Many types of small, black bugs can invade the home and either irritate the homeowners, cause damage or spread germs. If left unmanaged, the insects can quickly take over a home and require serious chemicals to eliminate. Identify the insects quickly so you'll know the most effective way to handle them, then take the necessary measures to control them.
- Skill level:
- Moderately Challenging
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Things you need
- Food-grade diatomaceous earth
Examine the size and shape of the insect. This will help you narrow down what kind of bug is in your home. For example, fleas are small and round, whereas cockroaches are long and oval.
Take note of the location of the insect, where it lives and how it moves. For example, black flies are quite different from black carpenter ants.
Compile the information you have collected and consult an online database of insects in your area or a book to determine which of the many possible types of bug you are dealing with. If you are still uncertain of the variety, a local university cooperative extension service or exterminator will know what bugs are common in the area.
Sprinkle diatomaceous earth on the carpet, in crevices and on furniture to eliminate bugs. This powder cuts through the insect's exterior when they crawl on it and dehydrates them. It is effective with many types of bug that crawl over it, including fleas, bedbugs and cockroaches.
Remove any food sources such as crumbs and garbage and clean the house thoroughly. Keep out only the amount of fruit you will use in the day, as fruit flies and other bugs will be drawn to it. Take the garbage outside and store it in a sealable container. Keep the house clean to prevent a reinfestation.
Spray an appropriate insecticide to eliminate the bugs. This works best for invasive bugs that are difficult to remove, such as bedbugs. Treat pets with topical flea treatments to eliminate fleas. These chemicals are often necessary to eliminate a major infestation. Achieving proper identification of the bugs is important in order to choose the most effective insecticide.
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- PennState University; Carpenter Ants; Steve Jacobs; March 2002
- PennState University; Identifying Common Household Insects in Pennsylvania; Steve Jacobs; 2006
- Colorado State University; Boxelder Bugs; F.B. Peairs; February 2008
- Washington State University; Household Insects and Their Control; A.L. Antonelli, et al.; April 2004
- University of Nebraska-Lincoln; Managing Bed Bugs; Barb Ogg; April 2010