Home & Garden

5 things in your house that are attracting pests right now

5 things in your house that are attracting pests right now

What’s the best way to control pests in your house? Don't make it enticing for them to live there. Use this list to help reduce the odds that insects move into your space.


Dampness attracts many different types of pest. “We need water in our everyday lives, but so do pests,” says entomologist Cherie Hartzer. “Even small amounts of water dripping from an air conditioning unit may attract wasps that are foraging for water. Water that has soaked into wood is attractive to termites. Downpipes and gutters that hold water can be perfect habitats for mosquitoes. And a dripping tap may attract rodents, especially if it has been dry and there aren’t other water sources around.” The cure? Regular maintenance that fixes leaks that could provide pests with a water source.

Unused drains

A dormant drain – especially one that has a little water and some organic material like hair and soap coating the insides – makes a perfect home for drain flies. “Unused drains create a slimy film that creates an ideal breeding spot for drain flies,” Smith says. “If these flies are present in the house there is almost certainly a slow or clogged drain.”

Still air

Keeping those ceiling fans running during the summer can do more than keep your air conditioning costs down – they help keep unwelcome critters at bay. “Many flies love still air,” Ricci says. “Fans don’t necessarily blow flies away, but they make the air turbulent enough to discourage them from hanging around too long.”


Here’s another incentive to get rid of your extra stuff – all that clutter can make wonderful homes for insects you definitely don’t want hanging around your house. “If clutter is kept to a minimum, and a home is kept relatively clean, there will be few places for insects to hide,” Ricci says.

Overripe fruit

That fruit bowl on your counter may be appetising – until one piece of fruit gets a little overripe and attracts fruit flies. “Don’t leave food lying around – place it in the refrigerator or sealed containers if possible,” Hartzer says.

This article was written by Lisa Milbrand and first appeared in Reader’s Digest. For more of what you love from the world’s best-loved magazine, here’s our best subscription offer.

Image: Getty Images

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