Summer is almost over, but oncoming cold won’t mean fewer bugs. In fact, it could lead to the opposite. Bug problems are practically unavoidable in Utah. There are specific bugs to watch out for, and there are certain measures to take once you find them.
These are quite common in Utah, appearing even in more urban areas like Salt Lake City. The most common type of termites is subterranean. They don’t come from wood you store near or inside your house; they bore directly through the ground and straight to your hardwood floors. These termites do massive damage as they can remain undetected for months or even years. Check for places where wood directly touches the floor, especially wet wood. Termites thrive on wet wood, giving them easier access to your home. Look for tiny mud tubes on your floor and along your walls or piles of shed wings. More advanced infestations can result in swollen floorboards or walls, and picking them apart can reveal hollowed-out wood that’s beyond saving. Call the exterminator before making repairs and have your house treated with anti-termite solutions.
These are more common in urban than rural areas simply because of the number of people. Places with high traffic (of people) and places where they stay are usually hot spots for bed bug transfer. Bed bugs typically stay unnoticed until their numbers grow to infestation levels. They feed on blood, drawing it from you as you sleep. Chronic exposure to bedbugs can lead to varying degrees of insomnia, anxiety, paranoia, as well as infections stemming from their bites. Avoid getting them into your home by avoiding hotels and motels or immediately washing your clothes in warm water after you get home. Check for tiny blood markings on your pillow or bed — evidence that bed bugs have been feeding on you. Check for maroon or rust-colored stains (blood-rich bed bug poop) on your bed, clothes, and furniture. If you’re smelling a coriander-like odor, it’s time to call the exterminator. That odor comes from bed bug sweat, and it is only detectable once their numbers are relatively high.
Elm Seed Bugs
More of a nuisance than a serious threat, elm seed bugs can frighten you, but they are not as serious a problem as termites or bedbugs. However, there’s just so many of them! Elm seed bugs congregate in large numbers, and a tiny opening in your house is equivalent to an invitation for them to stay over the winter. Seal your doors and windows and put up fine screens in conduit and vents. Vacuum them out the moment you see them; they won’t bite or damage your property, but they do leave a mess and poop stains are hard to clean.
In the end, bugs are everywhere, and some of these bugs can be in your home right now. You must remember to take preventive measures, check for signs of infestation, and don’t hesitate to call an exterminator if you’re a bit overwhelmed.