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57 Ways To Protect Your Home Environment (and Yourself)
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47. Recognize That It’s Not Always Necessary To Control Indoor Insects

carpenter ants

Most indoor insects are little more than an aesthetic or nuisance problem, although there are infamous exceptions, such as the termite. With a lot of insects, the question is how many you can tolerate. It is an individual decision.

Some homeowners fear that carpenter ants will do structural damage to their home. While it’s true that carpenter ants will burrow into the damp wood of a home, they typically affect only about a 2-foot stretch of a two-by-four–wood often damaged by moisture. Also, they usually do not spread beyond one or two nests in a single home. Of course, you’ll still want to correct the problem of moist wood.

insects that can do damage

Other insects that can do some damage or bite are: flour beetles, which feed in cereals, flour, and grain products; Indianmeal moths, whose larvae feed on grain products, nuts, chocolate, and dried fruit; carpet beetles, which create holes in woolens and loosen carpet nap...
insects taht can do damage

...fleas, which bite pets and humans; head lice, which feed on human blood on the scalp; bees, which sting; and spiders, some of which bite.
insepcting for pests

If you decide to contact a pest-control company for help, try to find one that offers an “integrated pest management” program, in which the company’s pest-control operators use the least toxic control methods and turn to pesticides as a last resort. Also, find out if the operators will “spot-treat” for a problem.
(Pictured here are red flour beetle adults and larvae.)

One of the most steady sources of income for pest-control companies is a contract in which they spray your house monthly to prevent problems. Unless you have an extremely low tolerance for the sight of any insect indoors, the regular preventative monthly treatments are not a good idea. These treatments expose you to more pesticides than is usually necessary.
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