Bugs!!! The mention of the word alone probably makes your skin crawl. These incredibly annoying pests just don’t know when to quit, and as much as we don’t want them around, they tend to always find a way into our homes, especially if you live in Utah.
Utah, a state located in the mountainous region in the heart of the Western United States, is an area that is favorable to insects of various kinds. So, it should be no surprise if you frequently find yourself dealing with several intrusive house bugs of many species.
The first step to tackling these insects is identification. So, what are some common house bugs in Utah, and how can you identify them?
Among the hundreds of bugs, you can find in Utah, a few will be more common than the rest. These include;
- Boxelder Bugs
- elm seed Bugs
- Bed Bugs
- Millipedes & Centipedes
- Wasps, and more.
Common House Bugs in Utah and How to Keep Them Away
Whether you’re located in the Rocky Mountains, The Great Basin, or The Colorado Plateau, you’ve probably already noticed some unwelcome house pests, mainly insects. First off, you should know if they are harmful or not, and then you can start to plan out ways to eradicate them.
Utah State University’s Urban Pest Guide tells us that insects in Utah could be classified as biting insects, nuisance pests, or stored product pests, among many others.
Examples of biting insects include bed bugs, bird mites, head lice, and mosquitoes, while nuisance pests include carpet beetles, boxelder bugs, clover mites, booklice, crickets, elm seed bugs, and many others.
As the name implies, nuisance pests will likely only cause disturbances around your house but may not necessarily harm your health. On the other hand, biting insects will attack and bite you as they often feed on skin cells, blood, and the like.
Stored product pests mostly go after grains and other stored foodstuff. They include cowpea weevils, cigarette beetles, bean weevils, mealworms, grain beetles, rice weevils, warehouse beetles, and many others.
Let’s look at a quick breakdown of some of these house bugs, how to identify them, and how to get rid of them.
1. Elm Seed Bugs
Elm Seed Bugs are insects that feed on the seeds of the Siberian Elm plant. They often find their way into buildings between summer and early autumn. Even though you can find them inside your house, they, fortunately, do not reproduce indoors, only outdoors.
Furthermore, although this seed bug is native to Europe it has recently made its way to areas in Utah, Colorado, Oregon, and Washington. These insects cause damage to Linden and Oak trees, then enter buildings to seek out favorable weather conditions and make their homes there.
In its adult stage, an elm seed bug will be about 1 ⁄ 3 inch long, with dark colorations that could be black or rusty red. More distinctly, you will notice an inverted black triangle between two rusty red triangles on the insect’s body.
If you find any elm seed bugs in your house, it is possible you left your doors or windows open, allowing them to crawl in. Either that, or you must have holes, spaces, or crevices around the entrance to your building.
- How to Keep Elm Bugs Away
Because Elm Bugs usually find their way into buildings through openings, the best way to keep them away is by sealing up every opening in your home down to the last inch. To ensure that no gaps are left open, you can use caulk around your window sills and doors.
Additionally, if you have elm trees around your home, spraying the trees with pest control solution may help reduce the population of Elm Bugs. However, this might only be a temporary solution.
Finally, you can also use a perimeter of insecticide around the entrances to your house to keep Elm Bugs away. It would be best to use insecticides that contain pyrethroids as they are more effective for outdoor use.
Several species of beetles can be found in Utah, this includes the Blister Beetle, Carpet Beetle, Ground Beetle, Cigarette Beetle, Grain Beetle, Drugstore Beetle, and others. These insects could be black, yellow, red, or brown, depending on the species.
Beetles are usually found in dark corners and crevices during winter. They are notoriously known for causing damage to books, carpets, grains, foodstuff, furniture, and many other materials often found indoors.
Some beetle varieties can also lay eggs in foodstuff, posing severe health risks to household members. As such, a beetle infestation should be taken care of as soon as it is noticed. Any later, and you may need to contact your local pest control service to stop them from spreading.
- How To Keep Beetles Away
Regardless of the species of beetle, these insects can cause irreversible damage to our properties and should not be taken lightly. If you find any beetles in or around your foodstuff, it is best to dispose of such food items immediately to avoid ingesting contaminated food.
Additionally, any new food items you’re adding to your store or pantry must be thoroughly inspected to avoid introducing beetle larvae or baby beetles to your house, as this will only make them multiply in number.
Another way to keep beetles away is using pheromone or multi-catch traps. These will lessen the number of beetles you see each day, and if you switch out old traps for new ones regularly, your beetle problem will be resolved in no time.
One of the most common species of crickets you can find in Utah is the Mormon Cricket. It is slightly over 1 inch long and can vary in color from light brown to black. Crickets can be identified by their long, thin antennae that are often larger than the length of their bodies.
If cricket has entered your home, you’re most likely to hear it before you see it. They make loud, chirping noises that can be heard from a distance away. Female crickets can be identified by the long stinger-like appendage sticking out from their rear.
Crickets often nest in winter, and you can find them in damp places such as wood piles, mulch beds, underneath stones, and weeds. While these sound like outdoor areas, some crickets might still enter your house. If they do, what’s the next course of action?
- How to Get Rid of Crickets
Crickets often feed on agricultural products like grains and crops. Sometimes, they will also feed on clothing soiled with human sweat. They can cause damage to household items when found in their numbers and must be removed as soon as possible.
The first step is to clear out any area in or outside your house harboring crickets. This includes any damp areas like those mentioned above. After that, follow through with thorough cleaning and spray down with a light insecticide that is safe for indoor use.
You can also eliminate crickets using glue traps and other multi-catch traps. Placing these traps around your building or in areas where you hear these crickets will help to reduce their population significantly.
Additionally, crickets have probably entered your house through cracks and holes in your foundation wall. Sealing these openings will lower the chances of these insects ever invading your home again.
4. Boxelder Bugs
These nuisance pests might not cause any significant structural damage to your property, but they reproduce in great numbers and can be difficult to get rid of.
Boxelder bugs are black insects with distinctive red markings on their bodies. They also closely resemble red firebugs but are not the same. As their name implies, these insects feed on boxelder seeds, maple seeds, foliage, and fruits occasionally.
During warmer weather, like summer and spring, you can find several boxelder bugs congregating on the exterior walls of buildings. During the winter, these insects hide in cracks and crevices of buildings. You can also find them under window panes, debris, leaves, and clutter.
- How to Get Rid of Boxelder Bugs
Boxelder bugs often emit a foul odor when smashed. As such, this might not be the best course of action if you come across them. Boxelder trees attract these pests, so spraying or removing any boxelder trees you have in your yard will help to reduce the number.
You can also use vacuum cleaners to reduce their population while spraying indoor safe insecticides around your house. If you use these insecticides, do not forget to air out the area to remove any leftover fumes properly.
Sealing up any entrances to your house will help prevent more boxelder bugs from coming into your house. You can do this using a quick hardening caulk or just regular caulk. If none of these options seems to work, contact pest control, and they will help you eliminate the boxelder bugs.
Utah is located in the mountain region of the Western part of the United States, and this region is home to some bugs, including spiders, beetles, cockroaches, crickets, wasps, bees, lice, elm seed bugs, ants, silverfish, termites, flies, bedbugs, earwigs, and several others.
Using common house traps or multi-catch traps will reduce the population of these insects while following up with thorough cleaning and fumigation further removes them from your house.