Top 10 Common Household Pests

Your Guide to Identifying and Managing Common Household Invaders

Common Household Pests

Pests. Just reading that word makes your skin crawl, doesn’t it? Unfortunately, dealing with critters that have made themselves at home in our homes is a common part of life for many Australians.

I know, I know – you keep a clean house and you certainly didn’t invite them in! But the truth is, pests don’t need much of an opening to sneak their way into our living spaces. And once they do, they can multiply faster than you can blink.

The good news? Most common household pests can be controlled with some diligent prevention and targeted methods. But before we get into all of that, let’s go over the culprits you’re most likely to encounter:

10 Common Household Pests in Australia


Pest Type Threat Level Signs of Infestation
Termites High Hollowed wood, swarmer wings
Cockroaches Medium Droppings, egg cases, foul odor
Spiders Low Webs, spider sightings
Ants Medium Ant nests, swarming ants
Fleas Medium Black specks, pets scratching
Bed Bugs High Blood spots, eggs/skins
Rodents High Droppings, gnaw marks, noises
Wasps/Bees Medium Nests, swarming bugs
Flies Low Swarming flies, larvae
Mosquitoes Low Buzzing pests


Now that we know our usual suspects, let’s talk about each pest more in depth, including the risks they pose, signs of a pest presence, and prevention recommendations.

1. Termites

Threat: High

Of all typical pests, termites pose one of the biggest threats to Australian households. Their sheer numbers combined with their voracious, timber-consuming habits can cause damage if left unchecked.

Signs of termites include:

  • Mud pathways run along the foundations.
  • Hollowed timber that sounds different when tapped
  • Swarmer wings found near windows or doors

Prevent termite infestations by eliminating debris around the house, installing termite barriers, and having regular inspections. Catching a pest issue early makes treatment much more effective. This usually involves targeted spraying or baiting to eliminate the colony.

2. Cockroaches

Threat: Medium

No one wants to see a cockroach skittering through their house, but these uninvited critters tend to sneak in through the tiniest of cracks. Known for spreading germs and causing allergic reactions , cockroaches can quickly take over if given the chance.

Be on the lookout for:

  • Droppings that look like coffee grounds
  • Egg cases that house dozens of baby roaches
  • A foul odor

Prevent roaches by sealing entry points, cleaning food spills quickly, and using baits or traps early on. For serious infestations, you may need professional-grade insecticide sprays to knock down the population.

3. Spiders

Threat: Low

The sight of a hairy huntsman or red-back spider species might make your pulse quicken, but spiders found around Australian homes are relatively harmless. Bites are uncommon and rarely cause serious issues. Plus, they help control other pests!

If you spot:

-Dense cobwebs in corners or crevices
-Active spiders running around

Implement a no-squashing policy and gently relocate spiders found inside. Clear webs with a broom or vacuum. Apply an outdoor barrier spray around your house perimeter to discourage spiders from coming indoors.

4. Wasps and Bees

Threat: Medium

Although airplane-sized termites elicits more dread, wasps and bees cause the most ER visits in Australia for insect stings. Getting swarmed or sustaining multiple stings provokes severe reactions in some people.

Keep watch for:

  • Wasp nests hanging under eaves or bushes
  • Large swarms loitering around the house

Apply long-lasting sprays to vulnerable nesting areas like eaves and attics. This discourages queens from settling down to start colonies in the first place. If nests already exist, take extreme caution and hire a professional removal service when necessary.

Common Household Pests

5. Fleas

Threat: Medium

Most commonly brought inside by pets, fleas survive by feeding on the fluids of their hosts. They can make life miserable with bites that cause annoying itching. An infestation can quickly grow out of control since a female flea lays up to 50 eggs per day!

You may notice:

  • Tiny black flea specks in pet beds or carpeting
  • Pets constantly biting, licking, or scratching themselves
  • Itchy red bites around your ankles

Treat fleas by applying medication to all pets and washing their bedding. Vacuum thoroughly then use sprays, foggers, or powders made specifically for flea elimination. Depending on the severity, you may need to repeat your methods or call a professional exterminator that uses eco-friendly chemicals to avoid a negative impact on your environment.

6. Bed Bugs

Threat: High

Bed bugs top the list as one of the most reviled pests. They hide near sleeping areas and emerge at night to feed on human blood, leaving behind telltale marks. Infestations spread rapidly and can be incredibly challenging to get rid of for good.

Signs to look out for:

  • Clusters of red, itchy welts
  • Red spots on sheets from crushed bugs
  • Actual bed bugs and eggs hiding in mattress crevices

Prevent bed bugs when traveling by checking hotel beds and keeping luggage off the floor. Catching them early makes it easier to prevent. Eliminating bed bugs often requires repeat chemical applications and meticulous cleaning of anything they could hide in.

7. Rodents (Rats and Mice)

Threat: High

Unwanted mice or rats take up residence for the ample food and shelter our homes provide. Known for spreading harmful diseases, they contaminate surfaces with droppings and urine. Rodents also chew through critical wiring and insulation, posing serious fire risks.

Note gnaw marks, droppings, noises like scratching or squeaking, and actually spotting live mice or rats. These all indicate the wide range of pests that need immediate action.

Seal any exterior holes and gaps to cut off entry access, especially for rats. Snap traps or baited stations work best to safely eliminate mice found inside. Severe rat problems may require professional extermination.

8. Flies

Threat: Low

Pesky flies that end up inside generally don’t pose serious risks to health or property. At worst they contaminate food, annoy you to no end, or lay batches of eggs that turn into maggots!

Catch the issue early if you notice:

  • Clouds of flies swarming indoors
  • Larvae in window sills and floor drains

Install screen doors and windows to block flies outside. Use traps or fly paper inside when needed. Keep trash cans closed, drain pipes clear, and surfaces wiped down to discourage them from breeding.

9. Mosquitoes

Threat: Low

Mosquitoes pester us as they seek exposed skin, leaving irritating and itchy welts. Besides the annoyance factor, risks come from diseases like Ross River fever that infected mosquitoes can transmit through their stings.

You primarily notice:

  • Itchy marks after time spent outdoors.
  • Buzzing pests hovering nearby

Mosquitoes need standing water to reproduce, so eliminating sources around your property is key for control. Also spray yourself with repellent before spending time outdoors. Making patios and porches less inviting to them reduces encounters as well.

10. Ants

Threat: Medium

Between syrup-loving sugar ants to biting green ants, ants seem to find a way into even the cleanest kitchens. They especially love damp, dark places to build their underground nests and tunnels. While not inherently dangerous, ants can contaminate food and become a true nuisance.

Watch for:

  • Meandering ant pathways along the counters
  • Dirt mounds around foundations where colonies have formed
  • Swarms coming out of tiny crevices

Remove indoor food sources immediately. Apply ant gel baits or barrier sprays outside to destroy nests. Seal entry points around your house exterior.

Why are there so many ants on the table?


What time of year do the most household pests appear in Australia?

Warmer months from October to April see large increases in pest activity, especially mosquitoes, flies, ants, wasps/bees, spiders, and rodents. Termite swarming season peaks in spring and fall.

How can I find small insect nests or entry points?

Look along floor edges, in cabinet corners, under sinks, around plumbing pipes, inside electrical outlets, and behind wall hangings or appliance to locate problem areas.

Which pest prevention step is most important?

Sealing holes, gaps, and other possible access points prevents almost all types of pests from infiltrating in the first place. Make sure screens on doors and windows are intact as well.

What natural home remedies deter pests?

Many essential oils like lemon, peppermint, tea tree, and eucalyptus effectively repel certain pests. Diatomaceous earth kills insects with soft bodies. Borax and boric acid harm ants and cockroaches.

When should I consider professional pest control help?

If you’ve tried several solutions without resolving a stubborn pest issue, signs of damage, and difficult to reach nests often call for pro pest control support and products.


Dealing with uninvited pest guests ranks high on the list of common frustrations homeowners face. Fortunately, you now have the key facts needed to identify and control the most common offenders.

Early detection, eliminating entry points, and implementing preventative measures all empower you to take proactive steps for protecting your home. When pesky intruders still break through defenses, use the advice above to shut down infestations promptly.

Here’s to a future with fewer creepy-crawly pests invading your domestic bliss! Just remember, there’s no shame in calling on professional pest control services when you need them.