If You See This Bug in Your Home, Call an Exterminator Immediately
Just one of these insects can lead to a full-blown infestation.
As the weather heats up, you're likely to be dealing with bugs more and more often. But it's not just the pesky warm weather pests you meet on your outdoor excursions that are likely to give you trouble these days. In fact, experts are now warning about one specific insect that you could find in your home this summer. And once you even see one of these, you'll want to call an exterminator immediately before an infestation can take hold. Read on to find out what pest should be at the top of your watchlist in the coming months.
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Pest infestations are common and can create a lot of problems.
If you've got a pest problem in your home, you're hardly alone. According to a national survey by pest control company HomeTeam Pest Defense, 84 percent of homeowners admit to having experienced a bug infestation at some point. And most people end up paying an average of anywhere from $200 to $600 each year for pest control services, Angi reports.
But it might not just be a money problem when it comes to getting rid of the infestation itself. Pests and insects can also "can cause structural damage to your home, spread disease, and make your house an unpleasant place to live," Groundworks explains. The most common pests invading homes in the U.S. are ants and spiders, per Consumer Affairs.
Experts are now warning about one fast-spreading bug in your home.
While it's not unusual for a bug to make its way into your home, you can't always just kill it yourself and move on. Rhonda Shifflett, an exterminator with Bug Zapper, recently told ABC-affiliate KEZI in Eugene, Oregon, that when it comes to sugar ants, an infestation can take hold in your house rather quickly.
"You typically see a few ants here and there, but once the rest of the ant colony picks up on the pheromones, you're going to see a pretty steady line," she explained, noting that as soon as one ant gets into your home and finds food, it will leave a trail for others to follow.
Sugar ant infestations are more common in the spring and summer.
Sugar ants usually start outside your home because they are attracted to plants that secrete nectar, according to Orkin. But once there, they'll also likely take the opportunity to find sweets inside your home—which can result in an infestation. "They are going to be looking for food, water and shelter, and of course, our homes have all of that," Shifflett explained.
This time of year is when you need to be most diligent about watching out for these ants, as infestations are more common in the spring and summer months. Shifflett told KEZI that she usually tackles at least six to seven separate jobs involving ant infestations each day through April and May.
You should call an exterminator before an infestation occurs.
According to Shifflett, the only way to ensure you avoid a sugar ant infestation is to call an exterminator as soon as you spot one. According to Orkin, male sugar ants are completely black while female ones have orange-colored bodies, but they are both usually small, ranging from two to 15 millimeters in size.
You can also put some work in yourself while waiting for the professionals. "One of the major things we recommend is bleach and water. Clean up any of the trails that the ants are leaving, and you want to get that at the beginning, at the very first sightings," Shifflett said.
And while sugar ants are not necessarily dangerous themselves—unless you're severely allergic and get bitten—they do have the ability to make more problems for your home than simply just being a nuisance. "They may attract other pests, such as spiders and centipedes, into homes," Orkin warns.