Some bugs are part of our way of life. True for you, true for me. Here in the tropics, that means mosquitoes. And ants. And millepedes. Fruit flies, especially during the summer months. House flies, especially after a downpour. We notice them but we know that they will always be around no matter what we do.
But there are bugs that more properly belong in the garden. And we want them there. We want them to alight on flowers and get pollen all over their sticky feet as they sip nectar so that they can deposit those pollen grains in the stigma of the next flower that they alight on. They belong in the garden. They and the plants live off one another in a neverneding circle of life.
But when we see them inside the house, we notice — sometimes because we are awed by their beauty and, sometimes, just because it’s strange to see them inside the house.
When we moved to the suburb a little over 20 years ago, we’d get fireflies, dragonflies, moths and butterflies inside the house. We were told that it meant the air in our area was clean (well, cleaner that the air in Metro Manila anyway) and because forested areas were still lush, there was a safe home for the bugs.
Twenty years is a long time. We can still hear cicadas up in the trees but the fireflies have gone. Dragonflies and butterflies are rare. Moths are more plentiful. And when moths get inside the house, we don’t shoo them away, even when they are a nondescript brown, because we still tell ourselves, quite whimsically, that they are family members who have passed on but who still watch over us.
When we experienced a deluge of bees, beetles and wasps recently, I wondered if it meant that, despite the population growth in the suburb over the last two decades, it was somehow still less polluted and there was still sufficient vegetation for bugs to thrive in. I read up, planning on writing about it but, surprisingly, I found nothing to support that theory.
In total denial, I searched and read for hours. Surely, there’s something out there confirming that the bugs in our house means it’s still less polluted in the suburb? But I found nothing to that effect.
What I discovered was the presence of more bugs in the house recently may have to do with the new LED lights. I also read that the presence of some bugs may be a sign of infestation that can lead to not-so-negligible damage. When you’ve been through a house renovation to get rid of termites, you certainly don’t want another kind of infestation.
Here are some of the things I’ve read.
There are many kinds of moths but, inside the house, there are two that we should worry about.
While insects are mostly attracted to light, clothes moths like dark places like the wardrobe. They lay their eggs there and the larvae eat up fabric.
Food (pantry) moths
These moths especially like grains and nuts.
Again, there are many kinds of beetles. Some are small and some are large. We’ve experienced disaster with wood-boring beetles that made me swear off wooden ornaments of any kind.
There are beetles that go after food and clothing too.
Praying mantises are not house pests
Unlike some moths and beetles which you want to remove from your house, having a praying mantis come into your home is actually beneficial.
A praying mantis eats smaller insects that you want to get rid of like mosquitoes, fruit and house flies, ants, small beetles… So, welcome the praying mantises in your home.
Updated from a post originally published in August 5, 2020