Home Tips,

10 Minuscule Pests in Your Home and How to Send Them Packing (Guide)

You know, the great outdoors is an amazing place, full of incredible critters. But let’s be real – we want to keep those little guys outside where they belong, not in our living spaces.

I’ve put together a handy guide. It’s got all the usual suspects you might find indoors, along with some straightforward strategies to keep them from turning your home into their playground.

Here is What’ll be Covered:

  • Stink Bugs 🐞
  • Weevils 🐜
  • Carpet Beetles 🐛
  • Centipedes 🐍
  • Fruit Flies 🍓🪰
  • Ants 🐜
  • Cockroaches 🪳
  • Drain Flies 🛁🪰

With a little know-how, you can find the invaders and get them out without using pesticides. I’ll go into more detail below.

1. Stink Bugs

A red and yellow bug sitting on top of a green plant

Stink bugs are common pests that can invade your home, especially during the fall and winter. They are called stink bugs because of their unpleasant odor when threatened or crushed.

Stink bugs are attracted to light, warmth, and moisture. They often enter homes through cracks and crevices in walls, windows, and doors. Once inside, they can be difficult to remove because they hide in small spaces and are resistant to many insecticides.

Dealing with an Infestation:

  • Vacuum up stink bugs using a handheld or upright vacuum cleaner.
  • Use sticky traps or insecticides to eliminate stink bugs.

Here’s Your Guide to Proactive Prevention:

  • Seal any cracks or openings in walls, windows, and doors.
  • Use screens on windows and doors to keep stink bugs out.
  • Reduce moisture levels in your home to help deter stink bugs.

It is important to note that stink bugs are most active during the fall and winter months, so it is best to take preventive measures before they become a problem.


2. Weevils

Minuscule pests, a green beetle is standing on a white surface

I’ve dealt with my fair share of pests, but weevils are some of the sneakiest and most frustrating. These small beetles with long, narrow snouts are known for infesting pantries and cupboards, where they can wreak havoc on your food supply.

One of the biggest challenges with weevils is that they can be tough to spot. They’re small and often blend in with the food they’re infesting. But looking closely, you may notice small holes or bite marks in your grains, flour, and other dry goods.

If You Suspect You Have a Weevil Infestation:

  • Remove all affected food items from your pantry.
  • Throw away any infested food.
  • Carefully inspect the rest of your dry goods for signs of weevils.
  • Sift through your grains and flour to ensure you’ve removed all the bugs.
  • Clean the pantry with a vacuum to remove crumbs or debris.
  • Wipe down shelves with vinegar and water solution to kill remaining weevils and discourage new ones.

Here Are Some Prevention Tips:

  • Store dry goods in airtight containers.
  • Avoid buying in bulk unless you will use the food quickly.
  • Freeze grains and flour for a few days before storing them to kill any weevil eggs.

Dealing with weevils can be a frustrating experience, but with a little persistence and some preventative measures, you can keep these pesky bugs at bay.


3. Carpet Beetles

One of the most common bugs found in homes are carpet beetles. These small beetles feed on natural fibers like wool, silk, and cotton and animal products like hair, fur, and feathers. If left unchecked, they can cause significant damage to carpets, clothing, and other household items.

You Can Take Several Steps to Get Rid of Carpet Beetles.

  • Identify the source of the infestation by looking for signs of adult beetles or their larvae in carpets, clothing, and other textiles.
  • Vacuum your home thoroughly, focusing on areas where you’ve seen signs of infestation: vacuum carpets, furniture, and other textiles to remove beetles and larvae.
  • Dispose of the vacuum bag or clean the canister after vacuuming to prevent escape.

Here Are Some Practical Tips for Preventing Infestations:

In addition to vacuuming and using insecticides, there are other steps you can take to prevent carpet beetle infestations.

  • Store clothing and other textiles in airtight containers to prevent beetle access.
  • Use mothballs or cedar chips to repel carpet beetles.

Remember to be thorough and persistent in your efforts, and don’t hesitate to seek professional help.


4. Centipedes

A minuscule centipede is sitting on a rock

When it comes to bugs in the house, centipedes can be one of the most unsightly and creepy crawly. These multi-legged creatures can be found in basements, bathrooms, and other damp areas of the house.

Although centipedes are not harmful to humans, they can be a nuisance and can even cause damage to household items.

To get rid of centipedes in the house, there are a few things you can do:

  • Keep your house clean and clutter-free to reduce hiding places for centipedes.
  • Use a dehumidifier to reduce moisture and make your home less hospitable to centipedes.
  • Apply a natural insecticide designed to repel centipedes, ensuring it’s safe for use around children and pets.

5. Fruit Flies

I don’t know about you, but fruit flies are one of the most annoying pests to me. They are tiny, fast, and seem to come out of nowhere. But fear not; there are ways to eliminate these pesky insects.

They are also attracted to sugary substances like juice, soda, and alcohol. Fruit flies can lay up to 500 eggs at a time, making it easy to multiply quickly.

To get rid of fruit flies, here are the things you may need to do:

  • Eliminate fruit flies’ breeding grounds by removing overripe or rotting fruits and vegetables and cleaning up sugary substances.
  • Clean your kitchen thoroughly, especially around the sink and garbage disposal.
  • Create a vinegar trap by filling a bowl with apple cider vinegar and a few drops of dish soap to attract and drown fruit flies.
  • Alternatively, a non-toxic commercial fruit fly trap, available at hardware stores or online, attracts and traps them.

If you have a serious fruit fly infestation, you may need to call in a professional pest control service. They can help you identify the source of the infestation and eliminate it for good.


6. Ants

An ant, a pest, is sitting on a green leaf

I hate ants. They seem to come out of nowhere and invade your home without warning. They are small, but they can be a big problem. Ants can contaminate your food and spread diseases, so getting rid of them as soon as possible is important.

Here Are Some Tips on How to Get Rid of Ants in Your Home:

  • Ants are attracted to food, so make sure your kitchen is clean and crumbs-free. Wipe down counters and sweep the floors regularly.
  • Ants can smell food from far away, so keep your food in airtight containers. This will help keep the ants from getting to it.
  • Ant bait is a great way to get rid of ants. The ants will return the bait to their colony, eventually killing off the colony.
  • Ants hate vinegar, so you can use it to repel them. Mix equal parts vinegar and water and spray it around the areas where you see ants.
  • Cinnamon is another natural ant repellent. Sprinkle cinnamon around the areas where you see ants.
  • Diatomaceous earth is a natural substance that can be used to kill ants. It is a fine powder made from diatoms’ fossilized remains. Sprinkle it around the areas where you see ants.

7. Cockroaches

A pesky cockroach is standing defiantly on top of a piece of stone

Oh boy, cockroaches! These nasty bugs are a common household problem and can be a real pain to get rid of. But fear not; I’ve got some tips to help you eliminate these bastards and keep them out of your home.

Here Are Some Tips to Eliminate Cockroaches at Home:

  • Use chemical baits from your local store, placing them on the ground and in areas where cockroaches are present. An affordable option is the Hot Shot Liquid Roach Bait.
  • Seal any gaps or cracks in walls, floors, and ceilings using caulk and foam insulation to prevent cockroach entry. They can move through small spaces, so closing any openings is crucial.
  • Check all cables, hoses, and ducts that enter or exit from the house to see if the gaps they use are fully sealed.
  • Keep your home clean and free of food debris to deter cockroaches; they are drawn to food sources.
  • Take out the garbage daily or store it in a sealed container to prevent attracting cockroaches.
  • Use boric acid combined with sugar as a dust for cockroach control. Sprinkle the boric acid and sugar mixture in areas where cockroaches have been found.

By following these tips, you can help remove cockroaches and keep them out of your home for good.


8. Drain Flies

Drain flies are one of the most annoying bugs that can invade your home. These tiny pests can be found in damp areas, particularly in and around your drains. They are attracted to the organic matter that can accumulate in your drains over time, such as hair, grease, and food particles.

To Get Rid of Drain Flies, There Are a Few Things You Can Do:

  • Use a drain cleaner to remove any buildup in your drains. This can help eliminate the source of the drain flies’ food and breeding grounds.
  • Use a drain fly trap. These traps attract and capture drain flies so they can’t continue to breed and multiply. You can find these traps at most hardware stores or online.
  • Try using natural remedies to eliminate drain flies, such as mixing equal parts vinegar and baking soda and pouring it down your drains. This can help break down any buildup in your drains and kill off any drain flies that may be present.

Overall, getting rid of drain flies can be a challenge, but with the right approach, it can be done.


9. Silverfish

I’ve had my fair share of run-ins with silverfish in my house, and let me tell you, they are not a pleasant sight. These small, wingless insects may not bite or sting, but they can cause damage to books, clothing, and other household items. So, getting rid of them as soon as possible is important.

Here are some tips on how to get rid of silverfish in your house:

  • Identify where the silverfish are coming from and seal up any cracks or holes in your home. Silverfish can enter through even the tiniest of openings, so it’s important to seal up any potential entry points.
  • Keep food sealed up tight, and get rid of clutter around the house, including old clothes, shoes, and books. Silverfish love to feed on starches and sugars, so keeping food sealed and reducing food sources can help eliminate them.
  • Vacuum your house regularly. This will not only help eliminate any already present silverfish but also eliminate any eggs or larvae hiding in your carpets or other areas of your home.
  • Use sticky traps. These traps contain a cardboard base and a thin layer of sticky glue and can effectively control small silverfish populations. Place traps where silverfish activity is high, such as closets, under sinks, or in the basement.

10. Dust Mites

A close up of a minuscule dust mites
Video | Fauquier ENT

As someone who loves a clean and tidy home, I know how important it is to eliminate dust mites. These tiny bugs are a common problem in many households and can cause various health issues, including allergies and asthma.

Here are some tips on how to get rid of dust mites and keep them from coming back.

  • Dust mites love to feed on skin flakes, so washing your sheets and pillowcases at least once a week in hot water is important. You can also use allergen-proof covers on your pillows and mattress to keep dust mites from getting in.
  • Regular vacuuming can help remove dust mites, but use a vacuum with a HEPA filter to trap the tiny bugs and prevent them from getting back into the air.
  • Dust mites thrive in humid environments, so keeping your home’s humidity levels low can help prevent them from multiplying. Use a dehumidifier or air conditioner to keep the air dry.
  • Steam cleaning can help kill dust mites and their eggs in carpets and upholstery. Make sure to use a high-temperature setting to get the best results.
  • Many products are designed to help eliminate dust mites and other allergens. Look for “allergy-friendly” or “hypoallergenic” products to help keep your home clean and healthy.

These tips can help eliminate dust mites and keep your home clean and healthy.


Kill Bugs With These Natural Pesticides

I hate bugs in my house. They’re gross, annoying, and sometimes even dangerous. But I don’t want to use harsh chemicals to eliminate them. That’s why I’ve been experimenting with natural pesticides. Here are some of my favorites:

Diatomaceous Earth

In a home garden, a person is holding a scoop of white powder to repel minuscule pests

This stuff is amazing. It’s a fine powder made from the fossilized remains of tiny aquatic organisms called diatoms. To bugs, it’s like walking on broken glass.

Just sprinkle it around the areas where you see bugs; they’ll be gone in no time. It’s safe for humans and pets, but make sure you get food-grade diatomaceous earth.

Essential Oils

Three small bottles of essential oils in the hands of a person, ready to combat minuscule pests and send them packing at home.

Essential oils are great for repelling bugs. Peppermint oil, for example, is a natural insecticide that can kill ants, spiders, and even roaches.

Mix a few drops of peppermint oil with water in a spray bottle and spray it around your house. You can also use lavender, eucalyptus, or tea tree oil.

Vinegar

A jar of apple cider vinegar on a table next to pumpkins

Vinegar is another great natural pesticide. It’s acidic, which makes it a great cleaner and bug-repellent.

Mix equal vinegar and water in a spray bottle around your house. You can also add a few drops of essential oils for extra bug-fighting power.

Garlic

Two cloves of garlic on a bamboo table

Garlic is a natural insecticide that can repel mosquitoes, flies, and even ticks.

Just crush a few garlic cloves and mix them with water in a spray bottle. Let it sit for a few hours, then spray it around your house. It’s safe for humans and pets, but don’t spray it directly on plants.

Borax

Using borax powder and lemons to send pests packing in your home, displayed on a white table

Borax is a natural mineral that can kill ants, roaches, and other bugs.

Mix equal parts of borax and sugar in a jar and place them where you see bugs. The sugar will attract the bugs, and the borax will kill them. It’s safe for humans and pets, but make sure you keep it out of reach of children.

These natural pesticides are a great way to get rid of bugs in your house without using harsh chemicals. Give them a try and see for yourself how effective they can be!


Maintenance Schedule for Pest Control

Creating a maintenance schedule for pest control is all about timing and consistency. Here’s a straightforward plan to keep those pesky pests at bay:

FrequencyTaskDescription
🧹WeeklySweep and VacuumKeep floors and carpets free of food particles and potential nesting material.
🧹WeeklyWipe Down SurfacesClean kitchen counters and dining areas to avoid attracting ants and other insects.
🧹WeeklyInspect PlantsCheck houseplants for signs of pests and treat them if necessary.
🗑️MonthlyCheck for Entry PointsInspect and seal any cracks or holes to prevent pest entry.
🗑️MonthlyClean DrainsUse a natural cleaner in drains to prevent fly infestations.
🗑️MonthlyDeclutterKeep spaces tidy to reduce hiding spots for pests.
📦SeasonallySpring CleaningDeep clean in spring to disrupt potential infestations.
📦SeasonallySummer ChecksLook for wasp nests or ant hills on your property.
📦SeasonallyFall PrepSeal up your home to prevent pests from seeking winter shelter.
📦SeasonallyWinter InspectionEnsure your home is sealed and dry to deter pests.
🌼AnnuallyProfessional InspectionHave a pest control professional inspect your home for any issues.

DIY Pest Control vs. Hiring the Pros: Knowing When to Take Charge or Call for Backup

When battling the bug brigade, it’s key to know when you can roll up your sleeves for some DIY action and when to call in the cavalry—your friendly neighborhood pest control pros.

DIY: You’ve Got This If…

  • The problem is small-scale: You’ve spotted a few ants marching or a lone spider doing its thing.
  • You can find the source: You’ve traced those fruit flies to an overripe banana.
  • The solutions are simple: A vinegar trap for flies or a line of chalk to deter ants.
  • The pests are non-threatening: They aren’t the stuff of horror movies, just the occasional unwelcome guest.

Call the Pros When…

  • It’s an infestation: If you’re seeing critters regularly or in large numbers, it’s time for professional help.
  • It’s the big bad: Termites, bed bugs, or any pest that can cause significant damage or health issues.
  • DIY has failed: You’ve tried the store-bought sprays and natural remedies, but the pests are throwing a victory party.
  • It’s a risky business: You’re dealing with chemicals or locations that could be harmful.

Keep your living space a fortress of calm, not a playground for pests. Regular maintenance is your first line of defense, but when the invaders get tough, the tough call in the experts. Stay safe, and happy hunting!


Safety Precautions

When tackling pest problems with natural pesticides, it’s crucial to keep your whole family’s safety in mind, including your furry friends and little ones. Even natural products can be potent and are not safe for casual contact. Here’s how you can keep everyone safe:

  • Read Labels Carefully: Natural doesn’t always mean non-toxic. Check for warnings about ingestion or skin contact.
  • Secure the Area: During application, keep pets and children out of the area until the product has dried or settled.
  • Store Products Out of Reach: Store your natural pesticides where curious hands and paws can’t get to them after use.
  • Avoid Overuse: More isn’t always better. Use the recommended amount to avoid unnecessary residue.
  • Choose Pet-Safe Options: Look for products specifically marked as safe for pets when they’re likely to come into contact with treated areas.
  • Wear Protective Gear: Gloves and masks aren’t just for show — they’re your first line of defense during application.
  • Ventilation is Key: Keep the air moving. Open windows and use fans to disperse fumes quickly.
  • Dispose of Containers Properly: Don’t leave empty containers where they can be reached. Follow local guidelines for disposal.

Remember, the goal is to deal with pests effectively while maintaining a safe haven for your family.


References

Studies:

  • Journal of Economic Entomology
  • Pest Management Science

Organizations:

Books:

Website Resources:

Video References:

Solutions Pest & Lawn

Blueberry Bunch

Fauquier ENT

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About Robert Gibson

Robert GibsonRobert Gibson is a skilled handyman and a trusted consultant in the home improvement realm, currently spearheading content creation for ToolsWeek. With a rich background in practical hands-on projects, spanning over two decades, Robert has mastered the art of troubleshooting and solving household challenges.

Known for his knack for breaking down intricate home improvement tasks into easy-to-follow steps, Robert is a vital asset to the ToolsWeek community. His well-researched guides and insightful articles have become a go-to resource for both seasoned professionals and eager DIYers looking to enhance their skills and tackle their projects with confidence.

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