Cedarcide blog post image, 10 surprising places bugs could be hiding in your home


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.

Cedarcide blog post image, Carpenter Ants v.s Termites: Which Do You Have?

Imagine this: You’re unpacking or packing away clothing and gear for the season when you spot something a little strange. It looks like your closet, attic, or basement has become home to much more than just plastic tubs and boxes since you last checked. The first thing you notice: bugs, and lots of them! They’re crawling everywhere, and it appears they’ve been busy. Your storage space’s costly wood is now littered with, not only disgusting bugs, but lots of tiny holes and other noticeable damage.

If you’ve experienced something similar, you probably have a termite or carpenter ant problem.

 

While carpenter ants and termites both make their homes in wood, they are very different insects. Here are some easy ways to tell them apart. 

  • Carpenter ants are dark in color and their bodies are made up of three main parts: the head, the thorax (their middle), and the abdomen (their rear end). If they have wings, the wings only go just beyond the end of their abdomen.
  • Termites, on the other hand, are usually similar in color to wood—blond or sandy-colored. Their bodies are only two sections-—a head and a thorax. Flying termites have wings that are almost twice as long as their head and thorax combined.

 

If you can get a closer look at the wood damage, you can usually tell whether you have termites or carpenter ants. 

  • Carpenter ants are wood carvers, and the tunnels and galleries they burrow are smooth, making the damage look not dissimilar to Swiss cheese. This is because carpenter ants don’t actually eat wood, they simply make passages through it. 
  • On the other hand, termites are wood eaters. Like a two-year old with a bowl of SpaghettiOs, termites create a big mess when they feed, leaving wood debris in their wake. Depending on the kind of termite, you might see muddy passageways inside the wood, too. And because they’re actually eating the wood, the structural integrity of the lumber breaks down more quickly compared with carpenter ants. Sticking with the cheese analogy, termite-infested wood is crumbly and falls apart, like a parmesan block grated into powder.

 

Unfortunately, it is not uncommon to find these bugs anywhere there’s wood, like in your crawlspace, subflooring, closets, walls, and even pieces of wooden furniture! While there is only one kind of carpenter ant (and they typically prefer damp wood), there are actually three different kinds of termites: dampwood, drywood, and subterranean, and you might find all three in your home. Dampwood termites live in and eat the damp wood in your home, and drywood termites do the same, but with dry wood.

That being said, if you are looking at termites, they’re most likely subterranean—which means they live underground. They are the kind that bring mud into your woodwork, and they’re also the most common termite that homeowners encounter. In fact, within the U.S., subterranean termites are by far the most widespread and economically destructive of all the termite groups. 

 

 

SUMMARY

  • Carpenter ants have darker, three-sectioned bodies with wings only as long as their own body (if they have wings). They burrow into the wood, making it look more like Swiss cheese, but because they do not actually eat the wood, it can take years for you to notice the damage. They are partial to damp wood only. 
  • Termites have lighter, two-sectioned bodies with wings that are double their length (if they have wings). They eat wood, causing it to break down more quickly than carpenter ants. Depending on the type of termite, they will eat damp or dry wood, making their home in the wood or, more likely, underground.

 

You know those tiny, irritating bugs you occasionally spot in your fruit bowl or flying throughout your house? Those are fruit flies, and they’re filthy pests you do not want in your home.

FRUIT FLIES CAN MAKE YOU SICK

That’s right! Fruit flies can spread disease and bacteria all throughout your home. In fact, research has found that fruit flies are a known cause of E. coli, Listeria, and Salmonella poisoning, helping spread these highly dangerous food-borne illnesses in both the U.S. and abroad. 

While they peak in spring and summer, our homes provide a uniquely convenient environment for fruit flies to thrive, in some cases, all year round. In other words, you can get them any time of year and infestations can last for what seems like forever. So if you’ve got fruit flies and don’t want them around for months, or you’d simply like to avoid ever seeing one in your home, the below 3 steps have you covered.

 

The first step to getting rid of your fruit fly problem is to target the source. It’s all about basic sanitation, and removing food sources and potential fruit fly breeding sites. These gross bugs can survive off anything with sugar and almost any type of organic decay. Here’s how to get rid of the most common sources of fruit flies:

  • Check any foods you have stored outside your fridge for signs of fruit flies, especially fruits, vegetables, and bread. If fruit flies emerge when you move these items, toss them in the garbage and immediately take the trash outside. Until you get your fruit fly issue under control, store all unsealed produce in the fridge. 
  • During ongoing fruit fly problems, empty indoor trash cans and recycling bins at least daily. Thoroughly rinse all food receptacles before throwing them out or recycling them. For food scraps, skip your indoor trash bin and take them immediately outdoors. Periodically cleaning your trash and recycling cans with a family-safe All-Purpose Cleaner is essential until the problem improves. 
  • Moist items like mops, rags, and sponges are ideal breeding sites. Unless you keep these items dry and clean, you’ll likely never get rid of your fruit fly roommates. 
  • An often overlooked source of fruit flies are drains and garbage disposals. Deep clean these areas, and then pour a mixture of several drops of dish soap and boiling water down inside. That’s usually enough to kill and temporarily repel hidden fruit flies. 
  • Make it a habit to never leave dirty dishes or food scraps in the sink. These are enough to perpetuate a fruit fly population for weeks, even months. 
  • Fruit flies sometimes enter our homes from outdoors. While you’re battling these annoying pests, keep your home’s windows firmly closed (screens are not sufficient to keep out fruit flies).
  • Wash your clothes often and keep laundry spaces clean and dry. Fruit fly populations can thrive on dirty laundry alone. 
  • Your fruit flies might be thriving on food or drink spills you haven’t noticed yet. Closely inspect your kitchen’s countertops and flooring for any crumbs, residues, or food scraps daily until you can get the fruit flies under control. Clean as needed with a non-toxic All-Purpose Cleaner.

 

 

Killing and repelling fruit flies with Cedarcide is easy. Whether it’s your sinks, drains, bathrooms, countertops, your laundry room, or flooring, you can safely use Cedarcide Original to kill and repel fruit flies.

There’s nothing to it. To kill, a quick direct spray is all it takes. To repel fruit flies, lightly spray common problem spots like sinks and countertops, as well as suspected entry points like window frames, weekly. This can cut several days or even weeks off your fruit fly predicament.

In general, avoid spraying food storage areas. While Cedarcide Original is family-safe and won’t cause toxicity issues, no one wants their food tasting like cedarwood oil, no matter how amazing it smells. 

 

 

MAKE A FRUIT FLY TRAP AT HOME

A DIY fruit fly trap can be incredibly helpful. All you need is a bowl, a piece of fruit, plastic wrap, and a toothpick.

  1. Place your piece of overripe or rotten fruit in a basic kitchen bowl. 
  2. Tightly seal the bowl with plastic wrap. 
  3. Use the toothpick to poke 5-10 small holes in the plastic wrap. 

Attracted by the fruit, the flies will enter the bowl via the small holes, ultimately getting trapped inside. Leave this DIY fruit fly trap out overnight and replace it daily. Don’t be surprised if you catch a few dozen fruit flies a day—this trap is remarkably effective.

 

Fruit fly prevention is similar to the first step of getting rid of fruit flies outlined above, namely eliminating potential food sources and breeding sites. 

If you’re constantly facing fruit flies, the below suggestions will be game-changers for your household, helping you successfully avoid future fruit fly infestations: 

  • Consider storing all produce in the fridge. While it’s not the most efficient storage method for all types of food, the slight drop in taste or freshness might be a welcome tradeoff for avoiding additional fruit fly outbreaks. 
  • Inspect produce and other potential carriers like houseplants for fruit flies before bringing them into your home. 
  • Moving forward, strictly avoid leaving dirty dishes and food in the sink. Similarly, clean up food and drinks spills the moment they occur. Frequently wiping down kitchen surfaces and flooring with a family-safe All-Purpose Cleaner will also help substantially. 
  • Always thoroughly rinse recyclables until there’s no food or sticky residues remaining. 
  • Periodically clean trash and recycling bins, and take them out frequently. 
  • Cleaning supplies like mops, rags, sponges, and scrubbers need be deep cleaned and dried after use. 
  • Do your best to keep your home’s humidity low. Warm, damp conditions are ideal for fruit fly breeding. Using your air conditioner and/or fans will do the trick. 
  • Outdoor fruit flies can quickly become indoor fruit flies. To avoid fostering large populations in your front or back yards, be diligent when it comes to removing decaying organic matter, like dying plant life for instance. Sorry pet parents, this includes dog and cat poop, too, which are both exceptional fruit fly attractants. 

 

 

Cedarcide blog post image, How to Bug-Proof Your Yard Without Harsh Chemicals

From mosquitoes, ants and chiggers to tick and fleas, bugs can ruin an otherwise peaceful lawn. Pool parties, BBQs and other backyard festivities are much less fun once the biting insects and other creepy crawlies show up. They’re not just nuisances either, bugs like mosquitoes and ticks for instance carry harmful diseases that put both your family and pets’ lives at risk. There’s no need to resort to toxic insecticides, either. Instead, follow these family-safe, pet-safe tips to bug-proof your yard without harsh chemicals

 

Keeping a well-maintained and organized yard goes a long way toward protecting your lawn & garden against pests like fleas, ticks, mosquitoes, ants, chiggers and more. Here’s where to start:

  • Remove all clutter from your yard: woodpiles, yard equipment, brush, leaves, lawn clippings, tree stumps, unused dog houses, furniture, tires, and anything else that could collect water (mosquitoes use stagnant water to breed).
  • Engage in landscaping practices that expose your lawn to as much sunlight as possible (by trimming branches, tall grass, shrubbery, etc). Direct sunlight can be lethal to many bugs, like termites, chiggers, scorpions and more.
  • Many bugs need lush vegetation to hide, so regularly mow, edge, weed eat, rake, and trim the hedges.
  • When mowing, bag the clippings and dispose of them. Do not disperse them onto your yard—doing so helps create a bug-friendly environment, especially for ticks.
  • Clean bird baths regularly, or empty them during mosquito season.
  • Fix leaky hoses, faucets, sprinklers, A/C units, and clogged drainage areas to prevent pooling water.
  • Regularly check and clean pool covers and other tarps—these often hold water, attracting bugs.
  • Cover all trash cans and dumpsters.

 

Traditional pesticides threaten not only the health of your yard, but also your family and pets. When treating your lawn, it’s important to go with a naturally sourced alternative. (Tip: The best time to treat is early morning or in the evening—this helps prevent evaporation, and gives the natural repellent/pesticide sufficient time to soak into your yard). Follow these guidelines:

  • Thoroughly spray the entire yard. Spray all hedges, shrubbery, flower gardens, bases of trees, and anywhere else bugs might hide.
  • When spraying, pay special attention to the perimeter of your yard, including all fencing, foundations. and brick barriers. This will help prevent bugs from re-entering your yard after treatment.
  • Spray front, back, and side yards all in one session. It’s important that all areas are treated within a short window to prevent bugs from migrating to other sections of the yard.
  • During the spring and summer months, we advise spraying your yard at least once per month, or more often as needed.

 

A repellent barrier (like those made from cedar chips) is an easy way to repel bugs from your yard. For this approach: Surround your lawn and garden with a thick perimeter of dry mulch (anywhere from 1-3 ft.). Do not use damp mulch, as it can actually help attract some types of bugs.

 

Pets and people are a common vehicle for bugs to enter our yards. Before (and after) going outdoors for walks, hikes, dog park visits, etc, it’s important to guard yourself and your pets against biting bugs like fleas and ticks (always check your pet for ticks, too!). Carrying a small bottle of bug repellent in your purse or pocket makes this process easier.

 

Wild animals are one of the primary ways bugs enter your yard. Treating and keeping your lawn maintained as discussed above is the first step to making your yard inhospitable to wild animals like bug-carrying rodents. From deer to possums to raccoons, here’s what you need to do to keep unwanted animals out of your yard

  • Become a dog owner. Dogs and dog urine deter wild animals, as canines are a natural predator to many animals.
  • Consider installing fencing. If you already use fencing, check it thoroughly for holes, cracks and other openings animals might use to enter you yard.
  • Consider replacing plants that attract animals to your yard, such as roses, apples, beans, peas, strawberries, corn, chrysanthemums, tulips and more. Or, install chicken wire fencing around your garden.
  • Because ticks are especially dangerous, consider installing deer-repelling plants, such as iris, sage, chives, lemon balm, lilac, holly, and more.
  • Remove or repair sources of unnecessary moisture—such as standing water, leaking plumbing, drains, gutters, and sprinkler systems.
  • Firmly secure trash cans and trash can lids, or start storing trash cans in a garage or other outbuilding.
  • For more tips on keeping animals out of your lawn & garden click here.