If you really think about it, Delaware has a lot going for it as a state. It has low taxes, is a stone’s throw away from Atlantic City, and also is close enough to be capable of hitting Baltimore. People like living here because it’s a quiet, beachy place to live.
Delaware may have a lot going for it, but this petite state still can attract a lot of pests. If you’re afraid of creepy crawlies, this guide will help you understand what to expect and how to prevent them from ruining your life (and home).
What are the most common house pests in Delaware?
Cockroaches are those small-to-large, beetle-like critters with wings and brown bodies that infest every bad apartment ever. Roaches are almost a fact of life in most major cities, but if you’re unlucky, you may end up with them in the suburbs and rural parts of the state, too.
As most people know, cockroaches are an insect that loves to live with people. While they can bite people, their biggest favorite thing to do is eat food and garbage left around. Cleaning (and plugging) pipes that they can wander through and throwing out food are wise moves.
If you have a roach problem, then you may want to get an exterminator. This is particularly true with a German cockroach infestation, which is famously difficult to get rid of on your own. Using scents roaches hate can also help keep them away.
Delaware is home to the American cockroach, the Oriental cockroach, and the German cockroach.
A mosquito bite is a surefire sign of summer, but that doesn’t mean it’s a good one. Mosquitos can carry deadly diseases like malaria, West Nile Virus and Zika. They also can carry parasites like heartworm, which can pose lethal threats to cats and dogs.
Mosquitos generally wander in from outside, looking for something to bite. Using citronella candles and having a bug screen on doors and windows will usually keep most of them away from your home’s interior.
Many municipalities also have mosquito control as a result of the diseases they carry. If you don’t have mosquito control in your area, that’s okay. Just keep any sources of standing water far, far away from your home and cover your pool!
PRO TIP – Get heartworm prevention for your pets! It can save their lives during the summer.
For the most part, spiders are a bug that you want to keep in your home—within reason, of course. They eat other pests like ants and flies. However, they can be poisonous. Delaware is home to a couple of venomous spiders.
The most common dangerous spider is the brown recluse. If you hate poisonous and non-poisonous spiders alike, then we suggest keeping your home pest-free, spraying pesticides near your yard, and using scents spiders hate to get them to stay away.
Though it’s a bite rarer to find here, there have been occasional occurrences of black widow spiders biting people. If you notice a black widow in your home, call pest control. These bites can kill!
PRO TIP – Spiders hate the smell of peppermint, citrus, and lavender.
Like all other states in the Union, Delaware can be home to ants. In most cases, ants will leave your home as long as you sweep up crumbs, avoid keeping sweets on tables, and throw out garbage in a timely manner.
However, that’s not always the case. Carpenter ants, a common pest in Delaware, will drill through old wood to make a new home. (Unlike termites, they don’t eat the wood. They just drill it.)
Carpenter ants are easy to prevent. Simply treat and seal your home’s wood exterior and you should be fine.
5. Bed Bugs
Bed bugs are another issue that is endemic to America (and most other parts of the world). Like mosquitos, they love to drink blood. Unlike mosquitos, bed bugs actually see humans as their primary prey. While they don’t carry disease, they can cause serious allergic reactions.
These pests destroy furniture by leaving reddish-brown poop stains and casings all over things. They also are notoriously hard to remove once they have found a place in your home since they nest in the crevices of couches, walls, beds, and mattresses.
Prevention is simple: don’t go to places that are known for having bed bugs and check your luggage before returning from a vacation. If you have reason to believe that you may have bed bugs, call an exterminator for an inspection immediately.
PRO TIP – Pest control companies are not legally allowed to spray down a house without proof of bed bugs in the building. If you want to make sure that you get your house treated, show proof in the sample of a dead bed bug.
6. Camel Crickets
Camel crickets aren’t exactly the noisy chirpers of other species, but they are absolutely terrifying and can jump. They have a massive hunchback and can get to be as large as two inches long.
They might be harmless, but they’re terrifying. They tend to congregate in dark, damp basements or underneath homes. Keeping your area warm and dry usually will make them go away. Removing leaves from your lawn can also keep a camel cricket at bay.
7. Spotted Lanternflies
If you are from Pennsylvania, New Jersey, or Delaware, you may be aware of this fairly recent addition to the list of pests. These beautiful-looking bugs are not as pretty as you may first assume them to be, especially when you see the damage they do to local flora and wildlife.
The thing is, they don’t just annihilate trees and plants. They also tend to secrete a black ooze on the side of buildings that causes mold. If they get inside your house, you may end up with damaged walls. No bueno!
The best thing you can do to prevent lanternflies in your yard is to spray down your area with pesticides made for them and add traps away from your home. Aside from that? Squish them as you see them.
8. Fruit Flies
While these bugs can be seen in almost any state, they tend to be more common in temperate areas like Delaware. Fruit flies are those tiny, annoying little flies that tend to buzz around kitchen counters—especially when you have fruit that’s gone off.
As the name suggests, fruit flies congregate wherever there are rotten fruit or vegetables that they can eat. That’s why they are usually found in cabinets, pantries, and kitchen counters.
You do not have to call residential pest control services to get rid of this small swarm of flies. You just have to clean up the area that has all the rotten food.
Ticks are one of the grossest creatures that can find their way into your home. Thankfully, they do not typically make a home in your home. They usually make a home on your pets or on you after you’ve taken a hike through tall grass and shrubs.
If you see a tick on you, remove it immediately and consult a doctor. Ticks carry major diseases, including Lyme Disease. Ticks can occasionally wander in if your garden is also poorly kept or features tall grasses.
Removing leaf litter and rotten wood, and keeping the grass mowed well can help you reduce tick infestations in your yard.
If you have pets or mice that scurry around the home, be careful! Fleas are notorious carriers of disease and were the root cause of the spread of the black plague which wiped out millions of people in Europe. A single bite can also cause allergic reactions in people.
Fleas come into your house by biting your pets. Once they find their way indoors, they will typically nest in fluffy, “furry” fabrics. They can propagate there, causing even more stress for our poor pets.
Removing fleas from your home is best left to the pros. To prevent them, keep flea collars on your pets and trim any grass down short. Like ticks, fleas love to live in tall grasses and will use them to jump aboard the next animal they see.
If you want to live in a place like Delaware, you absolutely have the opportunity to do so. Delaware is a great state and it’s also super affordable. However, there are always going to be drawbacks and one of those is the need to watch out for pests.
Delaware, for the most part, is not too heavy on pests. As long as you keep a decently clean home and do the bare minimum for prevention, you should be alright in most cases. And when you’re not? Well, that’s what exterminators are for.