Did you ever wonder how pests like rodents, termites, spiders, ants, and biting insects manage to set up residence in your house before your very eyes? Some of them get inside the same way you do – through the front door, while others enter your home by hitching a ride on things you bring from the outside, such as boxes, lumber, or plants. For a great number of pests, however, the most common entry routes are cracks and crevices leading up to the crawl space.
The crawlspace is the underside of your home, an area built between the ground level and the bottom of the house, creating a permanent foundation and used in place of a basement. (Many buildings, especially commercial establishments, have a crawl space between some of the walls.) Its primary purpose is to facilitate air circulation through the structure and allow easy access to plumbing and electrical systems.
Maybe the trail of ants munching on your lunch leftovers or the co-worker complaining about itchy bites is not that big of deal to you. Even if we spend much of our waking days at work, the workplace doesn’t feel personal, and you may be inclined to think that pests in the office are simply a minor discomfort you shouldn’t be too concerned about.
When pests set up residence in your office, they can easily hitch a ride home with you inside your briefcase or on top of your clothes. Two of the most loathsome pests, the German cockroach and bed bugs, are known as resourceful hitchhikers that can easily find their way into any area that provides them with food and water sources – and that includes your home, as well.
Once inside your office, the presence of these pests will negatively impact not only your office work, but also your life at home.
If there’s one thing your dog loves more than rolling in the tall grass in the summer, it’s playing in the giant piles of leaves that fill up your back yard in the fall, and on neither occasion is your pet – or you, for that matter – protected from the danger lurking nearby: ticks.
The risk of getting Lyme disease doesn’t decrease as the weather starts to cool. Quite the opposite, says Consumer Reports, indicating that, “by fall, adult ticks have had more time to become infected with disease-causing bacteria.” In some regions, up to 50 percent of the tick populations can carry diseases such as Lyme, compared to only 20 percent in the summer. As long as temperatures stay between 20 and 30 degrees, fall ranks as a high-risk time for the disease.
And even if there were a sudden drop in temperatures during the fall months, that would only bring the blood-sucking menaces closer to your home.
Come fall, however, and they may be taken by surprise by an equally pesky, yet mostly innocuous, household pest: cluster flies.
As the days grow shorter and temperatures drop, the large, black cluster flies start entering homes in the search of protected overwintering sites, and they may be seen flying around in large numbers throughout winter and early spring. They show a landing preference for warm, sunny locations usually on the south- and west-facing walls of light colored buildings. Structures situated on open hilltops or near meadows and lawns appear more attractive due to the existence of the large populations of earthworms, their preferred host.
They enter homes through small openings, such as gaps under eaves, as well as open windows and doors. They congregate in large numbers (thus the name ‘cluster’ flies) in walls, attics, and basements, waiting for spring to emerge and start a new life cycle outdoors.
Hotel and resort managers have all the reason to think of ‘bed bugs’ as the dirtiest words in their industry.
The problem isn’t so much the bugs themselves, but how travelers react to online reviews of hotels that have been reported by past guests to have a bed bug infestation. A new study by the University of Kentucky, USA, has put some hard numbers to the financial impact of online reports of bed bugs in hotels. Results show that, on average, a single report of the pesky critters in a recent traveler review decreases the value of a hotel room by $21 per room per night for leisure travelers and by $38 for business travelers.
Conducted in May this year, the study surveyed more than 2,100 respondents – 1,298 leisure travelers and 790 business travelers – about how they would react to various problematic issues encountered in hotel rooms.