Bugs in your house? Here’s how to get rid of them
Does it seem like you're killing bugs inside and around your home in the summertime more than any other season in New Jersey?
That’s because most insects go into a state of hibernation in the winter called diapause, which they can do at various stages of eggs, juveniles, and adulthood, depending on the species, said George Hamilton, pest management extension specialist with Rutgers Cooperative Extension at Rutgers University.
Then, when the weather gets warmer, these dormant insects become active, looking for food in and around people's homes.
What bugs are common?
The most common insect found in New Jersey homes during summer are carpenter ants. Most of the time they nest outside a home but many times they’ll make their way inside homes looking for food.
The good news is they are easy to control, said Hamilton. A barrier can be set up outside the home to keep them from coming in or bait traps can be set up inside the home, as well.
Other common bugs found in New Jersey homes in the summer include centipedes, silverfish, millipedes, camel crickets, spiders, and ground beetles.
Hamilton said ticks are having a banner year in New Jersey. They are mostly active in the summer but can be active in the fall and winter if temperatures reach above 50 degrees. Mosquitoes are always a huge problem in New Jersey as they can carry diseases, such as the West Nile virus.
Spotted lanternflies are the new insect in town, so to speak. Soon, cicada killers will be arriving in the Garden State, said Hamilton. They are large and wasp-like, so because of their size, Hamilton said there is often a misconception that they are harmful. Typically, cicadas are harmless to humans.
Yellow jackets are another insect that people should be cautious about especially when dining outside on a backyard porch or patio. Hamilton said yellow jackets, which can sting, are looking for sugar sources. If you’re eating sugary food or drinking a soda, be careful.
Aside from bed bugs and cockroaches, which can be attributed to a home’s uncleanliness, Hamilton said having bugs in your house does not mean you’re necessarily dirty.
“Insects are small and they can find ways to get into houses in places you wouldn’t think especially if there’s a small hole or an open window sill,” Hamilton said.
How to get rid of them?
To get rid of bugs, an exterminator can help but hiring one can be expensive.
Hamilton recommends buying spray products from a reputable garden center or even a big-box store, but he stressed that people should read the label and make sure that the bug they want to control is on the label.
And while Hamilton said store-bought sprays have more potency and are more effective than handmade concoctions, there are options for those looking to go green.
According to www.familyhandyman.com, some common homemade remedies to get rid of pests include apple cider vinegar, coffee grounds, cornmeal and essential oils such as lavender, clove or peppermint.
As for soap and water, some insects will respond to it while others won't. Hamilton said soap in a too-high concentration amount can actually harm plants, burning the foliage, especially if you’re deliberately spraying on plants to get rid of insects on them. The suggested concentration is a ratio of two-and-a-half tablespoons of soap in one gallon of water.
Water mixed with dish soap, however, is a good spraying solution to kill the spotted lanternflies, according to The Mendham Garden Center. It's one of the safest and most effective ways to combat spotted lanternflies in their various stages.
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