Common House Bugs

It’s bad enough that we have to share the outdoors with some very unappealing creatures, but it’s even worse when common house bugs find their way into your home. The presence of some insects is especially disturbing because they carry germs and spread diseases. Getting rid of home bugs and home pests can be expensive and annoying, but it must be done. The first step in getting rid of house bugs is to know your enemy. Once you are skilled at house bug identification, you can start making a plan to reclaim your home.


There are over two dozen types of ants, and because they can squeeze through such tiny cracks and openings, these household insects are the number one pest nuisance in the United States. When ants enter your home, they lay down scent trails for other ants to follow. They can nest in your walls, nearby your home or even under your foundation. Ants can be hard to kill because most products on the market only get rid of the ants you can see, not the ones that may be colonized close by.

Bed Bugs

Bed bugs are the ultimate unwelcome household pests. You can pick them up anywhere – even in the homes of your neatest friends or in the finest of hotels. They are called bed bugs because they like to hide out in the crevices of mattresses, sheets, and other bedding. They may also make their homes in cracks in the wall, in other pieces of furniture, and behind electrical outlets. They feed on the blood of humans and pets. At three-sixteenths of an inch long, they are difficult to see, but if you have them you may experience intense itching and notice welts on the skin.


Cockroaches are one of the most common house bugs. They are certainly one of the most disgusting. The brown-banded cockroaches, the cockroaches most likely to enter human dwellings, measure a little over five-eighths of an inch in length. They like to stay in warm dry places and typically hide near electronics such as refrigerator casings or clocks. Because they carry bacteria that may cause gastric problems and diarrhea in humans, it’s important to get rid of these home bugs as soon as you become aware of their presence.


There are 16,000 species of flies in North America, but the most common home pests are houseflies. Flies have a short life expectancy, from as little as eight days to as long as a year, but they are prolific breeders and one pair of adult flies can spawn over one million offspring in two months’ time. As far as house bugs go, flies need to be eliminated rapidly because they are known to carry over 100 pathogens. Some of the diseases they can cause in humans include dysentery, hepatitis and tuberculosis.


When it comes to house bug identification, mosquitoes are often mistaken for flies. You can tell the difference because mosquitoes have longer legs and a long nose-like protrusion. Female mosquitoes use this protrusion to pierce the skin and draw blood from the host. Unlike house flies, mosquitoes rarely venture indoors, preferring areas like shallow, stagnant marshes or ponds where they can lay their eggs. Aside from being an annoyance at outdoor functions, mosquitoes are also known to carry illnesses such as the West Nile Virus and malaria.


“You have termites,” is probably the last phrase any home owner wants to hear. These devious household insects can hide out in your home for years without any external signs of problems. Termites feed on dead plants, or on the dead parts of living plants. Though they are small insects, they are voracious eaters and can cause costly damage to your home’s foundation and walls as well as to furniture, books, carpet, and insulation. Since termites are such good hiders, it’s a good idea to have your home inspected for termites regularly and to use preventative measures to keep them from forming colonies in your home.

Bees/Wasps/Yellow Jackets

Bees, wasps, and yellow jackets are not really household insects because they all prefer to live outside. When one gets trapped in the house, it is usually accidental. The problem with having these insects on your property is that they will all sting if provoked, and some people are highly allergic to their stings. If you have hives or nests on your property, you may wish to have an exterminator come out to safely remove them.


Spiders do not really count as household insects-having eight legs, they are considered arachnids-but they can certainly be household pests. Spiders may choose to make a home in almost any area of your dwelling, from basements and crawl spaces to air vents to ceilings. Although many people are afraid of spiders, most spiders are not really dangerous. In fact, some of them feed on common house bugs that may be causing you trouble. Other spiders, though, are poisonous. Chances are their bites won’t kill you, but they can still give you a nasty, painful lump at the site where you were bitten.

House Centipedes

House centipedes are elongated home bugs with multiple pairs of legs. They were originally found in Mexico, but now they are prominent throughout North America. House centipedes typically come into homes for warmth during the winter months. They are commonly found in kitchen cabinets, crawl spaces, bathrooms, basements and woodpiles. If there is a golden lining to house centipedes, it is that they prey on other home pests such as termites and cockroaches. Because a centipede infestation can grow quickly, however, it is best to nip it in the bud.


If you’ve ever had a pet with a flea problem, you know just how annoying these house bugs can be. Fleas are parasites that attach themselves to the skin of a host. The most common fleas in America are cat, dog, and human fleas. Although the female flea lays her eggs on the host, the eggs can then drop to the floor or onto furniture or bedding. When these fleas reach the adult stage in their development, they begin to look for appropriate hosts. Households with multiple pets are particularly vulnerable to large infestations. Often, owners must use several different methods of flea control to get a handle on the problem.

Miscellaneous Information on Common House Bugs

Household Pests Study Packet

This site provides a slightly dated but extremely comprehensive look at different household pests including ants, cockroaches, venomous arthropods, spiders, scorpions, lice, ticks, bed bugs and fleas.

Top 20 Insects – Utah Plant Pest Diagnostic Lab

Take a close look at the 20 most frequently identified insect families in Utah from aphids through flatheaded/metallic wood borers.

K-State University Department of Entomology

This site provides a short series of links to other educational sites about home pests.

University of Arizona Insect Collection – Links

Here you will find a list of insect-related education links; also contains links to a few blogs dealing with insects.

Ant Related Links

This is a list of ant-related links including image databases and myrmecologists’ pages.

Species Lists of Ants of North America

This is a list of links to websites about the different species of ants.

Indiana University – Pest Management – Bed Bugs

This site provides a series of links to sites dealing with bed bug problems in university and other public settings.

Orthopteroid Family Characters

Here you will find a comprehensive list of links to information about various members of the Orthopteroid family.

Various Entomology Links

This site provides a list of links to some of the best entomology departments in the country. There is also a list of links to a few government sites and some “fun” cockroach sites.

Insect ID

If you’re not sure what kind of insect you’re dealing with, this site is a great place to start. It provides pictures and information about dozens of household pests.

The Teaching Bee Links

This site provides a list of links to meliponiculture, conservation, basic bee biology, and some fun facts.

Links: The Hormiga Laboratory, GWU

If you’re looking for a solid page of links about spiders, this is it. Links range from field museums to databases.

Ohio State Spider Links

This site provides spider-related links on every topic from general information to professional organizations.

K-State Parasitology-Related Links

If you’re looking for parasitology-related journals and professional organizations, you’ll find a long list of them here. Miscellaneous and general information is also included.

Gardening Outdoors

This site provides a long list of links about gardening outdoors in Georgia. Towards the end of the list, you will find a short section about insects and bugs.

Inspector Hound Bed Bug Links

This page provides links to various news stories and information regarding bed bugs.

Kudzu Bug Links

This site provides an overview of Kudzu Bugs including a few links to other sources of information.

The Flying Kiwi Bug Website Links

This site offers star-rated lists of the best sites about bugs. Categories include general bug websites, bug websites by region, and bug websites by country.

AAA Pest Control

This site offers a list of links about pests and how to get rid of them with a minimum of inconvenience.

Peachtree Pest Control

Offering an exhaustive list of links about pest control, this site is a good place to start looking if you’ve realized you have unwelcome household pests.

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