Q:

How can you identify common household bugs and insects?

A:

Quick Answer

Websites such as LivingWithBugs.com and BugGuide.net provide information on common household bugs and insects, accompanied by descriptions and photographs to help with identification. LivingWithBugs.com also offers suggestions on how to control these bugs and insects using safer botanical insecticides.

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Full Answer

While most household bugs are relatively harmless, some can be serious household pests and can structurally damage a house, sting, bite, or create unsanitary conditions, according to LivingWithBugs.com. Pests that can damage a home include termites, carpenter ants and wood-boring bees. Those that bite or sting include wasps, mites, bed bugs, lice, ticks and spiders. Pests that create unsanitary conditions include cockroaches, ants and flies.

Indoor application of insecticides to control household bugs is considered unsafe for humans and could contaminate food, according to LivingWithBugs.com. However, if it is necessary to do so, botanical insecticides are a safer alternative. These are naturally occurring compounds extracted from plants that have insecticidal action.

There are many examples of botanical insecticides, states Growing a Greener World. For example, pyrethrum from the pyrethrum daisy can control fleas, flies and mosquitoes. Neem extracts kill fungi and insects by disrupting feeding and growth. Insecticidal soaps, which are made with plant fatty acid salts, work very well against aphids and mealybugs. In general, botanical insecticides are safer for houseplants, pets, humans and the environment.

Learn more about Invasive Insects

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