Common Insects in Charleston, SC
Bed Bugs in Charleston
What Do Bed Bugs Look Like?
Adult bed bugs are reddish-brown, flattened, oval, and wingless. A common misconception is that they are not visible to the naked eye. Bed bugs range in size from 1 to 7 mm (.039 to .275 in). Nymphs (juveniles) are translucent or light tan. They must feed on blood at least once every 5 days to survive.
How Do You Get Bed Bugs?
They are often introduced into homes by people who have been traveling. Bed bugs can hitch a ride in luggage, furniture, and clothing. They can also be brought in by used beds, couches, and other upholstered furniture. Once bed bugs are established in your home, they can spread quickly.
Signs of an Infestation
During the day, bed bugs hide in cracks and crevices, usually in mattresses, box springs, bed frames, headboards, dresser tables, inside cracks in walls, and behind wallpaper. The best way to find bed bugs is to look for the signs of an infestation. These include:
- Blood stains on your sheets or pillowcases.
- Dark or rusty spots of bed bug excrement on sheets, mattresses, or walls.
- Bed bugs shed their skin, so you may also see shell casings.
- If you are waking up with bites on your body.
How to Get Rid of Bed Bugs
If you think you have bed bugs, there are a few things you can do to get rid of them.
- Wash all of your bedding in hot water and dry it on high heat. This will kill any bed bugs or eggs that are in your bedding.
- Vacuum your mattress, box spring, and any other areas where you think bed bugs may be hiding. Be sure to dispose of the vacuum bag afterward so the bed bugs don’t end up back in your home.
- Use a steamer on your mattress, box spring, and any other areas where you suspect bed bugs are hiding. The heat will kill them.
- Call a professional exterminator to come and treat your home for bed bugs. This is usually the best option, as they will be able to get rid of all the bed bugs in your home and prevent them from coming back.
Palmetto Bugs in Charleston
What Do Palmetto Bugs Look Like?
Palmetto bugs are large, dark-colored roaches that are common in the southern United States. They get their name from their love of palm trees and other tropical plants, but they can also be found in gardens, garages, and homes. Palmetto bugs can be up to 2 inches long and have wings, but they rarely fly.
How Do You Get Palmetto Bugs?
Palmetto bugs usually come into homes through cracks and holes in the foundation or walls. Once inside, they will find a dark, moist place to hide during the day and come out at night to search for food.
Signs of an Infestation
The most obvious sign of a palmetto bug infestation is the presence of the insects themselves. You may also see their droppings, which look like small black or brown pellets, or their egg cases, which are dark-colored and have smooth, shiny surfaces.
How to Get Rid of Palmetto Bugs
The best way to get rid of palmetto bugs is to prevent them from getting into your home in the first place. Repair any cracks or holes in the foundation and seal up any other potential entry points, such as gaps around doors and windows.
You can also reduce moisture in your home by fixing leaks, draining standing water, and using a dehumidifier. These measures will make your home less attractive to palmetto bugs and other pests.
Silverfish in Charleston
What Do Silverfish Look Like?
Silverfish are small, wingless insects that get their name from their silver-gray color and fish-like shape. They have long, antennae and three long “tail” appendages at the back end of their bodies. Adult silverfish are about 1/2 to 1 inch long.
What Attracts SilverFish?
Silverfish are often brought into homes in boxes or bags of infested food or paper products. They can also enter through cracks and crevices in the foundation or walls. Once inside, they quickly multiply and spread to other areas of the house. Silverfish are attracted to a variety of “foods”, including paper, glue, book bindings, photographs, plaster, and paint. They also enjoy eating cereals, sugar, coffee, rice, and flour.
How to Get Rid of Silverfish
To get rid of silverfish, you need to remove their food sources and eliminate the moisture that they thrive in. Start by decluttering your home and getting rid of any items that silverfish might find appealing. Store food in airtight containers, and seal up any cracks or crevices around your home where they might be able to enter. You can also try setting out traps or using diatomaceous earth to kill them. If you have a severe infestation, you may need to call in a professional exterminator.
Carpet Beetles in Charleston
What Do Carpet Beetles Look Like?
Carpet beetles are small, oval-shaped insects that range in color from brown to black. They have short antennae and can be anywhere from 1/16 to 3/16 of an inch long.
What Do Carpet Beetles Eat?
These pests get their name from their proclivity for feeding on carpets and other fabrics made from natural fibers. Carpet beetles are particularly fond of wool, but they will also feast on cotton, linen, and silk. They are often found in homes with a lot of pet hair, as they will also eat animal fur.
Signs of an Infestation
The most common sign of a carpet beetle infestation is the presence of small, round holes in fabrics. You may also see the insects themselves crawling around on fabric surfaces or on the floor near carpeted areas. Another telltale sign of these pests is the finding of small, oval-shaped feces on or near infested items.
How to Prevent a Carpet Beetle Infestation
The best way to prevent a carpet beetle infestation is to practice good housekeeping. Regularly vacuum carpets, upholstered furniture, and draperies. This will remove the insects, their eggs, and their larvae. Be sure to empty the vacuum bag after each use to prevent re-infesting your home.
You should also regularly inspect secondhand furniture and clothing before bringing it into your home. Carpet beetles are often brought into the home on these items. If you do find an infestation, you’ll need to carefully clean all affected clothing and fabric items. Items that can’t be cleaned, such as upholstered furniture, may need to be discarded.
Contact a Professional Pest Control Company in Charleston
If you have an infestation of carpet beetles or any other type of insect, it’s best to contact a professional pest control company. The professionals at Anchor Environmental will be able to identify the type of insect and recommend the best course of action for getting rid of them. They will also be able to help prevent future infestations.