Sooo you might not want to hear this, but there are definitely bugs hiding in your home, whether you see them or not. Normally it’s no big deal, a few beneficial bug-eating spiders here or there. But sometimes you’re not so lucky, and your hidden bugs are a costly problem just waiting to happen. Food, water, and shelter—these are the reasons bugs move indoors, and because our homes provide all three, every household has at least a few critters crawling around somewhere.
But if we don’t see them, where could they be hiding? Here are some surprising but also common places bugs hide in our homes.
Three things bugs really like: moisture, warmth, and a dark place to hide. Whether it’s your basement or a designated closet, your hot water heater provides all three. Periodically check around and under your water heater tank for signs of millipedes, centipedes, pillbugs, silverfish, spiders, crickets, and ants. If you notice any leaks or unexpected moisture, clean it up immediately and correct the issue to avoid future problems.
Solution: To kill any bugs you find, give them a quick spray with Cedarcide Original. To repel future bugs, spray baseboards, shelving, and known trouble spots with Cedarcide Original every other week.
Bathrooms not only provide water but also warmth, and that added humidity really helps draw in the creepy crawlies. Thoroughly check your bathroom’s cabinetry and drains for signs of cockroaches, crickets, silverfish, and ants, and if you’re currently struggling with roaches or ants, make sure to dry both your bathroom and your shower’s flooring after each use. Entire populations of roaches and ants can often sustain themselves on just this water alone.
Solution: If you’re experiencing heavy pest traffic, hand drying your shower and sinks after each use may be necessary. For less severe problems, simply spray any bugs you spot with family-safe Cedarcide Original. Spray suspected entry points and known hangouts every other week to repel bugs from the area.
The next time you’re doing a deep clean, make sure to pull your appliances out from the wall. Not only does grime collect here that can cause pest issues later, but there’s a good chance bugs have already set up shop there. Crumbs, darkness, privacy, and often moisture are in great supply behind and under appliances like fridges and dishwashers, making them a common hideout for roaches, flies, ants, and other hungry insects.
Don’t be surprised if you find bugs inside your fridge, too—yep, you read that right: inside! It’s not uncommon for fruit flies and roaches to crawl inside your fridge, feast and breed for a few days, and then sneak out when you’re not looking.
Solution: Cleanliness is key. Periodically clean inside, outside, behind, and under your appliances to limit bug attractants like moisture, dirt, and food debris. A quick spray of non-toxic Cedarcide Original will take care of any bugs you come across in the process.
It should come as no surprise that trash and recycling bins are a popular gathering place for all sorts of bugs. The abundance of food and shelter brings not only expected visitors like flies, roaches, and ants, but also predatory bugs, such as spiders, sometimes even scorpions.
What might be more surprising, though, is that not only do bugs hang out in your garbage, they can thrive there, too. In other words, your trash and recycling might not just occasionally feed bugs, it could be the very source of your home’s pest problems, sustaining entire populations of hungry bugs hidden inside.
Solution: Taking your trash out often, switching to bins with sealable lids, and cleaning those bins weekly should take care of any trash or recycling-dwelling pests you might have.
You know what bugs enjoy almost as much as food and water? Clutter. And your junk drawer is crammed full of it. In addition to cleaning your junk drawers at least annually, check it periodically for signs of spiders, roaches, ants, silverfish, and other unwanted guests.
Solution: Do yourself a favor and just finally get around to cleaning out your junk drawers. Recycle or donate duplicate items and throw all those sauce packets and disposable utensils you should have dumped years ago. Keeping things organized and clean should do the trick.
Your dirty laundry and even clean piles of clothes could be concealing some unknown roommates. Carpet beetles, silverfish, firebrats, roaches, crickets, and moths commonly hide out in disorganized clothing and bedding. The scent of sweat, skin oils, spilled food and drinks attracts a wide array of interested insects, which can ultimately lead to hundreds of dollars of damage.
Solution: Stay up on your laundry and avoid piling clothes, bedding, and other textiles, even if they’re clean. Check fabrics for signs of bugs before storing them for the season and wash as needed. Using bags or bins with airtight seals should shield your clothing from pest damage during the offseason
Your electrical outlets and outlet covers might be hiding more than just wiring. Ants, several types of beetles, and more are known to take up residence in these surprising locations. Look for small wood shavings and other signs of subtle wall damage—these are common symptoms of infested outlets.
Solution: Remove any covers you suspect might be hiding pests, carefully clean out the space, and repair or replace parts as needed
Before bringing home any new plant babies, inspect them for signs of bugs, like webbing, eggs, larva, and of course any adult insects. Surprisingly, houseplants are a common avenue for bugs to enter our homes. It’s a smart practice to quarantine any new houseplant additions apart from your other plants for at least a month after bringing them home. Not only will this save your other plants in case the new one contains damaging bugs, but it will also make it easier to monitor it for any hidden pests.
Solution: Check out these quick reads on killing and repelling common houseplant pests:
This one gives us chills. Who would have thought that the cute stuffed animals we grew up sleeping and cuddling with might have been host to a whole range of yucky critters? Carpet beetles, silverfish, firebrats, roaches, crickets, spiders, moths—any of these could be hiding inside or on the outside of your favorite teddy bear.
Solution: Wash frequently used stuffed animals at least once every few weeks and apply family-safe Cedarcide Original repellent as needed.
New and old cardboard is a huge attractant for countless insects, arachnids, and other crawling things, including scorpions, crickets, silverfish, and roaches.
Solution: Make the switch to sealable plastic boxes or bins and you should be covered.
Ants are the worst. They build dangerous mounds in our lawns that can harm our children and pets. They form annoying little lines in our kitchens, and depending on the ant, their stings can really pack a punch.
Thankfully, getting rid of ants with Cedarcide is simple—and best of all, it doesn’t involve exposing your family or pets to poisonous pesticides.
Here’s how you can keep ants away from your lawn, home, and family with 3 simple steps:
If you see ants or ant piles in your lawn, it’s only a matter of time before they find a way inside your home. Thankfully, if you get rid of the ants in your yard, you’ll often stop seeing them inside, too.
Here’s How to Do It:
Spray your entire lawn and all shrubbery with PCO Choice monthly to both kill and repel ants in all life stages. For warmer regions, this should be done every month unless the temperature drops below freezing for more than a few weeks. If you live in an area known for cold winters, start spraying monthly in late February and then taper off in November as winter sets in.
No downtime required! PCO Choice is made without harsh chemicals and is family and pet safe, meaning you can safely revisit your lawn right after application.
For extra ant prevention, spread Cedar Granules throughout your yard, especially along your home’s foundation and the areas with the most ant traffic.
Multiple ant mounds in your lawn? Commonly seeing ants inside?
For larger ant problems, spray your yard with PCO Choice twice, two weeks apart, and then move on to monthly applications after that. For bigger ant problems, we strongly advise spreading Cedar Granules throughout your yard, along your home’s foundation, and wherever you’re most commonly experiencing ants.
For stubborn ant piles, stir up the mound with a stick and saturate it with PCO Choice using your house-end sprayer. Exercise caution during this process to prevent bites and stings.
The next time you reach for a can of bug spray to kill ants inside your home, take a moment to consider the possible consequences. Traditional indoor bug sprays can fill your home with toxic chemicals, resulting in serious health complications for your family and pets—but not Cedarcide.
Family-safe Cedarcide Original is a non-toxic insecticide for use indoors, as well as directly on people and pets. Whenever you spot ants inside—like in your cabinets, on flooring, or countertops—simply spray them with Cedarcide Original.
To prevent them from coming back, spray high ant traffic areas weekly with Cedarcide Original. If you can figure out how they’re getting into your home, we strongly suggest spraying those entry points weekly, too.
The following tips will help prevent ants from returning to your lawn and home.
- Ants enter our yards for food, water, and shelter. By trimming overgrown shrubbery, removing sources of water, and limiting clutter, you can substantially decrease the number of ants in your lawn
- Ants move indoors in search of food and water. Keeping your home clean and free of food debris, especially flooring and your kitchen, will make your home less attractive to ants. Consider storing all food in sealed containers, too.
- If you’re currently struggling with ants, consider taking the trash out daily.
- Looking both outside and inside your home, check for potential ant entry points. Seal any you find with caulk or another sealant to make it harder for ants to move indoors.
Our popular Cedar Granules are a 100% natural approach to protect your lawn, home, and family from harmful bugs. Here are 5 of our favorites:
A layer of Cedar Granules spread along your home’s foundation and fence line creates a powerful defense against fleas, ants, mites, and other biting insects.
Adding a handful of granules to your potted plants every few months is a simple way to keep them free of annoying pests like spider mites.
Spreading Cedar Granules throughout your lawn & garden protects it from damaging insects without harsh chemicals.
Hanging a sock full of Cedar granules in your closet acts like a cedar chest. Bye-bye moths!
Placing a few handfuls of granules inside your dog’s bed lining will help deter fleas, mites, mosquitoes, and more.
Overall bug populations might surge in the summer, but many pests peak in fall. As the weather cools, bugs like fleas, ticks, ants, stink bugs, and wasps move indoors. This is often called the Fall Crawl. Want to enjoy a bug-free holiday season? Below are 3 steps to get you ready.
What Bugs Peak in the Fall?
In most areas, fall is actually the worst time of year for fleas. As temperatures drop near 70°F and precipitation increases, flea populations explode.
Think ticks die in freezing temps? Think again. Not only can ticks survive the cold, some species, like blacklegged ticks and winter ticks, are most active in winter.
Some types, like fire ants, become worse in fall. Others, which usually hibernate underground in winter, often sneak inside for food or shelter.
Fall means stink bugs. These annoying and odorous pests move into homes throughout autumn, sometimes by the thousands.
How to Keep Bugs Outside: 3 Easy Steps
Spray doorways, windowsills, baseboards, fixtures, and other potential entry points with Cedarcide Original weekly. Seal any holes and cracks you find in the process.
Kill and repel bugs before they make it inside by applying PCO Choice to your lawn each month, including shrubbery. For larger pest problems, start with two applications, two weeks apart, then monthly after that.
Protect your family and pets from harmful tick & flea bites by applying pet-safe Cedarcide Original before outdoor activities. Need deep woods protection? Choose extra strength Tickshield (only for use on pets over 20 lbs.)
Carpenter ants are among the largest ants in the United States, measuring up to 20 mm—or roughly ¾ of an inch. Most often black but sometimes red or yellow, carpenter ants live both indoors and outdoors, nesting inside moist, decaying wood (like old tree trunks, or rotting wooden boards in human structures). This can make it hard to get rid of carpenter ants. While they burrow and colonize inside wooden materials like termites, unlike termites, they do not consume wood. Instead, their diet is like that of other ants, consisting mostly of sweet foods and meats.
Because they do not eat wood, carpenter ants are not nearly as damaging to homes as termites. However, if given enough time, a highly developed and mature colony can cause extensive damage to nearly any wooden structure. With queens living up to 25 years, it’s not hard to imagine how costly a carpenter ant colony can be to a homeowner. If you’re seeing these little carpenters crawling throughout your home or just looking to prevent an infestation before it takes hold, here are 10 Non-Toxic Tips to Get Rid of Carpenter Ants.
Prevention is always the best form of pest control. Follow these simple guidelines to keep carpenter ants out of your home.
- Keep your home clean—particularly the kitchen, flooring, windowsills and countertops. Without a food source, ants will have no reason to enter your home.
- Seal all food in tightly closed containers. Keep all food storage areas free of crumbs and residues (Tip: wipe off all those jam, sauce and honey containers).
- Never leave food remains or dirty dishes in the sink.
- Take the trash out regularly, and keep all trash cans clean and sealed.
- Any spilled food should be cleaned up immediately.
- Seal any cracks, crevices and holes—all potential ant entrances—with caulk or other sealant.
- Remove or remedy all sources of unnecessary moisture both inside and outside your home, including: leaky plumbing, basements, crawl spaces, A/C units, hoses, faucets, sprinklers, clogged drainage areas, etc
- Remove possible nesting spaces from your yard, such as: woodpiles, wooden yard equipment, brush, dead or dying trees & tree strumps, unused dog houses, furniture, and any other possibly moist, wooden items.
- Keep tree limbs and branches away from the walls of your home. Carpenter ants use these as bridges to enter your home.
- Do not store lumber or firewood inside or right outside your home.
The most effective methods for ridding yourself of carpenter ants all involve locating and treating their nests directly. Carpenter ants nest in moist, decaying wood. These nests can be located either inside or outside the home, and unless you actually follow the trailing ants back to their origin, it’s not always easy to determine which. However, in general, if you find carpenter ants inside your home during late winter or early spring, chances are the colony is located indoors. Here’s some tips for locating a carpenter ant colony:
- Look for frass. Frass is finely ground wood debris that resembles sawdust. It’s the result of carpenter ants boring into wood to build their nests. If you see this in your home, the carpenter ants are somewhere inside.
- Damaged wood on or within walls, doors, cabinets, and wood beams is a good indicator of an indoor colony. Look specifically for sandpaper-smooth carpenter ant galleries and holes.
- Place attractants like dog food, jam or other sweets where you most commonly spot carpenter ants. Using their trail, attempt to find the location of their nest.
- If you have woodpiles or other wooden debris inside or just outside your home, check them thoroughly—the ant colony could be inside.
If you were able to find the carpenter ant nest (and it was located outdoors), this natural method is a way to attack the ant colony directly. It’s simple: boil a few liters or more of water and then pour it directly into the nest (this can be dangerous, so please exercise extreme caution). Adding a natural and water-soluble insecticide, essential oils, or soap to the boiled water will make this approach even more effective. You may have to repeat this process two to three times to completely eliminate the colony.
A simple and natural carpenter ant bait can be made by mixing equal parts baking soda and powdered sugar. Strategically place this mixture in shallow dishes in the locations with the most ant traffic. These can also be placed outside, particularly near doors and windows. The sugar in the mixture attracts the ants, while the baking soda naturally kills them (for chemical reasons, baking soda is deadly to ants).
Like most ants, carpenter ants use pheromone trails for navigation and communication—it’s also how they find food. Essential oils can be used to disrupt these trails, which ultimately disorients and deters ants. Lemongrass, peppermint, clove, cedarwood, tea tree, orange and lemon oil are all effective.
Dampen a cotton ball or kitchen towel with an essential oil of your choosing. Use this to wipe windowsills, baseboards, the perimeters of countertops, door frames, and any potential entry points. Repeat daily until ant population disappears. Your chosen oil can also be diluted with a carrier oil to create a natural ant-killing spray.
A simple mixture of soap and water is toxic to carpenter ants. Mix one part natural dish soap to two parts water in a spray bottle. Spray as needed to kill ants and eliminate their pheromone trails. Continue to treat problem areas until the ants no longer return.
Made from crushed algae fossils, Diatomaceous Earth is a well known natural pesticide. This abrasive material damages the exoskeleton of ants that come into contact with it, eventually killing them. Spread DE throughout ant problem areas and directly on the colony’s nest if possible. Diatomaceous Earth is especially effective for combatting carpenter ants, which regularly die from consuming it.
For carpenter ants, it’s best to treat both outside and inside your home. Kill any ants you see indoors with a quick spray of Cedarcide Original and repel future ants by spraying trouble areas like windowsills, doorways, countertops, and baseboards weekly until the issue improves.
Using PCO Choice, spray your entire lawn monthly, including bases of trees, shrubbery, along fence lines, and your home’s foundation. This will create a repellent barrier that helps keep ants from entering your home.
Vinegar is an extremely effective natural carpenter ant deterrent. It disrupts their pheromone trails and the smell prevents them from returning. Mix a 1-to-1 ratio of water to vinegar in a spray bottle (both apple cider and white vinegar will do). Shake the solution and then spray along baseboards, door frames, window sills, countertops, and directly on the nest if possible. Repeat the process daily or as needed to repel carpenter ants. Vinegar is a natural disinfectant and multi-surface cleaner—so feel free to use the spray liberally.
Not unlike the previously mentioned essential oils and vinegar, cinnamon and cinnamon oil deter ants by interfering with their pheromone trails. Dispense the cinnamon in whatever form throughout ant problem areas and directly on the nest if possible. When used around windowsills, baseboards, near doors and alongside countertops, cinnamon helps prevent carpenter ants from entering your home.
It’s estimated that there are over 20,000 species of ants on the planet. Living in colonies whose populations sometimes number in the millions, ants can be found on every continent but Antarctica. Their unmatched success is often attributed to their carefully organized social structure—which includes division of labor and a highly evolved hierarchy. Because of their wide variety and large distribution, ants and humans commonly cross paths. In fact, ants are arguably the most common insect found in the home. The next time you see these intruders in your home, don’t resort to another can of toxic bug spray. Try some of these ten natural alternatives instead.
Please note: The efficacy of these natural treatments can vary from species to species, but for the most part these approaches should work well on the majority of common household ants.
Prevention is always the best form of pest control. Follow these simple guidelines to keep ants out of your home.
- Keep your home clean, particularly the kitchen, flooring, windowsills and countertops. Without a source of food, ants will have no reason to enter your home.
- Seal all food in tightly closed containers. Keep all food storage areas free of crumbs and food residues (Tip: wipe off all jam, sauce and honey containers, too).
- Never leave food or dirty dishes in the sink.
- Take out the trash regularly, and keep all trash cans clean and sealed.
- Clean up food spills immediately.
- Seal potential entry points—like cracks, crevices and holes—with caulk or another sealant.
Ants use pheromone trails for navigation, communication, and to find food. Essential oils can be used to disrupt these trails, which ultimately disorients and deters ants. Lemongrass, peppermint, clove, cedarwood, tea tree, orange and lemon oil are all effective.
Dampen a cotton ball or kitchen towel with an essential oil of your choosing; then, simply wipe down window sills, baseboards, countertops, door frames, and other potential entry points to repel ants. Repeat daily until the issue improves.
Vinegar is an extremely effective natural ant deterrent. It disrupts their pheromone trails and the smell helps prevent them from returning. Mix a 1-to-1 ratio of water to vinegar in a spray bottle (both apple cider and white vinegar will do). Shake the solution and then spray along baseboards, door frames, window sills and countertops. Repeat daily or as needed. Vinegar is a natural disinfectant and multi-surface cleaner—so feel free to use this spray liberally.
Start by treating your entire lawn with a non-toxic outdoor pesticide like PCO Choice (cedar granules can also be used for additional protection). Then, spray entry points and any ants you see inside with a naturally sourced insecticide, such as Cedarcide Original. Repeat monthly or more as needed.
A simple and natural ant trap can be made by mixing equal parts baking soda and powdered sugar. The sugar attracts the ants, the baking soda naturally kills them.
Using shallow dishes, strategically place this mixture in the areas where you experience the most ant traffic. These traps can also be placed outside, particularly near doors and windows.
Not unlike the aforementioned essential oils and vinegar, cinnamon and cinnamon oil work to deter ants by interfering with their pheromone trails. Dispense the cinnamon in whatever form throughout ant problem areas. When used around window sills, baseboards, near doors and alongside countertops, cinnamon helps prevent ants from entering your home.
Like baking soda, cornmeal is a natural ant killer. Broadcast cornmeal near possible ant entry points, including windowsills, doorways, and other locations ants commonly frequent. This method can take some time, but it’s quite effective in the long run.
This is a natural way to attack the ant colony directly. It’s simple: boil a few liters or more of water and then pour it directly onto the ants’ mound (this can be dangerous, so please exercise extreme caution). Adding a water-soluble insecticide, essential oils, or soap to the boiled water will serve to make this method even more effective. You may have to repeat this process two to three times to completely eliminate the colony.
Made from crushed algae fossils, Diatomaceous Earth is a well known natural pesticide. This abrasive material damages the exoskeleton of insects that come into contact with it, eventually killing them. Spread DE throughout ant problem areas and directly on the colony’s mound if possible. Diatomaceous Earth is also one of the most effective methods for combating carpenter ants, who will regularly die from consuming it.
Used much like cinnamon, coffee grounds can be used both inside and outside to repel ants. Sprinkle the grounds along entry points to prevent ants from entering your home, and outside on the ant colony directly. Sometimes blanketing an ant mound with coffee grounds is enough to get the entire colony to relocate.