Pesticides and food safety

Pesticides and food safety

To be healthy, we need to eat a variety of foods, especially fresh fruits and vegetables. Pesticides play an important role in making sure there is enough food for everyone, by protecting crops from pests like insects, weeds, and fungal diseases.

While pesticides help protect our food supply, some people have concerns about pesticide residue that may be on the food they eat.

Pesticide residue limits

After a pesticide is applied to a food crop, trace amounts of pesticide residues may stay in or on the food. Pesticides intended for use on food crops must be tested for the safety of these residues.

As part of the assessment process before a pesticide can be used on a food product, Health Canada scientists must study whether the pesticide residues that may be found in or on food will be a concern to human health, and determine the safe levels of residues, called Maximum Residue Limits, or MRLs.

Canadian MRLs are set for each pesticide and crop combination, for an approved pesticide use. Canadian MRLs:

  • Are legally established as the highest amount of allowable residue
  • Are set at levels far below the amount of pesticide residue that could cause health concerns
  • Take into account all of the population including infants, children, and pregnant women
  • Are set for all foods sold in Canada, whether produced locally or imported
  • Apply to fruits, vegetables, meat, dairy products, grains, and some processed foods.

Is it safe to eat food treated with pesticides?

Maximum residue limits are regulated under the Pest Control Products Act. Establishing science-based MRLs helps ensure that pesticides are being used properly by growers, and provides Canadians with access to a safe food supply.

To ensure that Canada’s MRLs are respected, both domestically produced food and imported foods are examined for pesticide residues. Imported foods must meet Canada’s pesticide residue limits and are inspected at the point of entry into Canada.

Organic produce

Organic produce sold in Canada is subject to the Canadian Organic Standards.

Whether you eat organic or conventionally grown produce is a personal choice. To date, there is no scientific evidence to show that there is a health risk from eating conventionally grown produce because of pesticide residues, or that organic foods are safer to eat than conventionally produced foods.

Food safety in Canada

Food safety is a priority of the Government of Canada and is a shared responsibility between growers, industry, provinces, and federal organizations:

  • evaluates the health and environmental risks of proposed pesticides before they can be registered or used on foods
  • provides food safety tips for all food types, and information on how to protect those who are vulnerable to food poisoning, food allergies and recalls

Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada and Health Canada work together on a number of programs that help provide safe food for Canadians, engage food producers in sustainable pest management practices and encourage environmental protection.

Food producers help keep food safe by using and improving on good agricultural, food safety, and sustainable pest management practices. This helps keep residues within the limits, helping ensure a safe food supply. The Canadian Food Inspection Agency enforces federal food safety regulations for both domestic and imported food. Inspectors sample domestic and imported foods for chemical residues and pesticide residues. If tested food products exceed limits, enforcement actions could include:

  • removing the food from stores
  • seizing food stocks
  • rejecting imports
  • prosecuting offenders

The Government of Canada makes sure producers properly use and apply pesticides and respect established residue limits.

Storage pests

Cowpea damaged by cowpea seed beetles and weevils (Callosobruchus spp.)

Ⓒ A. M. Varela, icipe

Adult beetles of Maize weevil (Sitophilus zeamais) in maize. Adult emergence holes with irregular edges are apparent some weeks after the initial attack.

Ⓒ University of Georgia Archives, University of Georgia,

Grain moth (Angoumois)on maize. The moth is small, pale brown, 5-7 mm long with wings folded, wingspan 1-1.6 cm

Storage moth (Ephestia cautella).

Ⓒ Courtesy EcoPort ( Ministry of agriculture, Japan

Grain moth (Sitotroga cerealella). The moth is small, pale brown, 5-7 mm long with wings folded, wingspan 1-1.6 cm.

Ⓒ Clemson University — USDA Cooperative Extension Slide Series,

Grain moth (S. cerealella). The eggs are laid singly or in clumps of variable numbers. They are white when first laid and quickly change to a reddish colour.

Ⓒ Dennis S. Hill. Reproduced from the Crop Protection Compendium, 2005 Edition.

Adult beetle of lesser grain borer (Rhizopertha dominica), line drawing. Adults are 2-3 mm long, reddish-brown and cylindrical, head not visible from above.

Ⓒ NRI/MAF. Reproduced from the Crop Protection Compendium, 2005 Edition. (c) CAB International, Wallingford, UK, 2005

Cowpea seed beetle. Note emergence hole of adult.


The main storage pests, apart from rodents, are beetles and moths.
Some pests such as grain borers, weevils and Angoumois grain moths are able to feed on whole, healthy grains, they are considered primary pests. Secondary pests such as flour beetles can attack only broken grain, moist and thus soft grain, grain damaged by primary pests or processed products such as flour.

Beetles: Weevils, Grain Borers, Bruchids, Khapra Beetles

The main beetle pests of storage are bruchids (e.g. cowpea seed beetles and bean bruchid), grain borers (e.g. the larger and the lesser grain borers), weevils (e.g. grain weevils), flour beetles, Khapra beetles and dried fruit beetles.
The larvae and some adult beetles feed in the seeds and grain, leaving them full of small holes. Sometimes a fine dust is found around the holes, being the excrements of these beetles. Beetle damage renders grains and seeds unsuitable for human and, in case of heavy attack, even for animal consumption.

Cowpea bruchids (Callosobruchus spp.)

The cowpea weevil (Callosobruchus maculatus) on cowpea (Vigna unguiculata) seeds. Adults are 2 to 3.5 mm long

Peter Credland. Reproduced from the Crop Protection Compendium, 2006 Edition.

Cowpea damaged by cowpea seed beetles and weevils (Callosobruchus spp.)

A. M. Varela, icipe

Cowpea seed beetle. Note emergence hole of adult.

Cowpea seed beetle ( Callosobruchus maculatus ) adults are 2.-3.5 mm long. The adults emerge through windows in the grain, leaving round holes that are the main evidence of damage

Bean bruchid (Acanthoscelides obtectus)

Bean bruchid (Acanthoscelides obtectus) on soybean

Ⓒ Clemson University — USDA Cooperative Extension Slide Series, (

Larger grain borer (Prostephanus truncatus)

The larger grain borer is a serious pest of stored maize and dried cassava roots, and will attack maize on the cob, both before and after harvest.

What to do:
Use botanicals or plant parts to protect stored cassava. There are reports in Kenya, that the larger grain borer can be effectively repelled by storing cassava or grains with a fairly large amount of dried lantana or eucalyptus leaves (Personal communication, field officer of Meru herbs). Neem is also reported to be effective.

For more information refer to datasheet on the larger grain borer (click here)

Lesser grain borer (Rhizopertha dominica)

Larger grain borer (Prostephanus truncatus). The adult beetle is 3 to 4.5 mm long.

This is a tiny beetle (2-3 mm long) with a slim and cylindrical shape and red-brown to black in colour. The thorax bears rows of teeth on its upper front edge and the head is turned down underneath the thorax so that it cannot be seen from above. Eggs are laid loose among the cereal grains. The larvae are mobile. Both larvae and adult bore through the stored produce usually causing characteristic round tunnels (up to 1 mm diameter).

In later stages of infestation these beetles may also hollow out the grains. Pupation usually takes place within the eaten grain. The lesser grain borer is primarily a pest of cereal grains, other seeds, cereal products and dried cassava. It will be controlled by any method that controls the larger grain borer.

Ⓒ Clemson University — USDA Cooperative Extension Slide Series, United States, (

For more information refer also to datasheet on the larger grain borer (click here)

Grain weevils (Sitophilus spp.)

Lesser grain borer (Rhyzopertha dominica). Adults are 2 to 3 mm in length and reddish-brown in colour (shown on wheat grains).

The adults are small (2.5 to 4.0 mm long), brown weevils with a long, narrow snout. Female lays eggs inside the grain. The larva (grub) lives and feeds inside the grain hollowing it out. The adult attacks whole or damaged grains causing irregularly shaped holes. Grain weevils attack grains either in the field before harvest or in the store.

The rice weevil (Sitophilus oryzae) is a major pest of rice, maize and other cereals in store.

Ⓒ Courtesy EcoPort ( Food Agency and Ministry of agriculture, forestry

Flour beetles (Tribolium castaneum, T. confusum)

The adults are elongated beetles, 3 to 4 mm long, red brown to dark brown in colour. The wing cases are marked with finely punctured lines. Larvae and adults are secondary pests and attack cereals and cereals products, groundnuts, nuts, spices, coffee, cocoa, dried fruits and occasionally pulses. Infestation leads to persistent unpleasant odours of the products.

Khapra beetle (Trogoderma granarium)

The adults are oval beetles, 2 to 3 mm long, dark brown in colour often with blurry reddish markings. The larvae are very hairy. They are common in hot dry areas. Damage is done only by larvae feeding on cereal grains and products, groundnuts, oilseed cakes, nuts, pulses, etc.

Dried fruit beetles(Carpophilus spp.)

They are slightly flattened ovate to oblong beetles, 2 to 5 mm in length. The wing cases are short, leaving part of the abdomen exposed. They are light brown to black in colour, but several species have yellow or red markings on the wing cases. They are secondary pests; presence of these beetles is an indicator of damp, mouldy conditions. Adults and larvae cause damage on poorly dried cereal grains, cocoa, copra, oilseeds, dried fruit, vegetables, herbs and mouldy produce.


The potato tuber moth (Phthorimaea operculella)

Rice weevil (Sitophilus oryzae)

This moth is the most serious pest of potatoes in the region. It occurs in Africa wherever potatoes are grown, and it also attacks tobacco, eggplants and tomatoes.

Caterpillars of the potato tuber moth are up to 12 mm long and feed as leaf miners, causing silver blotches on leaves, and bore into the petiole or a young shoot or main leaf vein and later into the tuber. This causes wilting of plants. When eggs are laid on tubers, caterpillars begin feeding on the tubers immediately upon hatching making long irregular black tunnels, which are filled with excreta (faeces), where disease-causing microorganisms grow.

Pupae of the potato tuber moth on potato tuber.

Major damage is caused by caterpillars burrowing in the tubers. Infestations start in the field. The pest is transferred with the harvested tubers to the potato store, where it can reproduce and infest other tubers. This may lead to total destruction of the stored crop.

Potato tubers damaged by the potato tuber moth.

«>Natural enemies are important for natural control of the potato tuber moth. However, in many cases control by local «>natural enemies is not satisfactory. Therefore, several parasitic wasps, native from South America, the area of origin of the pest, have been introduced to several countries in Africa. These wasps have provided effective control of the pests in several countries in Southern and Eastern Africa.

Cultural methods (e.g. ridging, use of healthy seed tubers) and biopesticides (e.g. Bt, neem, lantana) as described below are also important for managing this pest.

What to do:

Parasitic wasp (Copidosoma khoeleri), a natural enemy of potato tuber moth.

Ⓒ Anne Bruntse, Biovision

Lantana leaves protect maize and cowpeas from storage pests
  • Farmer experience: Meru Ministry of Agriculture Field Officer Mr Mwai (2007) had tested mixing dried lantana leaves with stored maize and beans — his samples had stayed for over a year without getting attacked by storage pests.
  • Use healthy, clean seed, since infested seed tubers are the main cause of re-infestation in the field.
  • Avoid planting in rough soil. Plant as deeply as possible (10 cm deep) and ridge at least 3 times during the growing season. Experiments in Sudan showed that increasing the sowing depth from 2.5 cm practiced by farmers to 7.6 cm, significantly reduced damage by the cutworms and the potato tuber moth and resulted in an increase of 3.7 t/ha in marketable yield (Siddig, 1987).
  • Compact hilling is very important to prevent moths reaching the tubers to lay eggs. For caterpillars it would also be difficult to reach the tubers, and emerging moths from infested tubers will be killed, since they are not able to penetrate so deep into the soil.
  • Provide enough water to prevent soil cracks.
  • Mulch the plants with rice straw and/or with leaves. Mulching with neem leaves during the last 4 weeks before harvest significantly reduced insect damage in Sudan (Ali, 1993).
  • Intercrop potatoes with hot pepper, onions or peas.
  • Harvest the crop immediately as it matures, as tubers left in fields for longer periods are highly infested.
  • At harvesting, ensure that the tubers are not exposed to moths before they are properly protected in the store. All harvested tubers have to be bagged and removed before late afternoon every day.
  • Destroy all infested potatoes immediately and remove all plant residues from the field. Caterpillars pupate in the tubers and dry stems left in the field.
  • Destroy all volunteer potato plants before planting new potato crops.
  • Use alternative pesticides to protect potatoes in store. Neem can be applied to reduce damage by the potato tuber moth. For instance, in India a four months protection was achieved when harvested potatoes and the covering material was sprayed with 5 and 10% enriched neem seed extract (Saxena, 1995). In Sudan spraying neem seed and leaf extracts (1 kg/40 l water) and then placing tubers in jute sacks reduced post harvest losses by the potato tuber moth compared with traditional methods such as leaving the tuber unprotected or covering them with banana leaves only (Siddig, 1987). Salem (1991) showed that a neem seed extract was effective for control of the potato tuber moth on potatoes in a store in Egypt. Storage loss after 6 months in potatoes treated with 100ppm neem oil was 25% (compared to 10% with the insecticide carbaryl). Adults from larvae treated with neem oil were deformed. Work in Yemen confirmed the beneficial effect of neem. Neem oil and sunflower oil halted the development of caterpillars of the potato tuber moth in storage. However, caution is needed since the oil seemed to interfere with potato respiration, leaving the potatoes very soft with dark tissue (Kroschel, 1995).
  • A Bt (Bacillus thuringiensis) preparation in powder form mixed with fine sand (1:25) dusted was very effective in controlling this pest in the store in Yemen and Kenya (Kroschel, 1995) Tuber infestation was also reduced by bedding the potatoes in the leaves of the Peruvian pepper tree (Schinus molle), also known as mpilipili in Swahili, and Eucalyptus sp. (Kroschel, 1995).
  • Where this pest is present potatoes should be stored in layers with branches of lantana (Kenya Institute Organic Farming), which repels tuber moth but does not actually kill it. Also application of plenty of wood ash or diatomite earth may prevent rapid build up of tuber moth

For more information about the potato tuber moth click here

Grain moths

Angoumois grain moth (Sitotroga cerealella)
The moths of the Angoumois grain moth are small (about 1 cm long with a wing span of 10 to 18 mm), yellowish or straw-coloured, and have a fringe along the 2. Relating to the caudal end of the body in quadrupeds or the dorsal side in humans and other primates.[br]
3. Botany: Next to or facing the main stem or axis.[br]
«>posterior margins of the wings. They can be observed flying around infested stores.

Female moths lay ovoid and pinkish eggs at night in clumps on the outside of cereal grains, in cracks, grooves or holes made by other insects. Eggs are initially white turning red near hatching. The larvae are caterpillars of dirty white colour and about 8 mm long when fully grown. Caterpillars penetrate into and feed inside whole grains. They prepare a round exit hole for the moth, leaving the outer seed wall only partially cut as a flap over the hole, resembling a trap door.

The adult pushes its way out through this «window» leaving the trap door hinged to the grain. Infested grains can be recognised by the presence of these small windows. The adult lifespan may be up to 15 days, and one female can lay over 100 eggs.
They are pests of whole cereal grains like paddy, sorghum, maize and wheat. Damage is similar to that caused by weevils. This moth may also infest the crop in the field prior to harvest, and damage can reach serious levels, before the grains are stored.

Angumois grain moth on maize. The moth is small, pale brown, 5-7 mm long with wings folded, wingspan 1-1.6 cm

Ⓒ Courtesy EcoPort ( Ministry of agriculture, Japan

Storage moths or tropical warehouse moth (Ephestia cautella, Corcyra cephalonica, Plodia interpunctella)
The main storage moths are the tropical warehouse moth (Ephestia cautella), the rice moth(Corcyra cephalonica), and the Indian meal moth (Plodia interpunctella). These storage moths are small (15 to 20 mm wingspan), greyish brown in colour with an indistinct pattern.

The moth of the Indian meal moth is distinctive with the outer half of the forewings a coppery-red separate from the creamy inner half by dark grey bands.

Female moths lay eggs through holes in the bags. Larvae are elongated whitish caterpillars about 2 cm long. They feed on the seed germ, moving about freely in the stored foodstuff. They cause extensive damage in cereal flowers and other milled products, but also in whole grains, mainly feeding on the germ. They also attack nuts, groundnuts, dry fruit, cocoa, copra and other foodstuff.

The dense white cocoons of the pupae are often seen attached to the bag surfaces. Infestations are characterised by aggregations of kernels, frass, cocoon and dirt caused by webbing, which contaminates the foodstuff reducing its quality.

15 Common House Bugs and How to Get Rid of Them

What’s the most difficult thing about being a homeowner? Whether you own a house or rent, you face many difficulties.

House bugs are one of the problems that nearly everyone faces at some point. There are many kinds of bugs that can make their way into your home. Luckily, you don’t need to put up with them!

We’ve put together a guide for preventing common house bugs. Keep reading to find out what pests are living in your home and how you can stop them.

1. Bed Bugs

Though bed bugs don’t only live in beds, they can often be found in bedding because it’s a dark, moist, and soft place to hide.

Bed bugs are a common pest across the world. They live in dark, soft places like in bedding, furniture, and carpets. Bed bugs can affect your sleep because they come out at night and leave uncomfortable bites.


Prevent bed bugs by traveling smarter! Whenever you take a trip, inspect bedding and furniture for signs of bed bugs: dead bugs, shed skin, fecal matter, or dark stains from their latest blood meal. If you see signs, don’t stay there!

When you come home from a trip, wash all your clothes in hot water and check luggage for signs of bugs. You should also clean bedding in hot water after you’ve had guests in your home.

2. Carpenter Ants

Carpenter ants can be black, brown, red, or even yellow.

Carpenter ants are a dangerous pest because they can cause severe property damage. These large ants build tunnels in wood and can damage the structural integrity of your home. Carpenter ants can also chew on wires, causing electrical fires in your home.


Carpenter ants come into houses in search of food and shelter. You can eliminate their food source by cleaning your kitchen well. Wipe up spills and crumbs, and take the time to clean under large appliances.

Never leave food out overnight, even dog food, and store food and garbage in airtight containers.

3. Centipedes

Centipedes can often be found in damp, dark areas of the home, such as basements, garages, and attics.

There are actually two common species of centipede that might be in your home. Long centipedes can grow up to six inches long. In contrast, house centipedes are usually less than two inches. Centipedes can have between 17 and 170 pairs of legs!


Centipedes love moisture. To keep away centipedes, use a dehumidifier. Place the dehumidifier in damp areas such as the bathroom, basement, and attic.

Another important step in centipede prevention is to check the exterior of your home for holes and cracks that might be allowing these house bugs inside. Use caulking and mesh to cover these entry points and keep centipedes out.

4. Cockroaches

Rotting food and garbage are the most common attracting factors for cockroaches.

As far as pests go, cockroaches are my least favorite. This large beetles spend their time around garbage, fecal matter, and decaying materials. When they get into your house, they spread bacteria and disease.


Cockroach prevention is similar to prevention for other house bugs. In order to avoid cockroaches, you’ll want to minimize moisture and access to food. To keep away cockroaches, you need to keep garbage in a sealed container with an airtight lid. You’ll also need to be intentional about cleaning the kitchen and never leaving dirty dishes out overnight.

5. Fleas

Fleas survive by consuming blood from their host–which can include animals and humans.

We often associate fleas with pets, because dogs and cats are especially susceptible to picking up fleas. However, fleas can also bite humans. They can live in furniture, clothing, and bedding.. Fleas leave itchy bites that can last for days. They definitely aren’t a pest you want around.


The best flea prevention includes help from your veterinarian if you have pets. A vet can help you find a good flea-prevention product for your pet, whether that’s a collar, drops, or pills. You can also lower your chance of a flea infestation by washing pet bedding and toys frequently, and washing your pets after they’ve spent significant amounts of time outside.

6. Flies

A female fly can lay up to 600 eggs in her lifetime.

I think flies are one of the most annoying house bugs out there. Flies are loud and seem to always be flying into your face or landing on your food. Like cockroaches, flies spend a lot of time around decaying materials. They’ll pick up bacteria from these sources and bring them into your home.


To keep flies out of your home, start by making sure you have screens installed on all doors and windows. Avoid attracting them by keeping food stored in airtight containers. Make sure all garbage and compost is in a bin with a tightly closed lid.

If flies have already gotten into your home, you can use fly tape to trap these insects before they have a chance to annoy you. You can also create a homemade trap by putting a sticky liquid in a jar and covering it with plastic wrap with small holes. The flies will get in but won’t be able to get out.

7. Fruit Flies

Fruit flies eat bacteria and sugars from fruits and vegetables in stages of decay.

Like house flies, fruit flies can also be an annoying house bug. Though much smaller, they multiply quickly. They love sugary foods, especially fruit, and are attracted to decaying matter . Here’s how you can get rid of fruit flies.


The best fruit fly trap is easy to make and quite effective. All you need is a jar, apple cider vinegar, dish soap, and plastic wrap. You put the vinegar in the bottom of the jar with a drop of dish soap to break the surface tension. Then you cover the jar with plastic wrap and make small holes that fruit flies can just barely fit into. Like the house fly trap, they’ll be able to get in without getting back in.

In order to keep fruit flies out, make sure you are also storing organic trash in a bin with a sealed lid, and never leave fresh or rotting fruit sitting uncovered on the counter.

8. House Ants

The odorous house ant releases a smell like rotting coconut when crushed.

There are many species of ant that can affect your home. The odorous house ant is one of the most common, sometimes called the sugar ant, coconut ant, or stink ant. These tiny black ants come into your home looking for food. They prefer meats and sugars.

Besides causing problems on their own, odorous ants can also attract other hinsects, which can cause even more problems.


To keep out odorous house ants, you’ll need to deep clean the kitchen. They can get inside through tiny cracks in the exterior of your home, and as long as they can find food, they’ll keep coming in. To keep them from finding food, you’ll need to clean under appliances and the backs of cupboards.

You can also try mixing baking soda and powdered sugar and placing this mixture around the ants’ entry points. They’ll be attracted to the powdered sugar, but the baking soda will kill them.

9. Indian Meal Moths

Indian meal moths may leave silk-like strands in the food they’ve contaminated. Once meal moths have gotten into food, it should be discarded immediately

Indian meal moths are a pantry pest, a variety of house bug. Adult moths will lay eggs in cereals and grains. You may accidentally bring home eggs with your flour or granola, and soon you’ll have larvae crawling around your pantry. They can chew through packaging to contaminate even more food items.


Prevent this by inspecting food carefully when you buy it. If there are holes or tears in the packaging, don’t buy it! Once you do buy food, store grains and cereals in airtight containers made of hard plastic or glass. This way, even if you find meal moths in one food, they won’t be able to spread across your pantry.

10. Mosquitoes

Mosquitoes can drink up to three times their weight in blood. Only females need blood in order to lay their eggs.

If you’ve ever had a mosquito problem, you know how frustrating these pests can be. Mosquitoes need blood in order to breed, and they get this blood by biting you. Mosquito bites can be quite itchy and can form hard, red bumps. Many people have allergic reactions which can result in rashes or intense pain.


To stop mosquitoes you need to keep them from breeding. Along with blood meals, they also need standing water in order to lay their eggs. Remove all standing water from your yard. This includes emptying out buckets, checking for puddles, and even looking for toys that may be collecting water. By limiting mosquitoes’ access to water, you’re also limiting the number of mosquitoes around your home.

11. Spiders

Though not all spiders have webs, most species build webs and wait for prey to come to them. Spiders only bite people if they feel threatened.

No matter where you live, there are several species of spiders that can make their way into your home. Luckily, in most places, only black widow spiders and brown recluse spiders are considered dangerous. However, any spider can bite if threatened, and all spiders can be a nuisance.


Spiders don’t like humans, so they look for dark, undisturbed places to build webs. If you regularly clean and dust unused areas like the garage, basement, and closets, you’ll make your home less appealing for these arachnids.

Spiders also come into homes looking for food–other bugs. If you have a spider problem, there’s a good chance you also have too many flies, mosquitoes, or other house bugs. Focus on getting rid of other insects and spiders may also disappear.

12. Stink Bugs

Killing a stink bug outside may act as a warning for other stink bugs to stay away, since the smell will let them know that one was killed.

Stink bugs are small grey bugs shaped like a shield. They don’t bite humans, and they aren’t known to carry any diseases. However, they can appear in large numbers during the fall and spring and may damage house plants .

During the fall they will try to find a warm place to overwinter, such as inside your walls. Come spring, they’ll crawl back out. You could be finding stink bugs in your home for weeks.


These bugs get their name because of the smell they emit when squashed. Instead of using a shoe to kill these house bugs, try vacuuming them or flushing them down the toilet. Stink bugs are repelled by scents like dryer sheets and mint. To keep them out in the fall, you can rub down surfaces around doors and windows with dryer sheets or spray mint essential oil mixed with water around these areas.

13. Termites

Subterranean termites live in an underground nest and build tunnels to travel back and forth in search of food.

Termites are one of the more damaging house bugs. Although they don’t hurt humans, they can badly hurt your home. Termites eat cellulose, which is found in wood. As they feed, they build tunnels through the wooden structures of your home, damaging the integrity of your house. They can cause thousands of dollars in repair costs.


The best way to prevent a termite infestation is to get help from professional pest control services. These bugs don’t come out into the open, so they can be hard to spot until the damage is already done. You can also prevent them by repairing damaged wood and using a dehumidifier to keep your home dry, since they are attracted to moisture.

14. Ticks

When ticks attach to a host to feed, they can remain attached for days if they aren’t spotted.

Ticks are small bugs that feed on blood from mammals. They like to hide in tall grasses and climb up passing humans or animals. Their bites can lead to dangerous diseases such as Lymes disease , tularemia, and Rocky Mountain spotted fever.


You often encounter ticks after spending time in wooded areas. To lower your chances of a bite from this house bug, wear long pants and light colored clothes. This way, you will be able to spot a tick that is crawling up your leg and get it off before it bites you.

To keep ticks away from your home, you’ll need to use fences to keep away wild animals. Ticks will travel on the backs of deer, squirrels, and other animals. If they jump off in your yard, you’ll have more chance of being bit.

15. Weevils

The long snout of mature weevils is called a rostrum. Their mouth is located at the tip of the rostrum.

Like Indian meal moths, weevils are a pantry pest . These beetles are attracted to grains, cereals, dried fruit, and other pantry essentials. As with meal moths, they often get into food items before they get to the store.


Take extra care to check for damaged and broken packaging, and inspect the food for signs of eggs of bugs before buying. Once you’ve purchased food, keep it in a sealed container that can’t be chewed through. This way, even if weevils get into a bag of flour, they won’t be able to contaminate the rest of the food in your pantry.

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See also:  Found Ticks in Your House? Here - s What You Need to Know Expert Advice
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Storage moth (Ephestia cautella).