Everyone wants to feel safe in their home, it’s part of human nature. Part of making sure you’re actually safe is knowing how to identify dangerous pests that may be lurking around your living space, whether they’re threatening your health or your financial stability. Here’s a list of a few things to look out for.

1. Black Widow

Perhaps the most notorious household pest, the black widow is capable of dealing a deadly bite to its victim. Identifiable by its black body with a red marking, if you find these in your home, get rid of them immediately. We’d recommend an exterminator to be safe.

2. Brown Recluse

Another notorious spider, the brown recluse also delivers a potentially deadly bite. With a tendency to prefer dark spaces like closets, cellars, and the garage, it’s important that you learn how to properly identify this animal if you live in an area where they have a known presence.

3. Termites

The pest that never sleeps, a termite is one of the most destructive insects in the world due to their preference of snacking on wood. This means they’ll gnaw on the foundation parts of a house until costly repairs are a required. Make sure you’re checking the space beneath your house and in attic spaces on a regular basis so that you can get these pests under control sooner than later if they pop up.

4. Moths

Capable of laying hundreds of eggs per day, moth larvae feed on clothing material. This is where the moth ball in the closet originates, intended on keeping moths from snacking on valuable articles of clothing. They prefer fabrics like fur and wool, which means they tend to go for the most expensive products first.

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5. Ants

One of the key reasons ants should be considered a threat is due to how costly it can be to get rid of them. One they’ve started to visibly spread in your home, it might be too late. Don’t leave food waste lying around and keep the kitchen clean, as both of these things can help prevent an ant invasion. If you do get invaded, it’s best to hit ants as close to the source as possible, by following them back to their colony and removing the queen.

6. Rodents

No one likes mice in the house for a variety of reasons, but perhaps the most important one is the spread of disease. There’s a reason that a lot of the major epidemics throughout the history of mankind were carried on the backbone of mice – they’re great at transferring germs from one spot to another. Not only do they pose a health risk, they also tend to be chewers, capable of destroying parts of your house. Protect your wellbeing and home value by keeping mice out of the house. If you think they’re present, set traps. If they’re not present yet, make sure to maintain landscaping around the home to prevent the growth of tall weeds and grass – they love that.

7. Fleas

Fleas literally feed on the blood of mammals. No one wants that in the home. Pet owners are at the biggest risk level for this one. Make sure to keep your animals in check and keep them out of high grass to help prevent an invasion of fleas.

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8. Flies

Did you know that flies can carry more than 100 dangerous pathogens on their body at any given point? Some of the pathogens carried by flies have been known to transfer scary diseases like typhoid and tuberculosis. Keep your doors and windows closed as much as possible to prevent flies from entering the home. It’s also important that you don’t leave waste or trash lying around the premise as these things can attract flies.

9. Ticks

If you love outdoor recreation and wooded areas, this pest is coming for you. Generally, ticks found in the home are brought there from elsewhere, so always check your clothing and body for tag-a-longs when you return from an adventure. Ticks can carry several nasty diseases that they transfer to humans via a bite, including Lyme disease and typhus.

10. Cockroaches

Capable of multiplying at an extremely rapid rate, cockroach infestations tend to spread quickly, with plenty of germs coming along with them. They love dark spots and places around food. Keep an eye out for cockroaches and know that if you spot one, there’s probably more lurking.

11. Crickets

“Crickets? Those bugs that chirp? They’re harmless right…” No. To the home owner a cricket infestation can be quite costly. These bugs will eat almost anything, and can cause a ton of damage quickly to things around your home. It’s best to keep the chirping outside.