assist them with egg development. When they bite and excrete saliva into human skin, this saliva acts as an anticoagulant (meaning the blood will not clot) which is what causes an allergic reaction. So the bite itself is not the culprit for the itchy bumps on your skin after being bitten – it is their saliva!
Tip from the Pro’s: The key to personal mosquito prevention is wearing insect repellent when spending time outdoors. When selecting a repellent, make sure it contains DEET, picaridin, oil of lemon-eucalyptus or IR3535 (full chemical name being Ethyl butylacetylaminopropionate). We also suggest dressing appropriately for the weather but to try to cover as much skin as possible, including closed toe shoes. All of this combined will provide less landscape for these female blood thirsty pests to land and feed.
Pest #3: Ants
Ants are extremely social insects that live in large communities which depend on one another for the survival of the entire colony – talk about pressure! Tens of thousands of ants can call a single colony home, and numerous colonies may appear on a single property. What does this mean for you? Even with only 10% of the ant population acting as foragers – or the ones who go retrieve the food – there is a strong possibility to have hundreds or even thousands of tiny black ants infiltrate your home.
Ants are continually seeking food and water. They are attracted to anything that contains water or is damp inside your home. These pesky pests are also attracted to anything that is sugary or smells sweet, along with bread and pet food. Many common pantry staples are ideal targets for ants, so proper food storage is key for keeping these nuisance creatures at bay.
Tip From the Pro’s: Storing bread and other dry goods in glass containers prevents ants from smelling these products. Placing a bay leaf inside each container will provide extra protection. When recycling cans, make sure to thoroughly rinse them out before placing them in the recycling bin – recycle bins are often the leading cause of ant infestations in the home!
Pest #4: Cockroaches
These creepy crawlers may be the number 1 pest we love to hate in the Lowcountry. From their unsettling appearance to their odd survival tactics, cockroaches are absolutely despised by homeowners. These pests do not only possess a major ick-factor, but they also pose various health risks to humans if they find a way inside our homes. Many species of cockroaches spread bacteria and disease by picking up germs on the spines of their legs and transferring them onto food preparation surfaces. On top of that, cockroaches can easily cause allergic reactions and trigger asthma attacks – especially in children.
Tip From the Pro’s: The most effective way to prevent cockroaches from infiltrating your abode is to eliminate moisture build up around your home.
Pest #5: House Flies
These pests are undoubtedly one of the most annoying, as they buzz around your home completely unwelcomed. Being annoying is only the tip of the iceberg with these creatures. They are known to contaminate food products and surfaces by spreading more than 100 different kinds of disease-causing organisms transmitted by the hairs on their body. It is close to impossible to completely prevent flies from becoming a nuisance in your home; however, keeping the house as clean as possible and removing trash regularly will definitely help!