Understanding Common Household Pests and How to Prevent Them

Address These Common Household Pests ImmediatelyPests can be a health concern and associated damage can reduce home value. What can you do to reduce the possibility of unwanted pests in a home? Education helps homeowners learn how to identify some common household pests and create a plan of action.

Know some of the signs of common pests and how to prevent or address initial visitors in a home.


Termites can do extensive damage to the structure of a home. They make meals out of support beams and wooden structures as they consume the wood. A home and the wooden furniture within it can become an unwilling host to termites.

Signs of termites may include their wings and areas that look like sawdust, which is actually the excrement of the organism. Wood that sounds hollow when tapped may be home to termites. Sagging floors or obvious holes may be additional signs of a termite problem. Homeowners should be aware that it may be necessary to get an exterminator in to address a termite infestation. This is important to do in a timely manner, because termite damage often isn’t covered in homeowner’s insurance.


The most commonly found cockroach is the German cockroach. This pest likes to live close to moisture and food. They may find easy access to a home by hiding in secondhand appliances, boxes and grocery bags. These pests are often visible in bathrooms and kitchens. Cockroaches can spread bacteria, contaminate food and trigger allergies.

Homeowners can check carefully under sinks and appliances in bathrooms and kitchens to spot signs of this unwanted guest. Garbage should be disposed of regularly. Homeowners also need to take steps to vacuum frequently, clean counters and floors and remove all crumbs from surfaces.


The most common rodent found in homes is the house mouse. Such animals generally nest in basement and attic spaces and can chew on electrical wires and through drywall. House mice can also spread diseases like tapeworms and Salmonella. In addition to house mice, rats can also make a home unsafe. Norway rats are sizable pests that can even gnaw through lead or plastic pipes to find food or water. They are also a known vector of disease. This animal can chew on wires and create holes in walls or around a property.

Homeowners can reduce the potential for attracting such pests by sealing any holes or cracks on the exterior or a home using steel wool and caulk. Areas should be kept clear of clutter and boxes should be kept off of the floor. Address sources of moisture in basements and crawl spaces. Keep an eye out for sings of mice or other rodents, such as gnaw marks, dropping or damaged food containers.

Other Household Pests

Raccoons, bed bugs, the brown recluse spider, ants and other insects can invade a home. Basements, attics, kitchens and bathrooms are often the first areas where signs of an infestation are visible. Homeowners may check for:

  • Dead bugs of the same type in the home.
  • Pest or animal droppings.
  • Nesting using shredded paper or other available materials.
  • Unusual or musty smells.
  • Grease tracks and marks from rats or mice.

Homeowners should learn about the different types of common household pests, signs of pests and how to reduce the potential for attracting rats, cockroaches and more to their Minneapolis homes. Unusual smells or sounds may be the first signs of a pest problem. Talk to neighbors to find out more about local issues to an area. Speak with a professional exterminator for accurate pest identification and remediation services today.

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