Ants are the number one pest concern for Americans in 2018, according to a survey from Atlanta-based Arrow Exterminators.
The survey, conducted by Radius Global Market Research in November 2017 among 2,011 US adults, showed spiders, mosquitos and roaches are also among the most unwanted.
“Adults with children are more likely to have insect concerns than non-parents (86 percent versus 73 percent). Prevention is the best course of action,” said Charlie Jones, Arrow pest expert.
Ants are the top pest concern for more than one-third of the survey respondents (36 percent). There are 700 species of ant in the United States alone, which can make devising a single treatment difficult.
To keep ants away, Arrow recommends sweeping crumbs from countertops, cleaning spills immediately and keeping trees and bushes trimmed back for your home.
Spiders came in second place in Arrow’s 2018 survey.
In the West and Midwest, they rank as the top pest concern for the year.
Most species are harmless, but a bite from a brown recluse or black widow spider requires immediate medical attention.
Arrow suggests protecting your home from spiders by keeping it clean and sealing small cracks and openings around doors, windows and your foundation.
Mosquitoes rank as the third most dreaded pests of 2018, with 30 percent identifying them as a concern.
These insects can transmit dangerous diseases like the West Nile virus, chikungunya, encephalitis, and the Zika virus.
To reduce your chances of mosquito bites, Arrow encourages homeowners to remove all sources of standing water around their property and cut back any unnecessary vegetation.
The survey shows roaches are the top concern of people who live in the South.
They can carry up to 33 kinds of bacteria and can trigger asthma attacks in children.
According to Arrow, roaches prefer warm, moist environments, like under appliances and sinks, with available food sources.