PPMA Common Pests By State Pennsylvania

Pest Control in Pennsylvania: What Insects and Other Pests are Found in Pennsylvania?

Pests can be found in every state and all around the world. That includes your very own home, backyard and yes, even your bedroom. Each species differs from the next, which means some thrive in environments that others cannot. For that reason, it’s important to familiarize yourself with the pests that are frequently encountered in your region, so you can identify the signs of a potential infestation and work with a licensed pest control professional in Pennsylvania to safely and swiftly eliminate the issue. As the fifth most populated state, Pennsylvania is home to plenty of people who are at-risk for pest exposure.

Common Household Pests in Pennsylvania 

Most of the common house bugs and pests in Pennsylvania are in search of food, water, and shelter, posing significant health and property threats once they’ve made their way inside. Here are just a few critters that you may encounter in your home:

Indian Meal Moth

Close-up of Indian meal moth

Named after its appetite for corn or Indian meal (food made from corn), the Indian meal moth is one of the most common household pests in Pennsylvania. These bugs like to feed on common items that could likely be in your kitchen pantry, such as dried fruits, grains, seeds, nuts, chocolate, candies, bird seed, dog food, powdered milk, dried red peppers and candy. These bugs pose a threat to humans because they can infest and contaminate food products.

Bed Bugs

Bed bug on skin

While they’re infamous for infesting mattresses, bed bugs can be found just about anywhere humans are. These blood-sucking pests are common household bugs in Pennsylvania and thrive in the night hours because they’re drawn to the warmth and carbon dioxide you emit while sleeping. Pennsylvanians should keep their eyes peeled for signs of a bed bug infestation because these bugs are one of the most difficult pests to control.


American cockroach

Cockroaches are also frequently found in Pennsylvania. Different species of cockroaches including American, Brown-banded and Oriental cockroaches are known to carry diseases and bacteria, such as E. coli and Salmonella, and cause allergic reactions, making them a serious health threat if they sneak their way into your home. Due to their attraction to warm, moist environments, they’re often found gathering in kitchens or bathrooms in search of food and water to survive.


List of Common Outdoor Insects and Pests Found in Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania is home to a wide variety of pests including troublesome insects that residents should be aware of as well. The goal of a significant portion of the pest control efforts in Pennsylvania is to minimize the damage inflicted by these pests. Some of the most common outdoor insects (and other pests) found in Pennsylvania include:


Engorged tickPennsylvania is home to countless miles of walking trails and wooded areas, making it the perfect oasis for a variety of tick species, including the American dog tick and blacklegged tick, among others. Pennsylvanians should take the appropriate steps to prevent tick bites, as they’re capable of transmitting debilitating diseases, such as Lyme disease, at increasingly alarming rates.


Asian tiger mosquito (Aedes albopictus)With the warm Pennsylvania weather comes the unwelcome return of mosquitoes, which are considered the deadliest insect in the world. In addition to the itchy welts their bites leave behind, mosquitoes can also transmit dangerous diseases, including West Nile virus, Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE) and Malaria. Homeowners are encouraged to remove any stagnant water that’s collecting in receptacles such as flowerpots, kiddie pools and bird baths as these are potential breeding grounds for mosquito populations.


Paper Wasps

Paper waspPaper wasps, which get their name from the paper-like material they use to build their nests, are a type of wasp commonly found in Pennsylvania. These stinging insects often build nests under eaves and windows. For that reason, homeowners should take precautions to prevent a potential paper wasp infestation and the potential of getting stung by calling a licensed pest control professional at the first sign of paper wasps.

Carpenter Ants

While small, ant species like the carpenter ant can inflict a great deal of damage to your home, and their infestations can be difficult to detect. Carpenter ants get their name from their nest building, during which they will excavate the wood and form smooth tunnels inside of the wood. In order to prevent future encounters with this destructive pest, Pennsylvanians can remove decaying tree stumps and dying trees, repair gutters and ensure firewood is stored away from the home.


What is Pennsylvania’s State Insect(s)?

The state insect of Pennsylvania is the Pennsylvania firefly, also known as Photuris pennsylvanica. This species is commonly referred to as the “lightning bug” and serves as a cherished symbol of warm summer evenings in the Keystone State. Named as the state insect of Pennsylvania in 1974, the Pennsylvania firefly is recognized by its pulsing pinpoints of yellow and green light, which the insect uses as a communication mechanism.

Find Pennsylvania Exterminators Near You

If you suspect a potential infestation in your home, act quickly to protect your health and your wallet. Work with a pest control professional licensed in Pennsylvania before a pest infestation gets out of hand.

Find a professional near you

Pest control professional investigating an infestation