As the easternmost of the Midwest states, Ohio has a lot in common with states on the east coast, including the common household pests every Ohio homeowner should be wary of.
8 Common House Bugs in Ohio
Of course, there are lots of common pests in Ohio and one quick list can’t cover all of them. The following nine and their different sub-types and variants are by far the most likely household bugs you need to pay attention to, however.
Ohio homes can get invaded by a wide variety of ant species – from pavement ants and other common species such as the odorous house ant or the little black ant to rarer but much more frustrating species such as the red imported fire ants. And, on the crossroad of these two parameters – the both common and frustrating carpenter ant.
Fortunately, ants rarely spread disease, unless you’re really unlucky. They can be a major nuisance, however, and fire ants can be outright dangerous if you have insect sting allergies.
What to do: To most people, ants are just ants. Knowing your enemy is important in this case, however, as different ants require different measures. Most types can be dealt with using ordinary stuff such as baits, traps, chalk, and insecticide sprays. Fire ants and carpenter ants often require professional assistance.
The prevention you do after the infestation is gone and before another one happens is usually the same, however – remove any potential food sources (trash, food scraps, etc.) from around your home and seal off any cracks and crevices in your home’s exterior ants can use in the future.
2. Bed bugs
A less common but equally notorious pest, these wingless insects love making their home in the mattress or box springs of our beds but can just as easily nest in furniture, carpets, cluttered clothes, and even electrical sockets. From either of those places, they then come out during the little hours of the night, looking for their next blood meal.
The tolerable part about this is that bed bug bites don’t spread any diseases because these pests mostly just feed on people as they stay indoors only. The way a bed bug infestation spreads to new homes is by jumping onto our clothes, suitcases, and luggage when we visit infected home, and riding on us until we bring them home with our belongings. They can also spread by us buying infected furniture.
What to do: Once a bed bug infestation sets roots, it’s really difficult to eradicate. In fact, some infestations can be outright nightmarish. Ideally, heat-treating all your bedding, clothing, and upholstery while fogging the rest of your home with insecticides should do the trick. More often than not you will need the help of a quality pest control service, however.
Probably the most infamous house bugs in Ohio and almost anywhere else in the world are roaches. Especially for those living in apartments, all three of the common US cockroach pests can be problematic in Ohio – the German cockroach, American cockroach, and Oriental cockroach can all be found in the state.
What to do: Cockroach infestations can sometimes be pushed back with immediate and effective use of insecticides, usually in the form of traps. Very often, however, a roach infestation can grow so much and so quickly that just relying on baited traps just isn’t going to do more than just curb the population’s numbers a little bit.
In those cases, it’s necessary to call for professional pest control services as they can fog bomb not just your home and its piping – they can treat the entire apartment building or block too and thus get rid of the problem altogether.
We usually see fleas as “pets’ pests” but once fleas get into your home they become a genuine house bug. In fact, you don’t even need a pet for fleas to get into your home – they can just as easily hitch a ride on you and come into your home that way.
Once they are inside, fleas will typically lay their eggs on our carpet, furniture, bedding, or clothes, and then spend most of their time jumping back on us to bite us and food on blood. And, like most other bloodsuckers and unlike bed bugs, fleas are known to spread diseases too.
What to do: Getting rid of fleas is annoying but not unmanageable. All you need to do is wash/clean your floor, carpet, furniture, bedding, and clothes at the same time to get rid of their eggs while also bathing yourself and washing your pets to get rid of the adults.
5. Stinging insects
There are countless types of stinging insects out there but what we usually mean by that is the group of wasps, hornets, and honey bees. Of those, the latter doesn’t really belong in a “pests” list as bees are quite beneficial insects. They can sting when they feel in danger, however, and that can be a problem if you have allergies.
Wasps and hornets of all kinds, on the other hand, are pretty much always considered unwanted pests as they contribute very little and pose a much greater risk of stinging. What’s worse, they often nest near or right on top of our homes and love to visit through open windows while they scavenge for food.
What to do: Dealing with wasps and hornets is best done from a distance, especially when they are in groups. There are insecticide sprays that can do the trick, however, when having to get rid of a wasp or hornet nest, it’s best to call a professional. Bee hives, on the other hand, should ideally be moved rather than destroyed which is also best done by professionals.
6. Stink bugs and other beetles
Insects like the brown marmorated stink bug and many other annoying beetles rarely “nest” indoors unless you’ve got a whole indoor garden of potted plants. They can spend a lot of time indoors, however, especially when the weather outside starts getting colder and they go looking for shelter.
What to do: Getting rid of that nuisance is usually annoying but doable. You can either just keep swatting them away until they are all gone or you can use an insecticide spray. Preventing their entry into your home is the way to go, however, and is best done via window screens and insect repellents.
These are likely the most hated flying blood-sucking insects and for a lot of good reasons. Not only do their bites itch and hurt but they also spread a ton of diseases such as the West Nile virus, the Zika virus, malaria, and more.
What to do: Stopping mosquitoes from getting inside your home is done best by putting window screens up. If you want to make sure that they don’t fly around your property at all, however, you’d do well to remove any bodies of still water such as ponds, barrels full of rainwater, and so on, as that’s where the females lay their eggs.
Termite infestations can be a major pest problem not because they bite us or spread diseases but because they can do a ton of structural damage to building they get near that has at least some wooden parts – which is almost all of them. What’s worse, termite infestations are very difficult to spot on time because these little insects tend to spread underground.
What to do: Dealing with a termite infestation before it’s reached your home is easy – you just treat the soil around your home with the right kind of insecticide. Once these little bugs get in, however, you’re going to need a professional’s help and then you’ll likely need to do a lot of construction work to repair the damage.
Therefore, keeping termites out in the first place is the name of the game here. This is best done by making sure that there is no excessive moisture in your lawn and its soil (such as from pope leaks, for example) and that there are no termite food sources lying around such as wooden sheds, old trees, piles of firewood, and so on as all those can serve as baits that lure the termite colony closer to your home.
Of the other most common pests, insects such as centipedes, millipedes, moths, pantry bugs, spiders, and more are all worth your attention. The basics rule to follow if you want to protect yourself from them, however, are more or less the same as the ones we’ve listed for the 8 pests above – be careful what you bring into your home (and what comes with it) and make sure that you’ve sealed the exterior of your house.
Doing this is the best prevention against all types of bugs and pests. And, as always, should something slip through the cracks – literally – make sure that you take action immediately while the problem is still in its inception.