Sometimes, the creepiest crawlies come out at night. While it’s easy to spot critters like wasps and butterflies during the day, there are plenty of nocturnal creatures that only come out after dark.

Most of these bugs, like any other insect, are harmless. However, there are still not welcome inside your home. The last thing you want to worry about at night before you hit your bed is that some tiny creature is paying an unexpected visit.

To help you keep an eye out so you don’t have to keep one eye open, here are the top 11 nocturnal insects in Northeast Pennsylvania and, more importantly, what you can do about controlling them.

moths are nocturnal and harmless

1. Moths

Most moths are nocturnal. These flying insects can range in size from very small to large, like the Sphinx Moth. Some of the bigger species can have intricate designs on their wings, much like butterflies. To stay active, and alive, they must keep moving as their muscle movement regulate their body heat. A moth’s main goal is to reach adulthood and mate before they die.

While the moths found in NEPA are generally harmless, they are attracted to bright lights and can be bothersome. However, they are responsible for a good amount of pollination which makes them very important to the ecosystem.

The best way to keep these creatures out of your house is by doing routine pest maintenance on your screen doors and windows and seal up any potential entryways. Turn off outdoor light fixtures and be careful when opening and closing doors at night.

2. Fireflies

These tiny, flying beetles are a summertime joy. The light show they provide is the result of a chemical reaction that makes them bioluminescent. While the males do the flying, the females lay low and emit their flashes so they can find a mate.

These little creatures, also known as lightning bugs, feed and pollinate at night and are completely nocturnal. They are pretty harmless – just don’t eat them, as they can enter a process called “reflex bleeding” which can leave a poisonous residue behind.

Much like with moths, these nocturnal insects tend to stay outside. Keep up on your home’s maintenance by sealing any open cracks, broken screens, and other possible openings.

3. Centipedes

These insects can be quite the sight in the middle of the night as they scurry across your basement or bathroom floor. These dark dwellers have eight pairs of legs and can sting with their front set. They are quick, quiet, and hard to detect. In fact, you’ll only notice them when they are hunting for food. They tend to feast on several different pests and hide out in dark, damp areas.

To keep centipedes at bay, watch the moisture level in your home. Get a dehumidifier or another device to control the humidity and moisture in your home.

Centipedes are quick and quiet but can sting you

4. Mosquitoes

Small, annoying, and potentially deadly, Mosquitoes live for the night. While they enjoy warm weather, they tend to come out in swarms when it’s cooler. These little bloodsuckers tend to make nests in standing water anywhere they can find it. Plus, the closer they are to hosts, the longer they will stay.

The best way to combat mosquitoes is by using a repellent with DEET. Additionally, keep skin covered when you leave your house. If you want to enjoy the outdoors, consider using fans or other wind devices; mosquitoes are not strong fliers. Finally, be sure to clear any possible standing water from your property to stop them from laying eggs near your house.

5. Bed Bugs

You don’t have to wait until night to find bed bugs; however, that is when this parasite is most active. These insects eat in the dark of night, and they don’t stray far from their host. Bed bugs can burrow into bedstands, mattresses, floorboards, and walls. While they do not transmit diseases, you can get a secondary infection from their bites.

Unlike the other entries on this list, bed bugs can be more difficult to get rid of. Remember to inspect any items or clothes you bring into your home. If you do spot a bug, run your bedding and clothes through the drier on high heat. Consider contacting a pest control expert to assess the infestation.

6. Crickets

Crickets during the summer can be a wonderful sound if it’s outside. While crickets may not be harmful, they can be annoying. They are noisy, and they tend to feed on fabric, which means your closet can take a heavy hit. Crickets are attracted it light and warm, moist environments. They will cluster in any damp area, such as a basement with a leaking pipe.

The best way to combat this pest is simply by keeping those moist areas dry. Patch up any leaks and seal any possible entryways to avoid an unwanted symphony.

7. Cockroaches

These six-legged roaches prefer to come out at night. They are quick, quiet, and usually come in great numbers. Not only are they hard to get rid of, but they can also carry several diseases which can be very dangerous to you and your family.

They prefer to come out during times of little or no activity, and unfortunately, you may need the aid of a pest control specialist to get rid of them for good.

8. Black Widows

One of the most venomous spiders, the black widow, has a venom 15 times stronger than a rattlesnake’s. Though they only attack when provoked, they do tend to do their feeding at night. Their prey consists of flies, mosquitoes, grasshoppers, beetles, and more, so they are pest control experts themselves.

The key to avoiding these deadly nocturnal insects is simply to be careful when outdoors. They live in dry, dark areas, like garages, basements, or in brush or vegetation. Check any shoes you may leave outdoors and be mindful of any spiders you may see in your home.

9. Wolf Spider

This night hunter is much more aggressive, yet far less deadly than the Black Widow. The Wolf Spider has been known to attack humans, as they would any other prey. They are normally found in dark places, like a garage, basement, or under a woodpile.

Much like the Black Widow, the best way to avoid the Wolf Spider is to perform regular maintenance and plug up any possible entryways. Be cautious when using items left outside or when entering dark areas. A little caution can help you avoid a nasty bite.

10. Dobsonfly or Hellgrammites

The dobsonfly is commonly found near sources of water. Though poor swimmers, these creatures tend to hide under leaves and strike at their prey. While these creatures are not easy on the eyes, it’s best you keep both on them. The females can leave a nasty bite. Dobson flies have a short lifespan and are often used as fishing bait.

If you want to keep these creatures as far away as possible, avoid any type of water. These insects are drawn to moist areas, so try to keep the area dry. They are also drawn to light sources, so remember to turn off those outdoor lights.

11. Kissing Bug or Triatomine Bug

Recently, an invasive species known as the “Kissing Bug” has made its way to Pennsylvania. These nocturnal insects feed off the blood of animals: mammals, birds, and reptiles. While we’re no stranger to blood-sucking creatures, this insect carries a potentially fatal parasite.

This parasite, transferred through their feces, can transmit Chagas disease, which can be fatal if left untreated. Often, they will not stray far from the blood host. They can be spotted near a pet resting area, in bedrooms, mattresses, or nightstands. They can also be found near rodent infestations.

If you happen to find one, do not squash or squish this insect. Place the kissing bug in a glass container and fill it with rubbing alcohol. If none is available, you can freeze it. Take the insect to CDC for testing.

the kissing bug is a fatal parasite

How to Protect Against Nocturnal Insects

There is no need to fear the things that emerge at night. If you are prepared, you have no need to worry. As always, perform routine maintenance on your home; seal up any cracks and stop the infestation or invasion before it happens. If you suspect you may have a nocturnal insects problem, contact a pest control expert and rest easy.

 


 

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