Massachusetts may be known for its charming towns, coastal beaches, rich history, and culture but it is also a home for creepy crawlies. Pests can infest living rooms, kitchens, and gardens and are dangerous not only for furniture and property but also affect health. It's important to be aware of the most common pests in a particular state as it can help individuals take preventative measures to keep them at bay.
Let’s look at some of the most common pests in Massachusetts and how to deal with them:
Ants are the most commonly found pests in Massachusetts. They infest any home in search of food, water, and shelter. Ants are of different types and come in various sizes and colors (brown, black, and red). Different types of ants include carpenter ants, pavement ants, and odorous house ants. Pavement ants are brownish-black in color and are attracted to sweets. These ants get their name from making nests on sidewalks and pavements. They are the most active in the warmer seasons. Carpenter ants are bigger and have a reddish-brown appearance. They tunnel their way into wooden objects and can cause a lot of damage to furniture. Odorous house ants get their name from the unpleasant odor they emit when crushed. Like pavement ants, these are also attracted to sugary foods.
Some ways to prevent an ant infestation:
- Keep all food containers tightly sealed
- Maintain cleanliness in your house, especially in the kitchen
- Don’t leave uncleaned dishes overnight
Cockroaches are the most gross-looking pests out there. They are determinant, reproduce quickly, and are known to adapt to their surrounding environment quickly. The two most common types of cockroaches found in Massachusetts are the American cockroach and the German cockroach. They are not only ugly looking but also pose a health risk to human beings.
German cockroaches are small, light brown in color with two brown stripes on their tail. They are mostly found near food sources in a house and reproduce very quickly, making it difficult to control them.
The American cockroach is one of the largest species of cockroach found in homes. It is reddish-brown in color and can also fly short instances. They are mostly found in dark and damp areas like basements and attics.
Some ways to prevent a roach infestation:
- Maintain cleanliness all over the house
- Fix leaks promptly
- Clean the kitchen before sleeping at night
- Store food securely
- Seal gaps and cracks, especially in the kitchen and basement
Bed bugs are blood-sucking tiny insects that can be found anywhere no matter the cleanliness. Other than homes, bed bugs can also be found in hotel rooms and public transport. It only takes a single bed bug to start a bed bug infestation. A bed bug can be transferred through your clothes while traveling and staying in a hotel room. A bed bug bite leads to itching, rashes, bumps, and significant skin irritation. If you feel like you might have a bed bug infestation, it's crucial to immediately contact a professional pest control.
Termites are one of the most destructive pests. They are attracted to wood and destroy furniture to the point of no return. One of the most common termite species in Massachusetts is the subterranean termite. These species of termites build mud tubes to reach the above-ground food sources like wood. In the case of termites, it's important to contact professionals once you notice signs of a termite infestation.
Massachusetts, with its water bodies, lakes, rivers, and ponds is an ideal breeding ground for mosquitoes. On top of that mosquito breeding is encouraged in a more warmer weather. Mosquito bites not only cause irritation, rashes, and bumps but also pose health risks. In Massachusetts, two notable mosquito-borne illnesses are of concern:
West Nile Virus: West Nile virus is caused by the bite of an infected mosquito. Although symptoms like cold and flu are common with West Nile Virus, it can sometimes be life-threatening in severe cases. Other symptoms associated with West Nile Virus are headaches, nausea, body aches, and rashes. 1 in 150, WNV cases can lead to serious neuroinvasive diseases, such as encephalitis (inflammation of the brain) or meningitis (inflammation of the protective membranes covering the brain and spinal cord). These conditions can have long-term effects and even result in death.
Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE): Also known as the Triple E virus, EEE is an extremely rare virus caused by an infected mosquito. The virus can affect both humans and animals. The virus was first identified in Massachusetts in 1938, and since then only 115 cases have been registered. The last outbreak of the virus in Massachusetts occurred in 2020 with five cases and one death. Symptoms associated with Tripe E are high fever, weakness, body aches, stiffness in the neck, and inflammation and swelling in the brain. The virus is so dangerous that the person affected can go into a coma within a week of getting infected. There is no known treatment or cure for the virus and half of the people who were infected in MA died while the ones who survived have a permanent neurological disability.
Some ways to prevent getting bitten by mosquitoes:
- Wear protective clothing like long pants, socks, and long sleeves while going during dusk and near water bodies
- Always apply mosquito repellent ointments at night
- Install screens in windows and doors to prevent mosquitoes from entering your home
- Eliminate Standing, still water around your home to eliminate breeding mosquito grounds
Ticks, especially deer ticks are common in Massachusetts and are notorious for spreading Lyme disease. Lyme disease is a bacterial infection caused by the bite of an infected deer tick. Ticks are attracted to wooded areas, gardens, bushes, and long grass. If you have a pet, then your home is more susceptible to ticks.
Some ways to prevent getting bitten by ticks:
- Wear protective clothing when going outside. Tuck your pants into your boots and wear light clothing to spot tick easily
- Use a tick-repellent spray when going outside on yourself and your dog
- Shower after outside activities to get rid of any ticks that may have clung to your body
The above pests are quite common in Massachuttes. It's important to maintain good hygiene, take preventative measures, and be aware of different pests in order to keep your home safe. If you notice any signs of pest infestation in your home, it is important to contact professional pest control services. RidAway is one such professional pest control service. They are state-licensed and industry-certified, providing quick solutions to urgent problems, and, using biologically friendly pesticides that leave your home safe to return to. For a quick solution to an urgent intrusion, RidAway is ready to come to your rescue.