The Top 10 Most Common Household Pests

There’s nothing quite as unsettling as discovering pests in your home. From scurrying cockroaches to sneaky rodents, household pests can not only cause damage to your property but also pose a threat to your health and well-being. Let’s take a look at what the top 10 most common household pests are, how to identify them, and some practical tips to prevent infestations.

Close up of a cockroach on a white background


Cockroaches are resilient pests that thrive in warm, humid environments. They are often found in kitchens and bathrooms because they’re attracted to food residue and damp areas. Identifying cockroaches is relatively easy as they have a flat, oval-shaped body, six legs, long antennae, and range in size from half an inch to two inches. To prevent cockroach infestations, maintain cleanliness, seal cracks and crevices, store food properly, and fix any leaks or moisture issues.


Termites are silent destroyers that feed on wood, causing significant structural damage to homes. They are commonly mistaken for ants due to their similar appearance, but termites have straight antennae and a broad waist. Signs of termite infestation include discarded wings, mud tubes, and hollow-sounding wood. To prevent termites, keep firewood away from your home, repair any water leaks promptly, and ensure proper ventilation in crawl spaces.


Ants are among the most prevalent household pests. While they may not pose a direct threat to your health, their presence can be frustrating. Ants are easily identified by their segmented bodies and elbowed antennae. To deter ants, keep your kitchen clean, store food in airtight containers, seal entry points, and eliminate moisture sources such as leaks or spills.

Close up of a carpenter ant on a white background

Bed Bugs

Bed bugs have become a common nuisance worldwide, hitchhiking their way into homes through luggage, furniture, or clothing. These tiny, reddish-brown insects infest mattresses, furniture, and upholstery, biting humans during the night. Signs of bed bug presence include itchy, red bite marks, blood stains on bedding, and dark spots (fecal matter) on mattresses. Prevent bed bugs by regularly inspecting your bedding and furniture, vacuuming frequently, and avoiding the use of second-hand furniture without thorough inspection.


Mice and rats are common household pests that can cause extensive damage and transmit diseases. Signs of rodent infestation include droppings, gnaw marks, and squeaking or scurrying sounds. To prevent rodents, seal any gaps or cracks in your home’s exterior, store food in rodent-proof containers, keep your surroundings clean, and maintain proper sanitation practices.


Fleas are often associated with pets, but they can infest homes even without furry companions. These tiny, wingless insects feed on the blood of animals and humans, causing itchy bites. Fleas are known for their exceptional jumping ability. To prevent fleas, regularly groom and treat your pets for fleas, vacuum your home thoroughly, and wash bedding and pet bedding frequently.

Close up of a spider on a white background

While most spiders are harmless, their presence can be unsettling. However, some spider species, like the black widow or brown recluse, can be venomous. Spiders have two body segments, eight legs, and usually build webs to capture prey. To deter spiders, keep your home clean and clutter-free, seal cracks and openings, and eliminate their prey (insects) by controlling other pests.


Silverfish are small, wingless insects with a distinctive silvery appearance and fish-like movements. They are commonly found in dark, damp areas such as basements and bathrooms. Silverfish feed on starchy materials like paper, glue, and fabrics. Prevent silverfish infestations by reducing moisture in your home, storing items in airtight containers, and keeping your home well-ventilated.


Flies are not only irritating but also carry diseases and contaminate food. House flies have a gray body with four black stripes on their thorax. Fruit flies are smaller and are attracted to overripe fruits and fermenting substances. To prevent fly infestations, maintain good sanitation practices, keep food covered, install window screens, and dispose of garbage regularly.


Mosquitoes are known for their itchy bites and their ability to transmit diseases such as malaria, dengue fever, and Zika virus. They have a slender body with long legs and a long, piercing mouthpart. Prevent mosquito breeding by eliminating standing water around your property, using mosquito nets or screens, and applying insect repellents.

Close up of a mosquito on a white background
By following these tips, you can minimize the risk of infestations and protect your home and loved ones from the nuisance and potential harm caused by these pests. Remember, early detection and prompt action are key to addressing pest issues effectively. Sometimes though, you need to call in the professionals, and we hope you’ll 
reach out to PestNow of Central Virginia if you do. We can take care of roaches, mosquitoes, termites, as well as many other insects and pests. We also offer preventive services to stop unwanted house guests in their tracks before they start looking for food, water, and shelter. We are a veteran-owned and operated local business that proudly serves the Richmond, Fredericksburg and Northern Neck areas. At PestNow CVA, we make sure that you’re getting the best of both worlds from our staff. You get access to support from the nationwide PestNow organization and you also get personalized service, individual attention, and professional expertise from the local Virginians who own and operate our three locations.