How Can I Identify the Insect Pests in my Home?

Knowing what insects are invading your home is the important first step in planning how to eliminate them.

Thankfully, there are a somewhat limited number of insects that are likely to be a problem in your house, so you only have to learn a few of them by sight. If you are still unsure, you can call a good exterminator like Connecticut pest control company, Fox, and ask them to come take a look. Most will give you a free estimate when you check out your situation.


Ants do come in various sizes, but the ones that invade houses are typically under a half inch in size. They can be black, or various shades of brown. They have large head with a very narrow “waist” in the center of their bodies, and prominent antennae. Generally, most people are able to recognize an ant when they see one.

You can find ants just about anywhere, usually around areas where there is accessible food (the kitchen).


Here is where most people start to get confused about insects. Young termites and ants look very similar, so you need to look closely to tell them apart. Ants are relatively harmless but termites can create a lot of costly damage, so it’s pretty important that you not make incorrect guesses here.

A termite has a larger head with much stouter jaws than an ant. They also lack that waist shape. Young termites do look like ants but tend to be very pale. Some people call them “white ants” but that’s just a confusing nickname. If they are white, they are not ants.

Another clue to termite identification is that they don’t roam around like other insects. They stick to their tunnels and are almost always found inside wood or underground.


Cockroaches have an oval shape when you look at them from above, and it looks like they have wings folded over their backs. Antennae are long, and their legs have a hairy or bristly look to them. Roaches are considerable larger than most other insects, reaching more than an inch in length. Like ants, they can be anywhere though they tend to stay out of bright light.


An earwig is easily identified by the pair of distinct “pincers” on its rear. Their bodies are long with heavy looking scales along the back half. They lack the waist of the ant, and are usually larger.


Silverfish are very small (around 1/4 inch) and look a little like earwigs with similar scales along their bodies. They are more tapered at the back and do not have the pincers that earwigs do.


Most people do know what spiders are without any help. Their bodies are much rounder and they have 8 legs.


Fleas are always associated with animals, and won’t likely be an issue in a pet-free home. Otherwise, they are small round insects that are hard to spot. They will jump easily (and far), and live in your pets fur, the carpet or in the fabric of your furniture.

If you see a small reddish brown/black insect that leaps almost instantly, it’s probably a flea. Try to catch one, and crush it. It will pop with a crack and usually leave a small smudge of red blood. That’s the sure ID factor.

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