Many us of adopt the out of sight, out of mind mentality. But for the truly daring, it's time to finally expose our free-loading roommates that are hiding within our four walls, and evict them for good.
Drain flies are small, black or brown flies, about 1/8th inch. Their bodies are covered with hundreds of small hairs which gives off their dirty appearance. If crushed, they leave a powdery smudge. Drain flies, as the name implies, breed in numbers in drains, sewers and septic tanks. You may often find them gathering near sink and shower drains as they feed off of the clogged gunk festering in your pipes.
How To Get Rid Of Drain Flies
If you have drain flies, odds are you either have a clog, or haven't used the drain in a long time (think guest shower). First, determine the source of the flies. Use a pipe snake to clear out any built-in sludge or clog. Use an enzymatic drain cleaner to flush out the residue and remaining drain fly eggs. Routinely clean your drains and be sure to flush toilets and run faucets and showers once per week to keep things flowing.
Silverfish are quick little buggers, recognized by their slithering thin, shiny bodies and three long-tailed appendages. Silverfish prefer moist, humid areas of homes and congregate near bathrooms, basements and attics. Signs of a silverfish infestation may include feeding marks on papers and books, yellow stains, or black pepper-like pellets (their poop).
How To Get Rid Of Silverfish
Silverfish can survive weeks without food or water, and infestations may be difficult to remedy. To best repel silverfish, you can use insecticides or diatomaceous earth. To make your home less home-y to silverfish, remove any piled up newspapers, mail, and cardboard boxes. Keep books out of humid areas of your home, and run a dehumidifier in any rooms with books.
Once you spot a fruit fly, it seems to be only a short while later for a full-blown infestation to erupt. That's because a female fruit fly can lay 500 eggs at one time, which can hatch into larvae in just 30 hours.
How To Get Rid Of Fruit Flies:
Fruit flies are breeding fiends that love ripened fruit and vegetables. Store any soft fruits in the refrigerator. 'Banana bread-ify' that browned banana, or toss it quick. Empty your garbage cans regularly and run your dish disposal often. If you find a cluster of fruit flies, you can create a DIY fruit fly trap using a small glass filled half with apple cider vinegar, half warm water, and one tablespoon of dish soap. The smell of the apple cider vinegar will attract the fruit flies.
Carpet beetles, while harmless to humans, will do hefty work to your rugs, curtains, clothing, upholstered furniture and books. Carpet beetles are oval shaped, and can be black or white and yellow patterned. Carpet beetle larvae are larger than adult beetles, and are covered in dense hair.
How To Get Rid Of Carpet Beetles:
Thoroughly dust and vacuum your home, paying close attention to dark crevices and corners. If you suspect carpet beetles snacking on your clothing, remove any stored clothing and wash. Treat rugs with an insecticide or diatomaceous earth to kill off any larvae.
Ever pour a box of pasta into a pot of boiling water only to find a few floating brown rice-shaped pieces? Weevils are brown, long bugs that are often called flour beetles. They can be anywhere from 3-10mm in size.
How To Get Rid Of Weevils:
Weevil eggs are nearly imperceptible to the naked eye, so it is very easy to purchase infested packaged foods like rice, flour, pasta, and cereal. Weevils in the pantry will likely be swarming around a grain food source — once you identify that, be sure to double-bag and dispose of this item. For heavy infestations, clean out your pantry and throw away any grain items packaged in boxes in your pantry, even if the contents are sealed. Weevils particularly like cardboard boxes and can easily hop from one dry food source to another. If infestation begins in the pantry, vacuum the pantry shelves, and treat with a non-toxic insecticide.
We've all heard the lecture of the benefits of spiders and how they got your back, eating other more potentially scavenging pests. Most spiders are in fact non-harmful, with the exception of black widows (black spiders identified by their red hourglass shape), and brown recluse (dark brown spiders identified by a violin pattern near their head). But for those that would prefer to have a little less of the leggy guards inside your home, there are a few methods to try.
How To Get Rid Of House Spiders:
Vacuum your home often. To prevent spiders from entering your home, keep leaf piles, vegetation woodpiles and grass clippings to a minimum, or at the very least, away from your walls. Seal any cracks near door openings and windows with caulk. Limit outdoor lighting as while spiders aren't necessarily attracted to lights, their meals, aka other light-inclined bugs, are often found near outdoor lights. Finally, treat your home with a non-toxic insecticide.
Ever spot small flies circling around your house plants? Welcome fungus gnats. They love moist soil and are often spotted by their shiny black heads and elongated clear and legless bodies. While the fungus gnat's lifespan is relatively short (about 8 days!), they procreate like mad. A female will lay an average of 200 eggs in soil. Fungus gnats are not harmful to people, pets, or belongings, but their larvae can damage roots of the house plant they are infesting. Fungus gnats can come from anywhere, but if they're found on near a houseplant, they're likely to have entered your home via potting mix, or the soil of a newly purchased plant.
How To Get Rid Of Fungus Gnats:
If you're pulling your hair out over these tiny pests, you're not the only one. Fungus gnats can be extremely difficult to get rid of, especially if you're trying to salvage some house plants. The best way to reduce the numbers of fungus gnats is to allow the top 1-2 inches of soil to dry, decreasing the survival rate of any larvae. Additionally, you can treat the soil with a plant-safe insecticide.
Carpenter ants get their namesake from their nest building, in which they will excavate and dig tunnels through wood. Carpenter ants are black and red in color and are found throughout the US, although most common in the North. Besides noticing ants around your home, another sign of an infestation are saw-dust like shavings below holes.
How To Get Rid Of Carpenter Ants:
Carpenter ants require a water source to live and will typically be found congregating in moist areas or areas with standing water. Keep all cracks and openings sealed with a silicone-based caulk. To prevent carpenter ants from entering your home, keep firewood, stumps, and other wood materials in your yard to a minimum, or at the very least, farther from your house. If you find a carpenter nest in your home, treat with a non-toxic insecticide.
One in five Americans have had a bed bug infestation in their home or know someone who has encountered bed bugs at home or at a hotel. Bed bugs can also be prolific hitchhikers, hoping in and on your suitcases. Signs of a bed bug infestation usually start with noticing itchy welts after sleeping, alongside blood stains on sheets or pillows, dark spots on sheets and mattresses (bed bug poop), and of course, the physical bed bug or shed skin. One place that is often forgotten is checking and treating suitcases after traveling.
How To Get Rid Of Bed Bugs:
The first thing to do is to clean bedding, linens, curtains and clothing in hot water, and the highest appropriate dryer setting. For any unwashables such as stuffed animals, shoes and other linens — run them in the dryer on high for 30 minutes. Vacuum your bed, nearby upholstery, and surrounding areas frequently. Be sure to immediately dispose of the vacuum cleaner bag out of your home, or clean out the bin thoroughly after each session. Purchase a mattress protector and remove any clutter around your bed. Treat your bedding, mattress, linens, and surrounding upholstery with a non-toxic insecticide.
Dust mites are microscopic insects that are not detectable by the human eye. They feed off of human and animal skin shedding. They are prolific breeders and our homes host millions of them. A dust mite can produce up to 200x its body weight in waste.
How To Get Rid Of Dust Mites:
While it is nearly impossible to eliminate dust mites completely from your home, there are a variety of tactics to significantly reduce their numbers, which is helpful in particular for those that have allergies to dust mites. Keep your home cooler, specifically below 70°F, and below 50% humidity. Remove dust by wiping and vacuuming frequently. You can additionally use a botanical-based insecticide treatment to repel dust mites.
If you're looking for a new non-toxic and plant-powered insecticide to add to your cleaning routine, look no further than EXO's Multi Insect Killer.