The Ultimate Guide to Identifying Pests in Your Home

Do you know how to tell the difference between the occasional pest in your home and a bug infestation? If you’re a homeowner, this is vital information. Damage from bugs and rodents often isn’t covered by insurance.

How can you prevent this? Identifying pests in your home is the first step to getting rid of them. Say goodbye to household pests for good with our guide.


Identifying Pests by Signs 

How can you know what pests you have if they’re only active at night or you’ve never been able to take a good look at them? The best way to approach this situation is by looking for the signs of certain pests. This means inspecting your house for characteristic markings, leavings, or damage.

First, let’s talk about common household bugs. The typical bugs that may be living in your home depend on weather or climate, the time of year, location, and where they are habituating. A bug notorious for entering homes and causing damage is termites. 


The termites native to the U.S. thrive in warm climates, especially humid places, so southern states are more likely to be affected. Some of the worst places for termite infestations are Florida, South Carolina, Mississippi, Texas, Georgia, and California. Alaska is the only U.S. that doesn’t have to worry about these pests. 

Termites are responsible for around $5 billion in property damage every year. They eat through wood, especially wooden floor joists, and harm other structural supports of the home.

Signs of a termite problem include sagging or buckling floorboards, mud tunnels along the walls of your foundation, discarded wings, depressions in the wall, or small piles of “sawdust.” Keep firewood outside of your home and repair any cracks in your foundation to prevent these bugs. However, if you’ve already noticed all of these signs, it may be time to call a pest control expert. 


Termites may be mistaken for ants upon first inspection. However, neither of these creatures are ones you want sharing your living space. Common ant species include carpenter ants, argentine ants, and acrobat ants. 

These bugs like dark closed-off spaces like basements, attics, and under floorboards. They leave behind sawdust, food crumbs, dirt, and very small cone-shaped droppings. An effective way of controlling an ant problem is to clean up their scent trails


Spiders are undoubtedly one of the most feared pests. The vast majority of spiders are harmless and even help kill other bugs in the house. Although, there are a few house spiders to watch out for: black widows and brown recluses.

Black widows have the characteristic black body and red hourglass shape in their abdomens.  These spiders typically build webs in cramped, dark spaces and will generally leave you alone, as long as you leave it alone. Black widows are quite poisonous, but bites are rarely fatal. 

Brown recluse spiders are about the size of a quarter and make webs in corners and along ceilings. It’s unlikely to see one of these spiders during the daytime, as they look for food at night. They are non-aggressive and are only likely to bite if they feel trapped. 

Bug Off

These common household bugs should be dealt with by a professional pest controller. Look for signs like small piles of sawdust-like material, sagging floors, cobwebs, or anything they leave behind. Knowing what to look for is crucial to identifying a problem.

If you liked this article on identifying pests in the home, take a look at the rest of our site for more.

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