Have you ever wondered why some pests thrive in one area of a home, but not in another?
The abundance or scarcity of a particular pest is most often attributed to the Pest Triangle.
What is it?
The Pest Triangle is comprised of three requisites essential to a pests survival. These requisites include, food, moisture and harborage. As long as these three items can be found within the normal range of travel for the pest, the possibility of an infestation exists. Removing just one of these requisites can effect a pest population.
While most folks understand the role a food source plays in a pest infestation, fewer people understand the concept fully. Different pests require different food sources and not all arthropods eat what humans eat. For example, termites require wood, while bed bugs and fleas require mammal blood. Although it’s true German roaches can flourish by invading our food supply, they can also survive by consuming soap enzymes, types of glue, fingernail clippings and much, much more.
I often arrive at bed bug inspections, only to be met by an upset homeowner that blames the infestation on the dirty dishes in their teenage son’s room.
“We’ve told him over and over that if he kept eating in his room, we were going to get bugs”, they say.
Sorry, but the cheese from a Hot Pocket didn’t attract bed bugs. Bed bugs only consume blood, their piercing/sucking mouth parts restrict them from eating anything else.
Water and Moisture
Without proper levels of moisture, pests will dehydrate and die. Removing water and moisture will greatly reduce most pest populations. Exceptions to this rule include spiders, bed bugs and fleas, as they get most of their water from their food. That being said, dry conditions and low humidity levels can sometimes effect their populations in other ways like shortening their life cycles.
Every pest has specific habitat requirements. These requirements could be physical conditions, such as light, humidity, or temperature. Other requirements may have to do with the proximity to food sources. When you reduce a pests harborage areas, or make the areas less suitable, you’ll significantly reduce the chances for the pest to flourish.