Insects in Ohio: Identifying the Most Common Pests
The Buckeye State is no stranger to pests and insects that can pose serious risks to our health and property. The pests thrive on finding vulnerabilities in our homes as they search for sources of food, water, and shelter. To properly handle a pest problem, partnering with an Ohio pest control professional is a must, as DIY efforts are not enough to keep the home and family safe. Read more to learn about the most common pests and insects found in and around Ohio households.
List of Common Pests and Insects in Ohio
Centipedes are found throughout Ohio, typically in areas of high moisture, such as in rotting logs, under stones or in piles of leaves/grass. They are sometimes called house centipedes or "hundred-leggers" because of their many pairs of legs. In the home, these pests are most often found in damp basements, crawlspaces, bathrooms, or potted plants. Centipedes are generally considered nuisance pests because they do not pose significant health or property threats.
Although frequently mistaken for insects, ticks are actually arachnids as adults have 4 pairs of legs. There are various tick species found throughout Ohio, and they pose serious health threats. Ticks are the main transmitters of diseases such as anaplasmosis, babesiosis, rocky mountain spotted fever and Lyme disease.
The brown marmorated stink bug is an invasive species that was introduced to the United States in the mid-1990s. Stink bugs earned their name from a tendency to release an odor when disturbed or crushed. While these insects are not known to bite humans or damage property, they tend to invade homes in high numbers and can be quite a nuisance. Stink bugs also spend the winter hiding inside homes or buildings, usually in the walls, attic, or crawl space.
Fleas are small parasites that feed on the blood of many warm-blooded animals. They are the most common transmitter of the rare bubonic plague and can transmit the bacterial disease murine typhus to humans, both through feeding on infected rats. Although most people think of fleas as only a problem for the family pet, these creatures can also bite humans, resulting in painful, itchy red bumps.
Stinging insects such as yellowjackets, hornets and wasps, send over 500,000 people to the ER each year. These insects are often found in Ohio during the summer months. They are very protective of their nests and will attack if they feel threatened or are disturbed. Stinging insects can build their nests in attics, crawlspaces, building corners, gutters and under patios or decks. Some insects like hornets and yellow jackets can survive the winter temperatures by hibernating in your home.
Certainly one of the most annoying bugs in Ohio and beyond. There are different types of mosquitoes found throughout the U.S. These pests leave behind itchy mosquito bites, but they can also pose a far more serious threat. In the U.S., mosquitoes are known to spread the West Nile virus, Zika virus, Eastern Equine Encephalitis, and Dengue Fever. These insects can quickly grow into a serious problem as they only need half an inch of standing water to lay their eggs. Homeowners are advised to remove stagnant water or frequently dump any water-holding containers on their properties to break the mosquito lifecycle.
Common Household Pests and Insects Found Inside Ohio Homes
These household pests and insects can typically be found in Ohio, and can pose serious threats if they make their way indoors:
Although frequently found outdoors, ants can enter homes via small openings and cracks around the doors and windows. Due to their small size, these pests can easily go unnoticed, allowing infestations to rampage. Ants can contaminate food and pose a risk to structures and properties depending on the species. Some ant species like carpenter ants can even damage wood through their nest building. Ohio homeowners can prevent these bugs from dwelling in their home by keeping food in sealed containers, wiping up crumbs and spills immediately, and sealing any cracks and holes around the house.
Bed bugs can be found in virtually every place people gather, including residences, hotels, schools, offices, and even public transportation. These pests are experienced “hitchhikers” as they easily latch onto suitcases, clothes, and linens. Although bed bugs can dine on many warm-blooded animals, they primarily feed on humans, most often while we are asleep. These bloodsuckers do not transmit disease, but their bites can cause red, itchy welts. To prevent bed bugs, residents in Ohio should vacuum suitcases and inspect for any signs of bed bugs, such as small reddish-brown fecal spots on mattresses, upholstery, or walls upon returning from a vacation. Bed bugs are extremely elusive creatures and can be extremely difficult to eradicate. As such, it is essential that you contact a licensed pest professional to address the issue.
Cockroaches are nocturnal creatures that love to be in warm and dark environments and often move indoors for easy access to food and water. These pests pose serious health threats and are known to spread at least 33 kinds of bacteria, including E. coli and Salmonella, as well as six types of parasitic worms and at least seven other human pathogens. These pests breed very quickly and can hide in different places in the home. To keep cockroaches from gaining entry, you should seal up cracks and crevices around the house and maintain a clean and sanitary home. Cockroaches are some of the most adaptable creatures on earth, so if you discover a cockroach infestation, contact a pest professional for assistance with elimination and prevention.
Rodents such as mice and rats threaten both people and property. These pests spread more than 35 diseases that can be transmitted to humans, and their droppings and urine can trigger asthma and allergy symptoms, especially in children. Rodents may be small in size, but they pose big problems if they are able to get inside. These creatures can damage properties by chewing through drywall and insulation as well as the electrical wiring in walls or vehicles. If you suspect a rodent infestation, contact a licensed pest professional to handle the problem.
What is the State Insect of Ohio?
In 1975, the ladybug or ladybird beetle, also known as Coccinellidae, was designated as the official state insect of Ohio. Lady beetles are red with small black spots on their elytra, and there are over 450 species in North America. One of the reasons for selecting the lady beetle was because of the bright colors, alongside the friendly and industrious nature of the insect that was symbolic of the people of Ohio.
Find Ohio Pest Control Professionals Near You
From stinging insects to rodents, it is best to hire licensed pest professionals to assist in the proper identification and treatment of the household pest problem. If you are concerned about pests infesting your household, click below to use a zip code locator to find qualified pest control services in Ohio.