What Is the Best Way to Identify Household Bugs?

A simple way to identify household pests is to contact a pest control or pest management company, and arrange for an in-home assessment of the pest. Contacting a local Cooperative Extension Service is helpful when identifying pests that are native to the region. Capturing a sample of the pest population in the home and comparing it to images of pests in a field guide or online is also an option.

Some pest control companies charge a fee for pest identification. To identify a pest without assistance, place sticky traps in the affected areas of the home, and note the size, shape, color, number of legs and other identifying marks on the bug after it is captured in the trap.

Compare the bug to those found in a field guide by referring to the insect's features. Identify the bug's order first, then narrow down the possible species by identifying the insect's family. After identifying the insect's family, search for images of the specific insect by checking the field guide for common insects or by searching online using an image search.

Field guides typically only list common bugs. For uncommon insects, contact an expert, such as a pest control professional or entomologist, for assistance with identifying the bug.