6 Common Types of Bugs Found in Houses
As a homeowner, you'll likely come across some uninvited creepy-crawly guests in your home on occasion. Here are some of the most common types of bugs (which are really insects) you might find in your home and how they can cause damage.
Ants are one of the most common insects found in and around homes in the U.S. Outside, they can nest in lawns, walls, stumps and even under foundations. They can also find their way indoors through even the tiniest cracks while searching for water and sweet or greasy foods in the kitchen or pantry.
Though they can be a nuisance, most household ants cause little damage to your home. Carpenter ants, however, can nest in your home's wooden structure where they can create extensive structural damage through tunneling.
German cockroaches are about one-half of an inch in length. They have six legs, two antennae and wings that they sometimes can use to glide. These are the roaches most commonly found in U.S. households.
Cockroaches can contaminate food, damage paper and fabric, trigger allergic reactions in some people and carry bacteria wherever they go. Those bacteria can potentially cause food poisoning, dysentery, diarrhea and other intestinal issues.
Termites are usually one-eighth of an inch to 1-inch long. They vary in color from shades of white (worker termites) to brown to black (alates or winged reproductive stage termites). Alates are sometimes confused with flying ants because both have wings and antennae.
The scariest thing about termites isn't what they look like — it’s the damage they can cause to homes. Often called the “silent destroyer,” termites may be eating their way through the wood in your house without you even knowing it. In fact, termites cause up to $5 billion a year in damages in the U.S. alone.
Bed bugs are small, flat, oval-shaped, reddish-brown insects — they basically look like tiny apple seeds with legs. They can be found in your home in cracks and crevices, mattress seams, sheets, furniture, electrical outlet plates, behind baseboards and even in picture frames. Bed bugs feed on blood, usually while people are sleeping, which gives them a particularly “creepy” reputation.
Fleas are tiny, reddish-brown, wingless insects with shiny bodies covered in microscopic hair. They can’t fly, but they can jump long distances, which their legs are designed for. They are ectoparasites (live on the outside of their hosts) that feed on the blood of animals like dogs, cats, rabbits, squirrels, rats, mice and people.
Besides being a nuisance to you and your pets, fleas are bad news because they can carry parasites, like tapeworms.
Silverfish are pearl-gray, shiny and look like a fish in water when they move, which gives them their name. They have slender, segmented bodies, and they like to live in dark, damp areas, such as basements and bathrooms.
Silverfish can be found in stored boxes in garages and sheds. You may find them feeding on the glue in books as well as on linen, silk and dead insects. They are known for damaging papers, clothing and wallpaper (because they feed on the glue that holds it to the wall).
How Terminix® can help
If you're dealing with any of the pests above in your home, or you want to prevent these pests from infesting your home in the first place, contact Terminix to learn how we can help.