As a northern state, North Dakota is blessed not to have some of the insect pests common in the south. There are still quite a lot of insects to deal with, however, usually the same ones that are common in neighboring states or Canada. So, here we’ll take a look at the 14 common house bugs in North Dakota and what you need to know about them.
14 common house bugs in North Dakota
There are lots of insects that can make their way into your home but not all of them can lead to or be called an infestation. If you’re a North Dakotan homeowner, there are some insect pests that you must really be wary about as once they settle in your home they are very difficult to get rid of.
The quintessential home pest everyone hates, cockroaches are also quite prevalent in NC. There are four common pest roach species in this state – Oriental cockroaches, Brown-banded cockroaches, American cockroaches, and German cockroaches.
All four of these have the same habitats and feeding habits – they love drains, basements, bathrooms, and kitchens where they can find lots of moisture, trash, and food scraps. Unfortunately, as they frequent dirty spaces and trash, they tend to transmit a lot of diseases such as Cholera, Dysentery, Leprosy, Dysentery, and others.
Cockroaches can be dealt with, however, but will often require the help of a pest control service once they get too settled in.
Ants are similar to cockroaches in that they frequent both trash and food supplies. They don’t transmit diseases nearly as often, however, and they aren’t as repulsive to look at. Still, they can range from a nuisance to a pest as they can sometimes transmit disease, some of them can bite (looking at you, carpenter ants), and they can multiply to such an extent that they can render some food supplies unusable.
Most ant species are fairly easy to get rid of or prevent with ant traps and other light insecticides, however, some species such as carpenter ants often require professional help. Fortunately, the infamous imported red fire ants aren’t common in NC.
A different kind of pest, termites don’t bother people directly but they are a plague on all wooden structures, including buildings. What’s more, termite infestations often stay hidden until it’s too late as they dwell underground and inside structures.
So, unless you want to wake up at the sound of a termite colony munching through your walls, it’s best to make the environment around your home ill-suited for termites. This usually includes fixing and preventing any water leaks and other factors that increase soil moisture, an removing all termite food sources from the ground such as mulch, wood, old structures, and so on.
Typically not a pest as they don’t harm people and, instead, tend to hunt down actual insect pests, spiders can occasionally be problematic too. There are a few spider species in the US that have venom strong enough to cause pain, swellings, or even more significant problems in people and a couple of them are present in North Dakota as well.
The good news is that brown recluse spiders are seldom seen in the state as it is a bit too far north for their taste. Black widow spiders and black-footed yellow sac spiders can often be seen in this state, however, and they are nasty enough to cause trouble.
When encountered in the wild, they are best avoided, however, you may need a hefty dose of insecticides or a professional’s help if you have an overgrown nest at home.
There are many household pests that like to raid and settle in our cupboard spaces where they find their preferred food sources such as grains, cereals, and others. Such pests are rarely dangerous or spread diseases, however, they can ruin our food supply in record time.
5. Indian meal moths
Food moths are probably the most infamous and common type of food pest as they easily spread in every city and state through food, and their infestations can get really overblown really fast.
The way to deal with them is usually to just throw away the infected food packages – or freeze them if the infestation isn’t too major – and deal with the roaming adults using traps. The good news is that these insects at least don’t transmit diseases.
6. Confused flour beetles and red flour beetles
Flour beetles are another common type of cupboard bug that loves spreading through grains, cereal, and flour. They too, fortunately, don’t spread diseases and can be dealt with in the same way we deal with Indian meal moths.
Pests that go after our flowers instead of ourselves are arguably less problematic as they at least aren’t life-threatening. If you care about your indoor garden, however, as most of us do, you need to be wary of pests such as these.
7. Scale bugs
These small shell-looking plant insects can be found on houseplants all across NC. A particularly bad infestation of these bugs can significantly hamper the growth of your house plants.
Fortunately, light infestations aren’t all that damaging so you can often deal with the problem without harmful insecticides but by encouraging the presence of predators such as ladybugs, parasitoid wasps, or birds, as well as by removing adult scale bugs by hand.
If the infestation grows out of proportion, however, you may need to explore chemical solutions.
This other type of tiny plant bugs also feeds on plant sap by puncturing the flesh of the plant. What’s worse, the aphids’ waste on the surface of plants often leads to bacterial infections which are even more harmful.
Aphids are dealt with in the same way as scale bugs – either through the presence of their natural predators, the ladybug, or with chemicals when need be.
9. Spider mites
Another similar pest, spider mites are easy to tell apart as they create sticky webbing on the undersides of plants’ leaves. They too feed on sap and should be dealt with via insecticides if they start getting too numerous which they often do.
These are another type of pest that isn’t threatening to humans directly but can damage our belongings beyond repair.
Cloth moths, to be specific, are similar to their Indian meal moth cousins but they feed on fabrics rather than grains and cereals. They are usually dealt with by placing special moth insecticides in the wardrobe that kills them. If you postpone dealing with them, however, usually by not noticing them in time, they can lay waste to huge parts of your wardrobe.
11. Carpet beetles
As the name implies, these bugs love living in and feasting on carpets and furniture upholstery. And, just like cloth moths, they can deal a lot of damage really fast if they are not noticed and exterminated soon enough. There are easily-available pesticides for them too.
Biting and stinging pests
There are lots of insects that thrive on biting people and animals but a few are especially common and notorious house invaders.
12. Bed bugs
These maligned tiny insects are known to torment people year-round in urban and rural areas alike. That’s because they don’t spread outdoors but only hitchhike from one home to the next on people’s clothes and luggage. Once they find a new place, they settle in our mattresses, furniture, or even the carpet if need be. Then, they start reproducing and going up every night to bite their sleeping victims.
The good news is that bed bugs don’t spread any diseases or have any life-threatening venom. The bad news is that their bites are very itching and bed bug infestations can go very bad very fast and often require professional exterminators.
Mosquito pest problems are nobody’s favorite thing to deal with. The females of mosquitoes are very nasty biters even though the males don’t bite at all. What’s worse, they also spread a lot of diseases such as malaria, dengue fever, yellow fever, and others.
On the bright side, mosquitoes don’t tend to nest indoors so installing screens on your windows and doors is usually enough to keep them at bay. If you don’t want to encounter them in your yard either, it’s best to remove any still bodies of water from the vicinity as that’s where mosquitoes reproduce.
Lastly, fleas are pests that usually enter our homes through our pet animals but they can hitchhike on us too. Once indoors, they start reproducing on carpets and furniture while jumping onto us for food.
Therefore, the way to deal with them is to treat everything in our homes at the same time – floors, furniture, clothes, pets, and ourselves – so that there are no eggs or larvae left behind for subsequent infestations. If you do have a pet, it’s also smart to deworm it as fleas and intestinal worms often go hand-by-hand.
All 14 of these common house bugs in North Dakota can be problematic, albeit for different reasons. All of them usually need to be dealt with asap as some can get very tricky and unmanageable if you delay by even a day or two.