Like all states in the US, Maryland has a range of bugs that sometimes find their way into your home. Some of these pests will be nothing more than a nuisance, while others can be dangerous or destroy your property. But how do you know which are safe and which you should get rid of as quickly as possible?
To keep yourself, your family, and your home safe, it is useful to learn more about these pests. In this article, we share details of common house bugs in Maine. We have also included some advice on how to get rid of and prevent the most common pests from moving in.
What Are the Most Common Pests in Maryland?
The most common bugs in Maryland include ants, bed bugs, cockroaches, silverfish, spiders, stinging insects, and termites. While some of them can be useful, like spiders, others can be dangerous, like wasps, or destructive, like termites.
Ants are among the most common bugs in the world. While they are mostly harmless, nobody wants hundreds of ants crawling in their home. While ants, such as the carpenter ants will usually live and build their nests outside, they may venture into our homes when searching for food.
Ants may be mostly nuisance pests but they can still spread diseases or contaminate foods. Some species, like the carpenter ants, can also cause damage to the structure of your home.
- Ant Prevention
Pest control should always start with prevention as it is often easier than dealing with an infestation. Since ants are after food and water, clean food crumbs off the floors and don’t leave food out uncovered. Check for cracks near entrances and seal them and prune any shrubs or trees and avoid stacking wood closer than 20 feet from your house.
If you already have ants in your house, there are products you can use to get rid of them. When using insecticides, always read the instructions on the label to ensure you are using them safely.
2. Bed Bugs
Unlike some other bugs on this list that live mostly outdoors and only look for occasional shelter inside houses, bed bugs are full-time indoor residents. They are small insects that hide during the day and feed during the night on blood, preferably human blood.
Even though bed bugs bite, they are not known to transmit diseases. However, they can make us itchy and in some people can cause rashes. Although often found in bedding and mattresses, bed bugs can live in other furnishings, too.
- Bed Bug Prevention
It can be challenging to prevent bed bugs as they can travel into our homes on our clothing, in our luggage, on second-hand furniture, and on other people’s clothing. Washing your outdoor wear and keeping your bedding off the floor can help prevent bed bugs.
Some people use covers that are bug-proof on their beds. Regularly vacuum your mattress and inspect potential hiding spots to prevent bed bug infestations. Hiding spots include the seams on mattresses, upholstered and wooden furniture, and electrical outlets.
Cockroaches are among the worst disease-carrying bugs you can have in your house. They are a type of insect with six legs and long antennae. Indoors, they like to hide in dark corners and crevices during the day and come out at night to feed.
Roaches that you are likely to find in your home in Maryland include American, Oriental, and German cockroaches. All three species live near people since they have learned that we provide them with an easy source of food, water, and shelter.
- Cockroach Prevention
The best way to prevent roaches is to take away their food and water sources. Clear gutters, repair leaky pipes, fix dripping faucets, and use dehumidifiers. Keep your kitchen floor clean of food crumbs, store foods in proper containers, and discard any uneaten foods in outdoor bins as quickly as possible.
If you already have cockroaches in your home, you can get rid of them using glue strips, traps, and baits. You can also make DIY cockroach sprays using household items such as baking soda or citrus.
4. Centipedes and Millipedes
Late spring and summer are the time of year when these bugs can become a problem in your home. They are attracted to damp and dark spaces such as your basement. While you might not want them in your home, they can be useful in your garden as they eat other bugs.
Like many other bugs, the house centipede and millipede species are more active at night so you rarely see them. Usually, their presence is a sign that you have other unwanted bugs in your home since they feed on arthropods such as silverfish, bed bugs, cockroaches, and spiders and have followed their prey into your home.
- Preventing Centipedes and Millipedes
Since centipedes and millipedes are attracted to damp areas, consider getting a dehumidifier to limit dampness in your home. Other than reducing the humidity in your home, check for cracks and crevices around your walls.
However, because they are often a sign of another pest infestation, check if you have other, more harmful pests in your home. Eliminating these other pests is likely to reduce the number of centipedes and millipedes in your home.
Silverfish get their name from their fish-shaped bodies and because they are usually silver-colored. Because they are another nocturnal bug, you are unlikely to know you have silverfish in your home unless you turn the light on quickly, for example, in your bathroom where they like to live.
In addition to bathrooms, silverfish are attracted to other spots with high humidity such as your attic or basement. Often you will find them in old boxes because they like to feed on cardboard and paper and they can ruin your books and magazines.
- Preventing Silverfish
Reducing the moisture of your indoor air can discourage silverfish so consider getting a dehumidifier. If you are storing books or magazines in your basement or attic, store them in sealed, plastic containers rather than cardboard boxes.
When you already have silverfish in your home, you can get rid of them by setting up silverfish traps or using insecticides. You can also make homemade silverfish repellents using scents that drive them away such as bay leaves, cedarwood, citrus, and lavender.
Spiders are found in almost every corner of the world except for Antarctica and while we might not spot them, most of us share our homes with spiders. In Maryland, spiders will rarely bite people so unless you are not a fan of spiders, there is no urgent need to get rid of them, especially as they can keep other pests under control.
Spiders can get into your home through the smallest cracks and once indoors, look for sheltered corners to hide in. They usually come indoors after their prey, which includes beetles, flies, ants, cockroaches, and many other bugs.
- Spider Prevention
If you want to prevent spiders from coming into your home, you need to keep your home clear of their prey. You can also do things such as clearing your yard of clutter and debris, cutting shrubs so they are not touching your walls, and installing door sweeps.
7. Stinging Insects
Stinging insects include bees, wasps, and hornets. While all of them can be useful in pollinating and wasps can keep other pests under control by eating them, you don’t want them too close to your home.
If you get stung by a bee or a wasp, it can be painful and in some people cause an allergic reaction that could even be life-threatening. If you have a wasp or hornet’s nest in or near your home, it could become dangerous as they could perceive you or others in your home as a threat.
- Stinging Insect Prevention
While you may want stinging insects in your garden, you will not want them to make a nest near your home. Because wasps are territorial, hanging up fake nests can prevent them from building one in our outside your home.
If they already have established a nest, consider if it is something you want to tackle yourself personally. For example, if the nest is in a difficult-to-reach position, you may want to get a professional pest control service to eliminate the nest for you.
We finish the list of common house bugs in Maryland with termites which are among the most destructive house pests. They can cause serious damage to your home by chewing on the interiors of your wooden structures.
It can be difficult to detect termites until the damage is done. One sign that you have termites in your home is frass, a mix of insect droppings and wood. As the termites chew through wood, the frass will pile up around the tunnel holes.
- Preventing Termites
One of the key preventative measures is to inspect your property for damaged wood that could attract termites and remove it. Having concrete foundations and keeping the foundations clear can help prevent termites. If you have a termite infestation, treatment often involves chemicals, so the process is best left to professionals.
It is not always possible to keep your home bug free, but there are preventative measures you can take. While some bug infestations require quick action, some bugs can be useful as pest controllers. Assess each situation separately and seek professional advice if not sure of how to proceed.