7 Gross Pests That Live in a Messy Bedroom (And How to Get Rid of Them)

How often do you clean your room? If you let your room get messy, you could be inviting bugs, insects, and other pests into your house.

Pests like bed bugs, fleas, and mice thrive in messy rooms. A messy room gives pests plenty of places to hide, which can make them feel safe enough to begin building nests and homes of their own. Pests can also cause a wide range of problems for you and your family, including:

  • Destroying your clothing, toys, and bedding
  • Making you sick or biting you
  • Destroying food and making it unsafe to eat
  • Harming your home’s floors and walls
  • Taking over your home after laying eggs

Thankfully, you can fight back against bugs and other pests! 

Let’s take a look at a few of the most common pests you might see in your room — and why you don’t want them as roommates.

Bed Bugs

bed bug on a sheet

You don’t ever want to let the bed bugs bite in your room! Bed bugs are small, round bugs that live by drinking blood from animals and people. If you have bed bugs in your room, they will bite you in your sleep to get the blood they need to live. Bed bug bites can hurt, and they can be itchy as well.

Bed bugs are shaped like ovals, and they are usually red or brown. They make their home in beds, couches, and carpets in your house, and can live in any state and any type of home. If you have allergies, a bed bug bite can be more serious.

Bed bugs love to live in messy bedrooms. When your room is cluttered and dirty, they can easily find food and places where they can lay their eggs. They may also make their way into your carpeting and curtains if you don’t clean them regularly. They can be hard to get rid of, and you might even need to get rid of clothing and toys that come into contact with these bugs. 

5 Fun Facts About Bed Bugs

  • Bed bug eggs are so small that you cannot see them. They are sometimes the size of a pinhead.
  • Bed bugs can live in freezing temperatures and very hot climates up to 120 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Bed bugs are attracted to the air you exhale when you breathe — usually called “carbon dioxide.”
  • Bed bugs only feed on blood from live hosts. They will not feed on blood from dead animals or blood that has been spilled on the ground. 
  • Bed bugs can take in a huge amount of blood. They can drink more than their body weight in blood, with the average bed bug able to hold seven times its weight in blood after feeding. That would be like a 130-pound teenager drinking more than 100 gallons of water! 

Mice and Rodents

rat in an attic

Though some people have mice as pets, you should never want to find wild mice in your room. Mice are small, furry rodents that make their home in the cracks of walls and heating systems. Mice love to chew on the insulation that keeps your home warm in the winter. They can also spread diseases, and their bites can hurt very badly.

Mice survive by making boroughs in the ground or humans’ homes. They eat what they find in their environment. If that environment is your room, they might eat crumbs from snacks that you leave behind. When mice find a place that offers them both food and security, they will build a nest and have babies.

A messy room can make the perfect house for a mouse. Mice can find plenty of food to eat in the carpeting of a room that isn’t clean — even if you can’t see it yourself! If you have tons of toys and clothes on your floor, this will provide mice with the perfect place to make a nest. 

5 Fun Facts About Mice

  • Mice don’t like the cold. When the weather gets chilly, they will try to find a way to make your home their home to get out of the snow or wind.
  • Mice have poor eyesight. Instead of seeing, they rely on other senses (including hearing and smell) to get around.
  • Mice can talk to one another using ultrasound that humans cannot hear.
  • Mice love to eat just like humans do. Mice are “omnivores,” which means that they eat both plants and meat.
  • Mice have teeth that are always growing. This means that they need to chew to keep their teeth from getting too large for their mouth. 

Ants

ants crawling on the wall

If you’ve ever had uninvited insect guests at a picnic or during lunch, you probably already know that ants can be a big hassle even when they aren’t in your room. Ants are tiny insects that live in groupings called “colonies.” The average ant colony can have thousands of ants!

You can identify ants due to their small body shape and multiple legs. Depending on the type of ants that live where you live, ants might be brown, black, or red. Ants survive by carrying food home to the colony that houses the queen ant, whose job is to lay eggs. Ants usually build their colonies outside, but they can also make their home in your room if it’s messy.

When ants decide where to live, they usually think about food first. If your room is messy and you have food and drinks lying out, ants will be attracted to your room. Ants give off very strong scent trails when they find food — which means that hundreds of ants can be in your room very quickly as soon as one ant finds food. When ants get in your food or drinks, they can contaminate them and make you sick by leaving waste behind. Some kinds of ants can also bite you.

Ants can be tough to get rid of because they’re small enough to fit in even very tiny spaces. If you notice ants in your room, be sure to clean up any food or drinks that are out. Then, tell a parent, and they can help use indoor-safe bug spray to kill off any remaining ants. 

5 Fun Facts About Ants

  • Ants don’t have ears. Instead, they “hear” using vibrations felt through the ground.
  • Depending on the species, a queen ant might lay one million eggs before she dies.
  • There are more than 12,000 types of ants found throughout the world.
  • Some ant colonies have “soldier ants,” whose job is to attack other colonies and steal their food. 
  • Ants can carry 50 times their body weight when transporting food or materials back to their colony. That would be like a 110-pound kid being able to carry more than 5,000 pounds!

Fleas

flea on a human hand

Fleas are a type of insect that survives by drinking the blood of humans and animals. Fleas make their home on animals with hair or fur. If you have a dog or a cat, you might have needed to buy them special medicine to get rid of fleas. While fleas usually like to live directly on animals, they can also live in soft areas of your room (like your bed or your carpet).

Scientists consider fleas to be “parasites.” This means that they cannot live without a host to drink blood. Fleas can jump from host to host. If you have fleas in your room, you might wake up with itchy red bumps where fleas have bitten you to draw blood. These flea bites can hurt — and if you have allergies, you might even get sick from a flea bite and need to go to the doctor.

There are a few things in a messy room that might attract fleas. If your room is dirty, fleas can easily find places to hide. This means that a cluttered room might attract more fleas. Fleas can also be attracted to messy rooms if you don’t wash your clothing, carpeting, or bedding often.

Getting rid of fleas can be an annoying process. Your mom or dad might need to wash your things over and over again before the fleas are gone. In some cases, they might also need to replace clothing, toys, and bedding destroyed by the fleas. This makes it very important to maintain a clean and tidy room. 

5 Fun Facts About Fleas

  • When a flea jumps, it accelerates about 50 times faster than a spaceship.
  • Flea larvae can live for up to one year in your room. This makes them difficult to get rid of.
  • A single flea can bite you or your pet more than 1,000 times over three weeks.
  • Throughout a single flea’s 21-day lifespan, it can lay more than 1,000 eggs. 
  • Fleas do not have ears, and their eyesight is very poor. They navigate by sensing light and heat. 

Cockroaches 

cockroaches crawling on the wall

Cockroaches are some of the oldest types of insects on Earth. Scientists think that cockroaches have been living on Earth for more than 320 million years. Cockroaches have small, oval-shaped bodies. Depending on the type of cockroach, they might be brown, black, or dark red. Though cockroaches have wings, they usually can’t fly more than a few feet.

You can prevent cockroaches in your bedroom by keeping your room clean. Cockroaches can thrive in any type of environment, but they can find excess food in dirty areas. Unlike many types of insects, cockroaches can eat garbage, scraps of paper, and dead insects in addition to crumbs. This means that a messy room is a perfect place for a cockroach to live.

Cockroaches are very dirty and dangerous to people. Cockroaches carry many diseases that can make you sick — so you should tell your parents immediately if you see one in your room. Your parents will usually need to call in a pest professional to ensure that you have a bug-free room and that cockroaches aren’t in other parts of your home. Cockroaches may also bite — though not as often as other types of insects.

5 Fun Facts About Cockroaches

  • When cockroaches produce waste, they create a chemical trail that other cockroaches can smell. This helps cockroaches find each other.
  • There are more than 5,000 types of cockroaches on Earth. However, most of them live in wooded areas and aren’t interested in living in your home.
  • Cockroaches hate light. They are nocturnal, which means that they are usually most active at night.
  • Cockroaches are attracted to water. You can prevent cockroaches in your room by getting rid of any water as soon as it’s spilled.
  • A cockroach can live for up to a week without its head!

Termites

termites crawling on wood

Termites are small insects that eat wood. There are many types of termites in the world, and each species of termite has its preferences when it comes to the kind of wood they eat. Termites will eat wooden structures (like furniture and flooring) in addition to trees and firewood found outside.

You can identify a termite by its color. Most termites are white or yellow-brown. Though most termites in each colony are less than 1/4th of an inch long, a queen termite might grow up to four inches.

If you have a messy room and eat in your room often, you might attract termites. Termites look for warm, moist areas to build their colonies. If you spill a drink in your bedroom and don’t clean it up, you could be attracting termites. Termites are also attracted to areas with plenty of hiding places, making messy rooms ideal.

Termites do not bite humans, so you won’t need to worry about them hurting you. They also aren’t known to carry diseases that can make people sick. However, this doesn’t mean that you should ignore a termite if you see one. Termites can eat through wood very quickly, which means that they can destroy your favorite toys and your furniture. Termites can also cause tons of damage to your house, which your parents will worry about.

Termites are hardy, and they can be hard to get rid of. If you let termites take over your room, you might need the inside of your home to be closed off while bug removal professionals get rid of the termites using chemicals. Doing your parts and keeping a bug-free room won’t only help your parents protect your home — it also protects your toys and furniture. 

5 Fun Facts About Termites

  • Most types of termites are almost completely blind because they live in dark boroughs.
  • Termites spend a lot of time grooming and cleaning one another.
  • Termites eat their waste after they are born. This gives them the good bacteria that they need to keep their organs working and prevent illness.
  • Termites cause more than $5 billion in damage every year, thanks to their chewing and tunneling.
  • A queen termite can lay up to 5,000 eggs in a single day. 

Gnats

gnat on a leaf

If you’ve ever had a fly or gnat trapped in your room, you know how annoying these bugs can be. Gnats are a type of small, flying insect that is found in swarms. Gnats are usually attracted by smells and survive by laying eggs. You can often find gnats in areas with a strong smell — for example, on rotting fruit or animal waste.

Gnats might be attracted to your bedroom if it smells as well. Cleaning up any food you eat in your room and ensuring that dirty clothes are put away will keep gnats away. You should also take time to clean your rugs or carpeting to prevent gnats from making their way into your room.

The word “gnat” refers to many types of flies. Some types of gnats bite, while others do not. When gnats get into your food, they may lay eggs and spread disease because they are often found in unsanitary conditions. Eating food that gnats have been on can make you sick. Some types of gnats have also been found to cause pink eye.

If you have gnats in your room, you’ll want to take plenty of time to get rid of any nasty smells. You should also clean up food, empty your trash cans, and wash your clothing. If you have shoes in your room, you might want to take them to a common area or outside. If your room has a bathroom attached to it, you should clean all surfaces and take out the trash in there too.  

5 Fun Facts About Gnats

  • A group of gnats is called a “cloud.”
  • Gnats love bright colors and are attracted to them along with odor.
  • A gnat larva grows up in about a week.
  • Some species of gnat can hatch just two days after an egg is laid.
  • Most types of gnats live only 10 days. 

The Importance of Keeping a Clean Room

As you can see, it’s important to keep your room clean — or else bugs might make your room their room too. Keeping your room clean also helps protect the things that you love. For example, if you have a toy made out of wood, keeping your room clean prevents termites from eating it. Keeping a clean room can also help you prevent catching illnesses that bugs can spread.

Thankfully, cleaning regularly can help you keep bugs and other pests out of your room. 

Use these tips to make sure that your room stays clean and bug-free!

  • Take out your trash regularly: Pests like gnats and mice can be attracted to smells that come from garbage. Empty your trash can as soon as it’s full to avoid attracting pests.
  • Put dirty clothing in a hamper: Clothing can start to smell bad after a while. Sort your dirty clothes by color and put them in one place like a hamper. If you do your laundry, be sure to clean your clothes regularly.
  • Make your bed every morning: Making your bed can help you catch pests like bed bugs before they have a chance to multiply. You should also be making your bed every morning and washing your sheets once a week..
  • Don’t eat in your room: Making a habit of eating in your room can attract pests. Avoid eating in your bedroom as often as possible. If you do decide to eat in your room, clean up crumbs and spills immediately.
  • Keep toys off the floor: Clutter provides bugs with plenty of places to hide. Be sure to keep toys, clothing, and anything else that covers your floor in its proper place.
  • Tell your parents if you see a bug: If you see one pest, the chances are high that there are more hiding in your room. Telling your parents as soon as you see a bug in your room can help make sure that your parents can catch potential infestations fast. 

Tips for Parents

Are you struggling to figure out how to get your child to clean their room? Have you tried repeatedly to fight back against bugs in a kid’s room — only to find the problem back again in a few weeks or months? Teaching a child the importance of cleaning his or her room can be difficult. However, as a parent, there are steps that you can take to help get bugs and other pests out of your home once and for all. Try using these tips to teach your little one healthier cleaning habits.

  • Keep chores manageable by age: It’s important to pick easy and appropriate chores by age. For example, kindergarteners may become frustrated if you ask them to fold their clothing — but they can easily put their clothes in a hamper and organize toys in a toy box.
  • Use a picture chart: Small children may forget what they need to do every day to keep their rooms clean. Using a picture chart with stickers can help little ones remember which chores they’ve done and which still need to be completed.
  • Teach children to tidy up a little bit every day: It can be easy to fill baskets and hampers — only to find them overflowing before you know it. Teach children to tidy up a little bit every day to keep things more manageable.
  • Consider rewards for older children: As kids get older, they can manage larger chores. To keep older children motivated, you may want to offer a reward each time a child completes all their chores for a week. From an allowance to extra television or tablet time, there are an endless number of options to keep your kids motivated.

The key to eliminating pests in a kid’s room is consistency. Demonstrating great habits yourself can encourage children to work hard to keep their room clean too.