Several common household pests become active at night. Bed bugs, house centipedes, and crickets are all nocturnal pests. They come out at night to hunt for food, look for mates, and seek sources of moisture. Mosquitoes tend to become more active at night, too, because it’s much cooler.
We probably don’t need to tell you, but these “children of the night” tend to be particularly unnerving infesters. Especially if they’re trying to feed on you… while you’re sleeping. Creepy as these nocturnal crawlies may seem, however, in the end, they’re just more pests. And just like all pests, they can be prevented, controlled, and removed. Here are the most common household pests you may encounter at night, and what to do about them:
No surprise here, right? Yes, bed bugs are nocturnal. Bed bugs can neither extract the blood they need quickly nor latch onto people forcefully. Instead, they wait until their prey is immobile–like when they’re sleeping–so they can gorge themselves at their leisure. Bed bugs become more active at night both because it’s when their prey is vulnerable, and because the darkness gives them cover.
We’ve covered preventing bed bugs a couple times before. The best thing you can do is to make sure you inspect everything you bring home after traveling. Make sure you don’t bring any unwanted hitch hikers home. Wash and clean your bedding and the bed itself frequently, and inspect it for fecal matter or eggs. Heat kills bed bugs, so if you suspect you have them, throw contaminated items in the dryer.
At first, you may not think house centipedes are a big deal. Then you see one move. Centipedes can sting with their front legs, but the real reason we’re including these tiny terrors in our list is because they’re freaky. House centipedes have eight pairs of long legs. They run fast and often erratically. If cornered they may lash out, hoping to intimidate. It works pretty well.
Centipedes hide during the day and come out at night to hunt their prey. You might see them in damp areas or kitchens. They’re attracted to damp, dark, warm places where they can keep moisturized and absorb heat. Keep them out by reducing moisture and humidity in your home, closing your windows at night, and eliminating entrance points like holes between utility lines and the wall.
Aah, crickets. The universal song of summer. Why would anyone hate that? Well, crickets may sound pleasant when they’re outside, but when they’re in your walls they sound less than pleasant. Crickets are loud, and they love to start chirping right around the time you’d want to go to sleep.
House crickets are attracted to light, heat, humidity, and moisture. Turn off your house lights at night and draw the blinds. Look for and patch up plumbing leaks and other sources of moisture, such as puddling or condensation. Like most other pests, crickets sneak in through gaps in foundations, siding, and window and door frames. Look for places where your noisy foes might squeeze in and seal them up.
We don’t need to introduce mosquitoes. Every summer, here they come again. But did you know that mosquitoes actually become considerably more active starting around dusk? Despite being summer bugs, they can’t survive heat for very long. By the time the sun starts to set, however, it’s cool enough for them to go wild.
Mosquitoes mate, nest, and lay eggs in standing water. They don’t need much moisture, but they’ll seek it out. Look for places in your yard and home where moisture collects, like soggy areas, buildup in gutters, or puddling. Try to refrain from going out at night without bug spray and long sleeves. If you continue to have problems, shut your home’s doors and windows until you locate the mosquitoes’ breeding ground.
Follow these tips, and even the worst of the worst night stalkers won’t trouble your sleep. And remember, if you do end up with a nocturnal nemesis in your midst, give us a call.