Only a few insects, mites and spiders dwell inside homes and are known as household pests. Usually these fall into three categories that help make identification easier: bugs that bite or sting, structural pests that cause damage such as termites or certain types of pests found in the garden. Becoming familiar with insect hiding places can help in identification, as does being familiar with factors such as the number of legs, if it has wings and what its color is.
The most common household pests include certain types of beetles, ants, roaches, flies and silverfish. Carpet beetles prefer dark places, are slow-moving and infest carpets and fabrics. Bed bugs are small, football-shaped and live in furniture and bedding. Search for fecal stains on mattresses or check inside box springs.
Fungus gnats make their home among potted plants. Ants invade homes in search of water or food and are often first noticed in kitchen areas. Silverfish are around three-quarter inches long and are shiny gray in color. They feed on starchy materials such as paper and are often found in books, on pictures and in wallpaper.