What’s Bugging You?: Our Top 10 U.S. Household Pests


32117 47 ant image 300x216 What’s Bugging You?: <em>Our Top 10 U.S. Household Pests</em>
Did you know that there are approximately millions and millions of species of insects in the world?  That’s a lot of pests.  And that  doesn’t even include rodents and other critters that invade our homes and our lives on a daily basis.  With all those bugs and pests running around it’s difficult for a homeowner to determine what type of bug problem they have.

Geography matters. One pest in the South may not be problematic in the North. Here is our list of the top 10 household pests in the U.S.:


There are many species of ants and the type most bothersome to homeowners has a lot to do with where you live. In parts of the South the red imported fire ant is considered to be the number one structural pest by pest control companies. Carpenters ants seem to account for a high number of phone calls to professionals in the Pacific Northwest.


There’s no doubt that termites are one of the most irritating and destructive pests around. They are fine when aiding in the ecological cycle of forests, but not so good when destroying your home. Termites are social insects living in cooperative groups dividing their work among specialized members. To the untrained eye they can be hard to distinguish from ants. Thus, many homeowners don’t even know they have a termite problem until damage has occurred.


Cockroaches are hardy little creatures as we all know, but did you know that cockroaches seek water more often than food?  They can live a month without food, but only a week without water.  Cockroaches thrive in all environments and live in the desert as well as in the arctic.


Rodents are both highly beneficial mammals and significant pests. Homeowners definitely don’t like cohabitating with them. The Norway rat, roof rat and house mouse are the most common household pests.


Despite a widespread superstition, earwigs do not crawl into people’s ears at night. Earwigs are flat and brown-black in color. These pests have pincers and prefer moist, cool hiding spots.


These brown nocturnal bugs live outdoors but make their way indoors for weather protection or by accident. They eat decaying wood and hide under objects. They have a distinctive odor so you may smell them before you see them.  And although the name may imply they have a thousand feet they actually have around a hundred feet.


Silverfish live in warm, humid spaces and tend to find a food source and stay put.  They feed on starchy products like glue, cereal and flour.

Paper Wasps

There are approximately 15 species of paper wasps in the U.S. and Canada.  They are referred to as paper wasps because they make their nests with paper-like material. These nests can be found in and around homes’ eaves, behind shutters, inside outdoor lamps and even in playground equipment. Stings from paper wasps are extremely painful and can cause allergic reactions.


There are many different types of fleas, including the dog flea, cat flea, squirrel flea, and human flea. Fleas cause irritation due to their bites and carry disease. Identification of the type of flea is important in determining the control strategy.


While sometimes problematic to homeowners, many types of bees are beneficial to the environment and cross pollination. Homeowners are fearful of bees because they sting. Did you know honey bees can sting only once and then they die? A bumble bee can sting numerous times.

For help diagnosing your bug or pest problem, please visit us at pestdefense.com .

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