6 Insect Identification Steps from Our Pest Control Experts

The National Pest Management Association supports the practice of integrated pest management (IPM), a common-sense process for treating and controlling pests. IPM incorporates three basic techniques, the second of which is identification. Insect identification is a matter of knowing what to look for, knowing where to find it, and being able to see it. There are about 90,000 arthropod pest species in the United States, many of which have similar characteristics, making it all the more important to have a resource for assisting in bug and pest identification. Our bug identifier is just that. Below is a list of six steps to effectively identify pests using our rodent, arachnid and insect identification guides. 

step bug SIX STEPS
  1. 1 Magnify Bug

    Make note of certain characteristics of the pest, including shape, size, color, number of legs, and whether or not it has wings and/or antennae.

  2. 2 Pointer Icon

    ​​​​​​​Click on the category that best resembles the pest characteristics you noted in step 1.

  3. 3 Thumbnail Icon

    Compare the pest characteristics to the thumbnail images of the various species. Then, click on the species that most closely resembles the pest.

  4. 4 Characteristic Icon

    Read about the pest characteristics, habits, habitats, threats, signs of an infestation, and prevention and control measures. The additional pest photos in the pest identification guides can serve as another method of bug identification.

  5. 5 Contact Icon

    ​​​​​​​If you think you properly identified the pest species, consider contacting a licensed pest control professional to discuss eradication methods before trying to do it yourself. Some pest problems are better left to professional treatment.

  6. 6 Magnify Bug

    ​​​​​​​If you are still unsure of the pest in question, consider visiting some other bug identification guides in the same pest category. A pest control professional can also assist in identification. A pest control company will send out a technician who is equipped with the tools and resources to properly identify the pest.

What are Common House Bugs?

Typical household bugs can vary greatly depending on where you live, but some of the most common house pests include ants, bed bugs, cockroaches, and flies, not to mention rodents. To determine what kind of pests you are dealing with, we recommend using our bug identifier above, as well as hiring a pest control professional.

Depending on the common house bug infestation you have, a pest control professional (also known as an exterminator) can provide you with a plan to eradicate these pests from your home and prevent future infestations. Use the pest identification guide above to get started.

common house bugs and pests

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