Household Pest Guide

Use this guide to identify pests you’ve encountered in your home, whether or not they’re dangerous, what attracts them, where they hide, and how to get rid of them. If you don’t see your mystery pest here, send a photo or video to MMPC’s Free Pest ID Center and our entomology experts will help identify it for you.

Common Household Pests:

Ants, Cockroaches, Flies, and Rodents

Ants

Small crawling insects with 3 body segments, 6 legs, bent antennae, and a narrow waist

Odorous House Ant
Pavement Ant
Black Carpenter Ant
Red Carpenter Ant
Chestnut Carpenter Ant

Cockroaches

Long, oval-shaped insects with thread-like antennae, 6 legs, and 2 pairs of wings

German Cockroach
American Cockroach
Oriental Cockroach
Brown Banded Cockroach

Flies

Small, oval-shaped, flying insects with large compound eyes, 6 legs, and 1 pair of wings

House Fly
Fruit Fly
Drain Fly
Phorid Fly
Biting Midge
Dark Winged Fungus Gnat

Rodents

Gray or brown fur, protruding incisors (front teeth), and a long scaly tail

House Mouse
Norway Rat

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household pest identification guide

Biting Pests:

Bed Bugs, Biting Midges, Fleas, Mosquitoes, and Ticks

Bed Bugs

Flat, oval-shaped insects that are reddish-brown with a large abdomen, short antennae, and 6 legs

Bed Bug Adult
Bed bug nymphs instar stages

Biting Midges

Tiny, oval-shaped flying insects with short antennae, 6 legs, and 1 pair of grayish-colored wings

Biting Midge

Fleas

Wingless insects with a reddish-brown or black, laterally flattened body with 6 legs (hind legs are especially long)

Cat Flea

Mosquitoes

Slender flying insects with needle-like mouthparts, thin or feathered antennae, 6 legs, and 1 pair of wings

Northern House Mosquito
Asian Tiger Mosquito
Yellow Fever Mosquito
Eastern Saltmarsh Mosquito
Common Malaria Mosquito

Ticks

Flat, oval-shaped arachnids with a large abdomen, a shield-like plate on its back called the “scutum,” and 8 legs (each with 7 segments)

American Dog Tick
Brown Dog Tick
Deer Tick
Lone Star Tick

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household pest identification guide

Stinging Pests:

Bees and Wasps

Bees

Fuzzy, yellow-and-black flying insects with thin antennae, 6 legs, 2 pairs of wings, and a stinger

Honey Bee
Eastern Bumble Bee
Eastern Carpenter Bee

Wasps

Yellow-and-black flying insects with thin antennae, 6 legs, 2 pairs of wings, and a stinger

Bald Faced Hornet
Paper Wasp
Yellow Jacket
Bethylid Wasp

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household pest identification guide

Fabric Pests:

Carpet Beetles and Clothes Moths

Carpet Beetles

Oval-shaped beetles with clubbed antennae and 6 legs

Black Carpet Beetle
Varied Carpet Beetle
Furniture Carpet Beetle

Carpet Beetle Larvae

Soft-bodied larvae with an elongated body covered in hairs and bristles with alternating light and dark stripes

Black Carpet Beetle Larva
Varied Carpet Beetle Larva
Furniture Carpet Beetle Larva

Clothes Moths

Flying insects with a furry head, long and thin antennae, 6 legs, and 2 pairs of fringed wings

Webbing Clothes Moth
Case-Bearing Clothes Moth

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household pest identification guide

Pantry Pests:

Beetles, Booklice, Fruit Flies, and Pantry Moths

Beetles

Insects with a protective exoskeleton, hardened forewings (elytra), and 6 legs

American Spider Beetle
Shiny Spider Beetle
Cigarette Beetle
Drugstore Beetle
Sawtoothed Grain Beetle
Rice Weevil

Booklice

Pale, wingless insects with an elongated body, thread-like antennae, and 6 legs

Book Louse

Fruit Flies

Tan or brownish-yellow flying insects with red compound eyes, barely visible antennae, 6 legs, and 1 pair of transparent wings

Fruit Fly

Pantry Moths

Flying insects with long, thin antennae and 2 pairs of bicolored wings (upper 1/3 gray, lower 2/3 bronze)

Pantry Moth

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household pest identification guide

Wood Destroying Pests:

Carpenter Ants, Carpenter Bees, and Termites

Carpenter Ants

Small crawling insects with 3 body segments, bent antennae, 6 legs, large mandibles, and a narrow waist

Black Carpenter Ant
Red Carpenter Ant
Chestnut Carpenter Ant

Carpenter Bees

Fuzzy, oval-shaped flying insects with thin antennae, 6 legs, 2 pairs of wings, and a stinger

Eastern Carpenter Bee

Powderpost Beetles

Reddish-brown, cylindrical-shaped beetles with short antennae, 6 legs, and 2 pairs of wings

Powderpost Beetle

Termites

Narrow, soft-bodied insects with a broad waist, straight antennae, and 6 legs

Subterranean Termite Worker
Subterranean Termite Soldier
Subterranean Termite Swarmer

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household pest identification guide

Houseplant Pests:

Aphids, Fungus Gnats, and Vine Weevils

Aphids

Tiny, pear-shaped insects with long antennae, 6 legs, and 2 small tubes sticking out from the rear

Aphid

Fungus Gnats

Small flies resembling tiny mosquitoes with a slender abdomen, thread-like antennae, 6 legs, and 1 pair of wings

Dark Winged Fungus Gnat

Vine Weevils

Stout, oval-shaped beetles with a pronounced snout-like structure (“rostrum”), elbowed antennae, and 6 legs

Black Vine Weevil

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household pest identification guide

Occasional Invaders:

Myriapods, Crickets, Silverfish, Spiders, Spotted Lanternflies, and Other Bugs

Centipedes and Millipedes

Many-legged arthropods with elongated bodies

House Centipede
Garden Millipede

Crickets

Long, oval-shaped insects with thread-like antennae, 6 legs (the hind pair is extra long), and 2 pairs of wings (except for spider crickets)

House Cricket
Spider Cricket

Silverfish

Silvery, carrot-shaped insects with long antennae, 6 short legs, and bristle-like appendages on the rear

Silverfish

Spiders

Arachnids with 2 body segments (cephalothorax and abdomen) and 8 long legs

Common House Spider
Yellow Garden Spider
Grass Spider
Wolf Spider
Yellow Sac Spider
Brown Recluse

Spotted Lanternflies

Black, red, and brownish-gray flying insects with bulb-like orange antennae, 6 legs, and 2 pairs of large, butterfly-like wings

Spotted Lanternfly
Spotted Lanternfly Nymphs

Other Critters

  • Multicolored Asian Lady Beetles
  • Soldier Beetles
  • Boxelder Bugs
  • Brown Marmorated Stink Bugs
  • Western Conifer Seed Bugs
  • Pill Bugs / Roly-Polies
  • Sow Bugs
Asian Lady Beetle
Soldier Beetle
Boxelder Bug
Brown Marmorated Stink Bug
Western Conifer Seed Bug
Pill Bug
Sow Bug

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