From occasional creepy crawlers to full-blown infestations, bugs are never a welcomed visitor in your home. Try as you might, however, keeping them completely at bay is virtually impossible. If you come across pests, it’s important to identify them correctly. This will help you take the right steps to get rid of them quickly before they overtake or cause damage to your home. But how do I know what kind of bug is in my house?

Below, we examine some of the common signs and clues that can help determine what kind of bug is in your house.

How Do I Know What Kind of Bug Is In My House?

Visual Inspection

One of the easiest ways to determine what kind of bug has made its way into your house is by a simple visual inspection. Examine the bug and take note of its size, shape, and color.

For example, is it dark brown, black, or light brown in color? Does it have any distinctive characteristics, such as a uniquely shaped body and markings? Some beetles can be 1/8 inch long and others about an inch.

Look at what you see and search online or use a guidebook to find insects that match what you saw.


Knowing a bug’s habitat is another way that you can determine what kind of pest you’re dealing with. Different species have different living preferences. Some like warm, dark, and moist places, while others prefer cool, well-lit, but hidden spots.

Ripe fruit, for example, attracts fruit flies. You can also find them around drains, garbage disposals, and trash cans where they breed. Knowing where bugs live can help you recognize the type and plan how to control them.

 Bug Behavior

Bugs have different behaviors. Some are active at night, while others are active during the day. Do they march in a straight line, like ants, or do they run and attempt to hide when exposed to light and noise, like roaches? By paying attention to their behaviors, you may be able to determine what kind of bug you’re dealing with.

Trails and Droppings

While it might sound gross (and yes, it is), the trails that bugs leave behind are some of the most powerful clues that tell you what kind of pests you’re dealing with. For instance, roach droppings resemble coffee grounds, and termite frass can be likened to wood pellets. The waste that bugs leave behind can provide you with invaluable insight.

Odors and Noises

It might be surprising, but bugs can and do create odors and sounds. Some species create very distinctive scents and noises and can be clues about the type of pest you may have. For instance, crickets create a high-pitched chirp, while bed bugs generate a musty odor. Pay attention to any odors and sounds, as these clues can help you correctly identify the critter in question.

Type of Damage

Last but not least, the type of damage left behind can help you identify the suspect. Termites and carpenter ants dine on wood, leaving behind distinctive tunnels, while roaches can leave grease marks on walls, steps, fabrics, and furnishings.

Check to see if the critters have caused any damage to your house, windows, doors, or possessions. If so, carefully examine the damage to determine what kind of pest you’re dealing with.

What Kind of Bug Is In My House?

Knowledge is your most powerful weapon when it comes to removing unwanted pests from your home. By using the tips outlined above, you should be able to properly identify the critter that you’re dealing with. You can then create a plan of action that will allow you to effectively remove them from the premises or prevent them from entering your home in the future.

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