Pest problems in Missouri can inspire different reactions. There’s the scream factor of discovering insects, rodents, or animal invaders. There are also concerns about health risks because pests can carry disease or be dangerous. Plus, there are worries about home damage because pests can chew through wires, tunnel underground, or burrow into wood.
Find out what creepy crawlers rank as the worst pest in Missouri, and discover how pest populations are affected by the state’s weather patterns and home designs.
Which Pests are Most Common in Missouri?
From Kansas City to St. Louis, Missouri pest populations are not a strong measure of pest problems. Instead, the biggest problems are the pests that invade our homes and interrupt our lives.
To better understand the worst pest we’re battling in Missouri, we used Google search data from Google Trends to reveal which pest residents are researching. This new report about the worst pests in Missouri shows that spiders are a top concern in the state, followed by stinging insects such as bees and wasps.
|Rank||Pest||Google Search Volume As a Percentage of the Top 10|
Missouri’s Pest Problems
In Missouri, residents were more concerned about spiders than any other pest. This included queries about spider bites and how to get rid of spiders. Missouri residents were also concerned about two specific spider species. The wolf spider was a top-ranking concern, and these three-inch hairy spiders have been called “demon-like arachnids invading our homes” by the Washington Post. The other species is the brown recluse, which hides out in dark, hidden locations like basements or crawl spaces.
The second worst pest in Missouri is stinging insects such as bees and wasps. This is largely driven by the pain that a sting can cause combined with how common nests can be around the home. However, the murder hornets that were in the news last spring also caused increased concern about these stinging insects. Even though areas of the Ozarks can have very large wasps, experts at the Missouri Department of Conservation say murder hornets have not been spotted in the state.
Missouri residents also face problems with crickets, and the cities of Springfield and Moberly have the biggest problems. Top searches included mole crickets, which can be very damaging to lawns and landscaping, and cave crickets, which like dark, damp locations such as basements. Nocturnal cave crickets can jump as high as three feet when threatened. So although they are not dangerous, it’s still shocking to discover these jumping pests at night.
Bats are another concerning pest in Missouri. Although they are beneficial to the ecosystem, having bats in an attic puts the household at risk of rabies, bacteria from the droppings, and a form of fungus that can cause histoplasmosis. The largest concern about bats is north of Kansas City in St. Joseph.
What About Termites in Missouri?
Even though termites did not rank as one of the top pests in Missouri, the risk of termite damage is a problem throughout the state. Termite mapping shows that Missouri has a high risk of termite damage, with hot summers and damp conditions making it an ideal climate. In fact, Kansas City and St. Louis both rank in the country’s top 35 worst cities for termites.
Each year, termites cause between $1 billion and $7 billion in damage, chewing through wood and turning structural beams into what looks like corrugated cardboard. Termites are attracted to dampness and moisture because they can only live a short while without water. This means homes with water issues are at a higher risk of termite damage and could even be attracting termites.
How Can Your Home’s Structure Help You Reduce Pest Problems?
Pest control and extermination can help you manage pests in your home or yard. However, adding structural and waterproofing solutions to your home can help you make your home less attractive to pests and make it difficult for them to get inside in the first place. Here are three ways your home can help you prevent pest problems.
1. Close doors to pests by sealing gaps and cracks. Preventing pests from getting inside is an important first step. Look carefully along the base of your home for foundation cracks where burrowing pests can easily get in your home.
2. Resolve the moisture problems that make your home attractive to pests. Many pests are water-loving and will seek out homes with poor drainage, damp basements, or humid crawl spaces. Resolving those water issues can simultaneously make your home more enjoyable for you and less inviting to creepy crawlers. Common solutions include interior drainage, dehumidifiers, and sump pumps. Homes with crawl spaces can also benefit from the installation of a thick, durable vapor barrier that makes it difficult for pests to get inside.
3. Use materials designed for termite prevention. You can also help stop pests by choosing the right materials for your home repairs. For example, rather than using traditional soft insulation rolls, which can absorb moisture, our insulation panels are treated to resist termites. This can give you long-lasting termite protection while also helping you create a comfortable, dry home.
Do you want to manage water problems and make your home less attractive to pests? Find out the best solutions for your home with a free inspection from Foundation Recovery Systems.