As a child, were you fascinated by bugs? If so, you had—and still have—plenty of company. Toddlers and crawling infants sometimes find interesting critters during their trips around the living room or kitchen.
Of course, some kids hate bugs and stay far away from anything that skitters, crawls, or flies. Regardless of your child’s choices, why not benefit the whole household by learning more about which pests are harmless, and which to stay away from? Pay attention to these common household bugs and make sure everyone stays safe.
Poison or Pet? What Critters Aren’t Safe Around Your Kids
Do your children know the difference between household flies and flying bugs that sting? If not, now is the time to teach them about:
Although a common house fly won’t sting your kids, it will leave behind a few extra germs. So long as your kids regularly wash their hands, they should be okay. Help children learn that flies do carry some diseases, and may even carry parasites’ eggs. Put up a few fly traps if you have a problem in the late summer and early fall.
When your kids play outside, help them watch for helpful honeybees and dangerous wasps, hornets, or yellowjackets. Honeybees have smaller, hairy bodies, and these creatures like to be near flowering plants. Suggest to your children that honeybees don’t want to be bothered while they gather nectar.
By contrast, “bad” bees (see above) have longer, skinnier, and smoother bodies. These bees can sting even when the children aren’t bothering them, so have them tell you whenever they notice one of these pests indoors or outdoors.
In some cases, your children may notice flying insects that are neither house flies nor bees/wasps. Instruct your kids to tell you when they notice a strange insect. Meanwhile, put up wasp traps or call your local Spokane pest control technician for additional tips. Above all, keep traps and bug bait away from the kids.
Crawling, Scuttling Pests
It’s not uncommon to see an occasional ant, cockroach, or even a mouse from time to time. But if your child wants to hold one of these critters, you need to explain why that choice isn’t a good one.
Some household ants aren’t dangerous around kids. They may be dangerous to your pantry, but that’s another story. However, others can sting or bite little fingers, toes, or ankles. If your kids discover the wrong end of a stinging ant, sooth their bite with a cream and pay attention to the deeper concern: you may have an ant infestation.
Your children may have never seen a roach before, especially since they mostly appear at night. Still, if your child points out a medium-sized brown bug scuttling quickly along the floor or inside the pantry, chances are it’s a cockroach.
Luckily, most roaches move much too quickly for kids to catch. Still, make it clear to your children that these bugs are not their friends. Roaches carry bacteria, which they deposit on food and surfaces.
Some roaches do bite, but it is rare. That said, cockroach droppings can cause big problems to children with asthma or other allergies. If you suspect an infestation, let your pest experts know right away.
Any home can be attractive to mice, particularly homes near fields or open spaces. Even though mice seem cute and harmless, their droppings can trigger allergies and even spread dangerous diseases like the Hantavirus or tularemia.
If you see one mouse, chances are hig others live nearby. To fight mice, first inspect your home thoroughly for small holes near pipes and vents. Replace weather stripping, repair holes in screens, and resolve any dripping pipes.
While it’s true that some critters don’t cause much harm, they can spread germs and make your family sick. Show photos of the above pests to your kids. Then, if a family member notices an uninvited pest nearby, you’ll be the first to know.