The Most Common Household Pests by Region

Each region of the United States has its own unique types of household pests, based on the weather, climate, other nearby species and more. Understanding what type of pests are common in your region can help you prevent and control them. Here’s a guide to the common household pests by region so you can get rid of those ants once and for all.

Northeast

mouse

States in the northeast region, such as Maine, Vermont and New Hampshire, experience the most infestations from rodents like mice and rats. These common household pests live and breed in outdoor sheds, garages and barns.

Mice and rats can be dangerous as they often carry harmful bacteria and disease, which can be transmitted to family members or household pets. What’s more, these creatures can chew through wood, insulation, wires and other objects in your home, causing expensive structural damage.

To prevent these types of rodents from entering your home, check out these tips from the experts at PestWorld.org:

  • Seal cracks and holes on the outside of your home using caulk or steel wool. This is especially important around areas where utilities and pipes enter the home because rodents can fit in holes as small as a dime.
  • Keep garages, basements and crawl spaces well ventilated and dry. Areas that have moisture are prime breeding grounds for pests.
  • Maintain outdoor landscaping by trimming back plants and bushes to make your home less accessible to pests. Many pests use branches and other plants to build their home, so trimming them back is an easy fix.

Midwest

squash bug

Squash bugs can be found throughout the Midwest, most commonly in areas that grow crops. While not harmful to humans, squash bugs can cause damage to your gardens as they suck the sap out of leaves causing plants to wilt and die.

Boxelder bugs are also commonly found in the Midwest. This type of household pest can hide in small cracks and crevices in attics, walls, doors and windows. In late March and early April, these pests will come out of hiding and can get into your house through small openings. Luckily, boxelder bugs are relatively easy to get rid of through vacuuming or sticky traps and pose no harm to humans.

South

roach

The mild temperatures and moisture-dense air in the southern parts of the U.S. attract many types of household pests, including roaches, ants and rodents.

Roof rats, for example, are common throughout the south. This particular type of rodent likes to nest and breed off the ground, so it’s common to find them in attics, roof spaces, palm trees and shrubbery. Roof rats are known to chew through electrical wires, which can lead to dangerous house fires and structural damage.

Another common pest in states like Florida is the lizard. These small critters can sneak into your home through vents, pipes and small cracks in your windows. Lizards pose a hazard because they often carry salmonella, which can spread if you have direct or indirect contact with droppings.

To tell if you have rodents living in or around your home, look for these tell-tale signs, according to Bugs.com:

  • Scratching sounds in your walls
  • Running sounds in your attic
  • Chewed materials or furniture
  • Urine or feces detected near food sources

West

spider

The western region of the U.S. is home to thousands of insects and pests. California, in particular, is most impacted by spiders due to its warmer climate. While spiders are useful in controlling pests outside your home, they can pose problems when they get inside the home. To keep your space free of spiders, dust regularly and maintain vegetation close to the foundation of your home — don’t let it overgrow.

In the pacific northwest states of Oregon, Washington and Idaho, carpenter ants are most common. Indigenous to forested areas, carpenter ants prefer to nest inside dead or damp wood. Unlike termites, carpenter ants don’t eat wood, but they can cause similar structural damage as they burrow in wooded areas. To prevent carpenter ants from entering your home, seal all cracks in and around doors, windows and plumbing throughout your home.

Keep pests away

Use this guide to keep the common household pests out of your home. If you rent an apartment, your landlord will likely handle much of the preventative work, like keeping the trees trimmed and keeping small spaces well ventilated, so don’t forget to speak up if pests become an issue in your home.

Header Photo by Vivek Doshi on Unsplash
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Brian CarberryBrian Carberry has more than 10 years' experience as a content creator and award-winning journalist. He is currently the managing editor of Apartment Guide and rent.com, and his work has been featured on CNN, Search Engine Land, Campaign Monitor, Randstad and a number of other organizations around the world. In his free time, Brian enjoys sports, cooking and debating the correct pronunciation of "gif."

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