Although many pests find or make their own entryways into your home, there are some species that prefer to hitch a ride. In some cases, this could mean that something you bring home contains a pest that will then spread throughout your house and require extermination.
Here are some of the ways you could be bringing pests into your home and how to avoid it.
1. Flour or Grains
Pantry pests frequently get their entrance when you bring home flour or other starchy grain products for cooking or baking purposes. Although it's uncommon, this is still the most likely way for these pests to get into your house. Whether intended for human consumption or not, any grain product could bring in moths that would love to infest your pantry.
One relatively low-effort way to avoid an infestation is to pop your flour and other grain-based items into the freezer for a week. This ensures that no insect eggs will survive.
2. Thrifted Wool
Wool items are the favorite snack of two species of moths (the webbing clothes moth and the casemaking clothes moth). These moths, like those in flour, aren't necessarily obvious at first. And since many wool items aren't washable, any moth eggs or larvae may not always be removed when you bring the item home.
Dry cleaning all wool (and other natural fiber) items can kill moths. Consider dry cleaning all secondhand or vintage items as a precaution before wearing them.
3. Luggage After a Hotel Stay
Although encountering a bedbug infestation isn't highly probable, you'll want to know how to avoid spreading the infestation back to your home if you do find one. If you saw any bedbugs at your hotel, you'll want to unpack in the garage and run your belongings through the clothes washer and dryer on the hot cycle when you get home.
Items that aren't washable can be placed in a plastic bag in direct sun for a day or two, ideally in hot weather.
4. Mailed Packages
Anything you buy online can be a bit more of a gamble than something you buy in person. After all, no matter how good the pictures are, it's still sight unseen to a certain degree. And even if the item you ordered doesn't contain insects such as wool moths or pantry moths, you have to consider the packing materials as well.
Although getting a pest infestation from packing materials isn't common, you have to stay on the alert. Open every package in an easy-to-clean area (such as your porch or garage) and inspect not only the item you ordered but also the packaging. Biodegradable packing peanuts, for instance, can host drugstore beetles.
These are just a few of the ways you could be bringing pests into your home without realizing it. Get in touch with your local pest control expert today if you suspect you may need exterminator services.