If you live in an apartment, having bugs in your house might seem inevitable. All the common household bugs are prone to set up camp in your house, as they search for food, water, and shelter. Apartments provide perfect warmth and clutter for these bugs.
What kind of bugs live in apartments? Apartments are most commonly infested by roaches, ants, moths, rodents, spiders, and fleas. You need to be able to identify the kind of bugs living in your apartment to not only stop ongoing infestations but also prevent future bug problems and to salvage your food and furniture from further or future damage.
If you have been wondering about the kinds of bugs that live in apartments, this article will cover everything you need to know. It also outlines a few tips on how to deter these bugs.
Roaches are among the most common apartment pests and are very resilient. Cities are ideal breeding grounds for these creatures because of underground tunnels and numerous apartment buildings that provide year-round shelter for the cockroaches.
The most common roach species are the German cockroaches, characterized by tow brown stripes running down the length of their wings. The infestation is more likely to occur in Winter, because of the cold temperatures outside, this is what makes them seek refuge in your house, where they will get access to food and water.
Cockroaches rely on water more than they do food. You are most likely to find them in damp areas like your kitchen and bathrooms. Their small size aids them when moving from one unit to the next.
Ants are the most common pests not only in apartments, but also in other places. they are virtually everywhere, living in colonies of thousands each. Ants make their way indoors when searching for food crumbs or open containers. They leave behind scented trails, known as pheromone trails, which enable them to communicate with each other. The trails let other ants find their way to the food source.
Ants are small in size, often making them hard to spot. You might fail to notice one or two ants on the floor, but you can never miss a trail of ants heading to a source of spilled food. Ants are very attracted to sugar, which makes them go to garbage bags, onto the counter, or into the store.
Spiders can be found in homes and apartments everywhere. Despite being the most terrifying apartment pests, they are the least destructive. Even though spiders bite and few species of these are venomous, most spiders are not harmful to humans. Spiders stay far from humans to stay safe from us. This is the reason you always find spiders in disorderly closets or other places we don’t reach.
To catch prey, spiders build webs in which other bugs can get trapped if they stumble into them. Spiders help with pest control because they hunt other pests.
Despite being harmless, spiders are unwelcomed into your apartment, because you will certainly not be at peace knowing you are hosting a spider that could even be venomous. If ever you think you are sharing your space with a black widow or a venomous brown recluse, you need to contact pest control for help.
Although a flea problem is mostly faced by people that own pets, you don’t need to own a dog or cat to have a flea infestation. Owners of apartments in cities change from time to time, so even if you do not have a pet, there is a possibility that the previous owner of your apartment left fleas behind. Fleas infest furniture, bedding, human hair and pet hair, meaning you may even have brought in fleas with you when you bought that second-hand couch.
Fleas are very tiny, with a length of only an eighth of an inch, are very difficult to get rid of once they are inside an apartment. To get rid of a flea problem, it takes devoted cleaning and watchfulness. However, the best option is to call professional pest control to handle the issue.
There is a variety of flies you could find in the kitchen. However, the most common are fruit flies and house flies. They can sneak into homes via open doors, windows, and cracks in screens. Flies are typically attracted to uncovered food, regardless of whether it is decayed food in the garbage can or even untouched food on the counter.
Besides being annoying with their buzzing sound and movement, flies are dangerous as far as your health is concerned. They carry a myriad of diseases with them and have been known to be the cause of the spread of E. Coli, Salmonella, and food poisoning.
Nevertheless, you can get rid of flies with the use of traps, and there are two of these:
- Jar Fly Trap: fill a jar with about an inch of apple cider vinegar, then add a few drops of floral dish soap. Cover the jar with plastic wrap, then secure it with a rubber band. Poke a few holes in the plastic wrap to create entry points for the flies.
- Fruit Trap: this kind of trap is made especially for fruit flies, but can work on other varieties too. Cut a fruit piece to about an inch of thickness then place it in a bowl with the cut side facing up. Like the other trap, cover the bowl with plastic wrap, then secure it with a rubber band or tape. Using a toothpick, poke holes in the wrap and leave the trap in the kitchen.
These are common bedroom pests, quite, unfortunately. Their small size enables them to hitch rides in suitcases, shoes and boxes. This is why they are often found during summer when people travel.
These bugs do not transmit diseases but feed on human blood. Despite having painless bites, they leave small itchy marks on your skin.
The most common pests that affect stored food are moths, especially the Indian Meal Moths. They are tiny flying insects that have a knack of contaminating large amounts of stored dry food with larvae, creating loads of problems in apartments. Adult eggs lay numerous tiny eggs in bags or boxes of stored food like cereal and flour. On hatching, the moth larvae then feed on the food you stored in containers and grow into adults, who then continue the cycle of laying eggs in more and more food items.
If not controlled, a moth infestation can quickly and easily grow in your apartment and cause loss of food. With their tiny size, moths can hide in small areas. If you want to manage moths, you need to throw away all discarded food items and clean every corner of cabinets, cans, and jars. Ensure all items near the contaminated area are cleaned thoroughly.
Tips to keep apartment bugs out
These are a few measures you need to put in place if you want to prevent bugs from infesting your apartment in the future. Change the following things about your routine and see the difference:
- Clean floors regularly – Ensure you vacuum the house every day without fail, regardless of whether you got carpeting, tile floors, hardwood, or a combination of all these. Try to sweep, mop, and vacuum the house as often as you can. The size of the house doesn’t matter either: clean up dust and crumbs that gather against the wall, around the furniture, and behind clutter.
- Seal foods tightly – you should be careful when buying packed foods from the store, especially with concerns about the Indian Meal Moth. Avoid buying food that has damaged or dusty packaging. Always keep away dry foods in containers made of glass or metal because these are sealed tightly and prevent pests from destroying your food in the future.
- Close the doorway – You may think that your house is safe from pests, now that you have made it squeaky clean, but you may be wrong. If you still have dirty stairs and hallways, you might still be at risk. Consequently, rodents and bugs might squeeze through tiny openings like the gaps under the door.
To avoid this problem, you can get a draft stopper or some weather-stripping, which slides under doors. This fix works especially during winter because you will not only trap heat inside the apartment, but you will also block bugs from sheltering themselves inside your home against the cold.
- Organize and remove clutter – Clustered and disorderly areas of small apartments can make the best hiding spots for rodents and insects, especially if a lot of dust has accumulated. Clutter also makes it hard to clean the house and with time, you will have stopped tidying up altogether.
Ensure all your belongings are well-arranged and make a point of vacuuming and sweeping previously cluttered spaces to remove dust.
- Contact Pest Control – If you have applied all measures possible to curb bug problems in your apartment but it all seems to be in vain, it means that you require professional help from pest experts. You need to inform your landlord or house manager so that you can both discuss on the way forward, including the costs to be incurred.
If you have a bedbug infestation, you need to gather all the bedding and clothing that has bedbugs and wash them in hot water. Then, dry on a hotting for not less than 30 minutes. Enclose an infested mattress and box spring inside a zippered cover labeled “bed-bug proof”, and leave the covers on for a year at least. Vacuum the bedrooms regularly.
Steam cleaning will also do the job, because bed bugs cannot survive in high temperatures. Steam clean infested areas at 140 degrees Fahrenheit. You can use a hairdryer for this purpose if a steam cleaner is not available.
Yet another option for dealing with bed bugs is baking soda, which absorbs moisture on the bugs and kills them. For this method to work, sprinkle baking soda on infested areas as well as the surrounding areas. After letting the soda sit for an hour or so, vacuum these areas. You need to repeat this procedure for a few days until you are sure you are free from bedbugs.
So, how often do apartments need to spray for bugs? Well, for apartments, it is recommended that pest control treatment is done after every 2 or 3 months. The reason for doing this is to prevent potential pest infestations when one moves into a new apartment or home. For more severe pest infestations, treatment should be done monthly over a course of 3 to 6 months.
When you call pest control, the first place they will start spraying is the outside of the apartment. Afterward, they will spray all over the foundation and go around your doors to discourage pests from returning. If your apartment includes a porch or deck, the exterminators will spray these too.