In order for insect pests to survive indoors they must locate a suitable environment. The availability, quality and quantity of food and water sources is tremendously important for insect pest survival and proper maturation, but indoor insect pests must also locate areas with suitable light exposure. Securing indoor shelter where predators are not a threat is also a necessity for pests. Temperature, relative humidity and the moisture content of food sources must be just right if insect pests are to thrive indoors. When all these factors favor survival, insect pests will become numerous indoors. While insect pests are often spotted in open indoor environments, like on living room carpeting or on kitchen counters, many insect pests must establish an indoor shelter with its own unique microclimate that is different from the general environment within a home.

Since insect pests are cold-blooded animals, they must rely on external heat and moisture sources in order to thrive indoors. Insect pests receive most of the water they need from food sources, but some drink liquid water. Most insects require relatively high temperature and humidity levels to survive. Generally, insects require temperatures above 77 degrees, and relative humidities greater than 70 percent in order to survive. Most insects in temperate northeast environments must maintain a regular presence in conditions where the temperature ranges between 68 and 95 degrees. If the temperature should fall below 60 degrees, insect mating decreases, and significant infestations are unlikely to form indoors in such conditions. Also, flying becomes slower and more difficult for insects when temperatures fall below 60 degrees. When temperatures rise above 95 degrees, most insect pests will dry up and die, but well hydrated insects can survive high temperatures for longer periods since water evaporates from their bodies, temporarily cooling insects. A small number of insects, including cockroaches, have the ability to acclimate to extreme temperatures and humidity levels, but if the climate should change dramatically, these insects perish.

Have you ever left home for a period of time only to return to find dead insects in your home?