Your Tiny Houseguests: A Primer

Your Tiny Houseguests:  A Primer

We do not live in sterile environments, despite advances in technology.  Our urban ecosystems include a whole host of not-so-exotic creatures that share our space.  Rodents, insects, spiders and microscopic entities share our couches, our kitchens and our bedrooms.  Many of them live because we are their best food source.

Mice and rats are especially fond of cereal, although they will eat practically any leftover human food. Mini-meals are followed by droppings, which can clue us in to what type of rodent is living among us.  By closing up gaps and holes in the house that lead outside, many rodents can be effectively blocked from entry.

Smaller creatures are harder to locate and get rid of, and one of the most common is the dust mite. As you might imagine, they are tiny and they live on dust.  Now, that is a nearly inexhaustible food sources.  They actually feed on dry and dead skin, and for that reason are impossible to eradicate.  Clean sheets and pillowcases often, and consider vacuuming your mattress periodically.

Bed bugs are also surprisingly common; you’ll know them by their bites which leave small bumps for most people and large welts for those who are allergic.  If you are being bitten, call a pest control professional.

The silverfish is an ancient creature the slithers around, living off shampoo and wet towels and other bathroom-related items.  Keeping windows open and cleaning surfaces helps keep their numbers down.