If falling victim to an insect pest infestation is not bad enough, it should be known that infestations often indicate problematic indoor conditions, such as plumbing and rainwater leaks, decaying rodent carcasses in wall voids, moist and decayed structural wood, rotting food located in hidden areas, broken sewage lines, overflowing septic tanks, and gas leaks. Insect pests are attracted to homes that provide the conditions they need to thrive. Sometimes, the normal indoor conditions that agree with humans are also suitable for insect pests, but in many cases, insect pests are attracted to problematic conditions that have not yet been discovered by residents. For example, carpenter ants and subterranean termites both infest moist, and often, decaying wood items. Therefore, carpenter ant and subterranean termite infestations indicate the presence of damp structural wood within a home, which may indicate a plumbing or rainwater leak. Insect pests that are associated with particular environmental conditions are appropriately known as “indicator pests,” and finding these pests within a home warrants an inspection.

Spiders of all species prefer to dwell outdoors, but since their primary food source is insects, an abundance of indoor spiders indicate that an insect pest infestation has been established. House centipedes also gravitate into homes in order to prey on insects. Since flies breed on sources of decaying organic matter, a heavy fly infestation is a sign that rotting material must exist somewhere within an infested home. In many cases, house flies and fruit flies breed on rotting food beneath appliances, but drain flies and phorid flies that emerge from cracks and crevices in bathroom flooring indicate that a septic tank has become full or that a break has occurred in sewage lines. Similarly, American cockroaches are known for emerging from indoor drains after sewage lines become damaged. Blow flies and dermestid beetles that emerge from wall openings indicate that decaying rodent carcasses have collected within wall voids or crawl spaces, and this is usually the case when it comes to blow fly infestations. Blow flies are also attracted to gas leaks, and most insect pests gravitate to indoor areas where water leaks provide abundant moisture. Minor infestations are bound to occur, but an inspection should be carried out within homes that become heavily infested with insect pests.

Have you ever experienced an insect pest infestation that occurred as a result of moisture problems?