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How to Spot and Remove the Most Common Household Pests

Photo from Fast Action Pest Control

Originally Posted On: How to Spot and Remove the Most Common Household Pests (


We help you recognize common household pests early and what you can do to eradicate them from your property before it’s too late.

Are you grossed out by pests in your home? A Consumer Affairs survey listed common household pests in order of concern. They include ants, spiders, mice, termites, roaches, and bedbugs.

Each year, termites cause over $5 billion in property damage in the United States. Other pests also cause illness and property damage. Continue reading to learn how to rid your home of pests.

Signs That You Have Pests in Your Home

Bugs and rodents leave marks. Watching for these signs can mean quicker treatment.

Fecal Droppings

Small cylindrical droppings are a sign of mouse and/or rat activity. Cockroaches’ feces are small, oval-shaped pellets that look like pepper.

Foul Smells

When cockroaches die, their corpse produces oleic acid. This creates a foul, musty smell.  An ammonia smell is often caused by rodent urine.

Look for Spots

Red-brown or maroon spots on mattresses and in the outer seams can mean bedbugs. You may also see spots near electrical outlets.

Discolored areas near food storage or kitchen cabinets, may indicate cockroaches. Also, check around pet food containers.

Weird Sounds

Carpenter ants make rustling sounds when building nests. You’ll hear scratching when rodents run inside walls or on floors.

Wood Shavings

Piles of wood shavings near wooden windowsills or cabinets can mean carpenter ants. These ants dig out and discard the shavings to make nests. Termites eat the wood and make mud tubes and small mounts containing fine wood powder.

What Kind of Damage Can Pests Do to Your Home?

Pests can inflict property damage aside from being undesirable. Termites aren’t the only cause of damage.

Damage to Wiring and Pipes

Mice and rats sharpen their teeth by gnawing on electrical wires in walls, cars, or appliances. They also chew holes in PVC pipes and insulation. This damage can increase your risk for fires, leaks, and water damage.

Cockroaches can also ruin wiring. Fire ants are attracted to electrical fields. They disrupt electrical relay switches, transformer boxes, and air conditioners.

Wall and Beam Damage

Bees are vital to the survival of our ecosystem. The honeycomb can fill wall cavities and weigh several pounds. This can cause walls and beams to break. The bees also eat paper and felt moisture barriers that compromise the walls.

Wasps build hives in cracks and openings such as the eaves of your house. Paper wasps and yellow jackets love to nest in attics and wall spaces. This can cause wallboard and ceiling damage.

Wood wasps or horntail wasps bore into wood. If wood comes from trees containing these wasps, they can survive and emerge later.

Furniture, Carpet, or other Fiber Damage

Carpet beetle larvae gnaw on natural and synthetic fibers. They tend to create large, noticeable areas of damage including slits and holes in a few weeks.

Holes in Untreated Wood

A member of the wood-boring beetle, the powderpost beetles eat small, round holes in wood. They’ll eat any type of wood but favor unfinished, unsealed, and unpainted items.

Home Furnishings and Clothing

Cockroaches love to eat paper including books and wallpaper. They will also ruin fabric items such as furniture, curtains, and more. Moth larvae also eat natural fibers like sild, wool, and cashmere.

Costly Replacement

Bedbugs are very hard to get rid of. They live in box springs, walls, carpets, headboards, and even between book pages. This means you must discard infested items and buy new ones.

Can Pests Cause Illness?

Many illnesses and diseases are caused or aggravated by various pests. The following provides a brief overview.


Cockroaches carry bacteria and are hosts for roundworm, tapeworm, viruses, fungus, and dysentery.  They also trigger asthma attacks and allergies.


Since ants tend to walk through bacteria, they become carriers for transmitting disease. Their bite can also cause serious allergic reactions in some individuals.

Bed Bugs and Mosquitoes

When bed bugs and mosquitoes bite, this often causes very itchy welts. Scratching can break the skin and allow bacteria in causing infection.

Mosquitoes can also carry and transmit diseases. Examples include Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE), malaria, West Nile, and Zika.


As termites eat, they leave behind a substance called frass. This can cause skin irritation and other allergic reactions.


While they don’t carry disease, their bites can be harmful. A person bitten by a spider may experience only redness, itching, and a little swelling. Other spider bites can cause allergic reactions and severe wounds.


Flea bites can cause small, raised, itchy lesions. Fleas also carry diseases including Typhus, Lyme disease, cat-scratch disease, and others.


Common flies carry pathogens. These organisms can cause typhoid fever, cholera, E. coli, shigellosis, and more.

Mice and Rats

The urine of mice and rats contains bacteria. They can spread diseases including rat-bite fever, hantavirus, and more.

Treatments for Common Household Pests

So, what are some pest solutions you can put in place to fight this problem? Many pest repellants, poisons, baits, and sprays are effective in killing pests. Yet, many aren’t safe for humans and pets to touch or inject.

Here are steps to help fight pest infestations:

  • Clean and de-clutter your home
  • Store food (including pet food) in sealed containers.
  • Remove the trash removed regularly and clean the bins
  • Immediately clean spills and wash food off dishes
  • Remove old paper, cardboard, and boxes
  • Remove standing water around your house
  • Fix cracks or holes in the walls or around doors
  • Store wood and mulch pile at least 30 feet away from your house and off of the ground

Termites travel from the soil into the wood. Wood on the ground or around your foundation gives termites access to your house.

Benefits of Hiring a Professional Pest Control Company

So, what’s the best answer to the questions, “How to keep pests out of your home?” The most comprehensive method is to hire a professional pest management company. They have the knowledge experience to treat and prevent infestations.
After an inspection, they’ll create a plan for your unique needs. This will include initial treatment followed by routine preventative visits.

Do You Need Help with Pests in Your Home?

If you’ve felt stressed trying to figure out how to get rid of bugs in your house, now you have answers. Fast Action Pest Control provides free consultations to solve your household pest problems.

Enhanced Service Program includes visits every other month to fight common California pests. Each visit includes a thorough inspection of risk areas and preventative measures.

Call or fill out the free inspection form today to reclaim your home from pests.

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