10 Top Household Pest Facts

Exploring the Intricacies of Home Pest Behavior

Living with pests at home can be annoying and disturbing.

However, there are some fascinating things to learn about these uninvited guests.

Getting to know more about home pests can help you prevent and control infestations.

In this article, our friendly pest control experts will share with you the 10 top home pest facts.

Key Takeaways

  • Cockroaches can live without their heads for up to a week.
  • Bed bugs don’t actually live in beds. Their name comes from their habit of feeding on sleeping humans.
  • Clothes moths lay eggs on natural fabrics like wool and silk. The larvae eat the fabric when they hatch.
  • Termites eat cellulose material and can damage wooden structures and furniture.
  • Ants follow scent trails laid by other ants to find food sources. Blocking the trails can stop them from getting into your home.
  • Rats and mice teeth grow continuously throughout their lives. They need to gnaw on hard surfaces to keep their teeth worn down.
  • A female housefly can lay up to 500 eggs in her lifetime.
  • Fleas can jump up to 200 times their own body length.
  • Mosquitoes have 47 teeth. Only females bite, needing blood to develop their eggs.
  • A single female spider can produce nearly 3,000 spiders in her lifetime.

1. Cockroaches Can Live Without Their Heads

Cockroaches are notoriously difficult pests to get rid of. One reason is their ability to survive decapitation. They have an open circulatory system which means they don’t bleed to death if their head is removed. A cockroach can live without its head for up to a week before dying of thirst or hunger.

2. Bed Bugs Feed on Sleeping Humans

While the name implies they live in beds, bed bugs actually reside inside cracks and crevices near sleeping areas. They come out at night to feed on the blood of humans and animals. Their flat bodies allow them to squeeze into tiny spaces which makes them difficult to detect and eliminate. Getting rid of bed bugs requires professional treatment and intense heat or cold.

3. Clothes Moth Larvae Eat Fabric

The larvae of clothes moths can cause serious damage to valued clothing, blankets and carpets made from wool, silk, fur and other natural fabrics. Adult moths lay eggs on the fabric surface. When the eggs hatch, larvae emerge and create holes and tunnels as they feed. Regular cleaning, brushing and protective storage procedures are required to protect fabrics from moth infestations.

4. Termites Feast on Wood

There are different types of termites that can invade homes. They all feed on cellulose material obtained from wood sources and wood by-products. Left uncontrolled, termites can seriously compromise the structural integrity of a home. Early termite detection and professional treatment is key to managing this destructive pest.

5. Ants Use Scent Trails to Find Food

Ants follow pheromone trails laid down by scout ants to travel from the nest to a food source. Disturbing and wiping away these scent trails is an effective DIY method to discourage ants from entering your home. Stronger baits and pesticide sprays may be needed for stubborn infestations of some ant species.

Amazing Ant Facts

  • Some queen ants can live for 30 years.
  • Ants don’t have lungs. Oxygen enters through tiny holes all over their body.
  • When foraging, ants can lift 20 times their own body weight.

6. Rodents Need to Gnaw to Wear Down Teeth

Both rats and mice have incisor teeth that grow continuously. They need to gnaw frequently on hard materials to file down their teeth and keep them at an optimal length. This explains why they love to chew on electrical cables, wood structures and stored food containers. Sealing all possible entry points is the first step to keeping them out of your home.

Rodent Prevention Tips

  • Install weather stripping under doors.
  • Seal cracks wider than 1/4 inch.
  • Cover dryer vents and floor drains.

7. Houseflies Breed Rapidly

Houseflies can produce hundreds of offspring because they reproduce rapidly. Adult flies live for 15 to 25 days. In optimal conditions, the fly lifecycle from egg through larva and pupa to adult can be completed in just 8 to 10 days. Sanitation measures create an unfavorable environment that discourages flies from breeding and multiplying.

8. Fleas Are Champion Jumpers

Fleas are amazingly good jumpers. They can leap 150 to 200 times their body length straight up. Their knees are structured differently than insects that only crawl, allowing them to jump explosive distances. Fleas pick upmomentum with their long back legs and can reach speeds up to 22 body lengths per second. These champion jumping abilities help them move quickly on and between hosts.

9. Only Female Mosquitoes Bite

Mosquitoes have 47 very sharp teeth located in their tubular mouthpart called a proboscis. They use these teeth to pierce skin and suck up blood. Male mosquitoes do not bite. They feed only on flower nectar. Only female mosquitoes bite humans and animals to get a blood meal to develop their eggs. Protect yourself from bites by removing standing water breeding sites, wearing repellent and avoiding peak activity times.

10. Female Spiders Produce Many Offspring

Some types of female spiders can produce impressive numbers of offspring during their lifespan. The females devote their energy to creating egg sacs while males focus on fertilising. One record-setting spider produced nearly 3,000 babies. Controlling spiders means interrupting their reproduction cycle by clearing thick vegetation and sealing cracks where they nest.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the most common pest inside homes?

The German cockroach is considered the most common pest. This small species of cockroach thrives indoor by feeding on food scraps and moisture.

Can pest bites cause an allergic reaction?

Yes, bites from insects like mosquitoes, spiders, and bed bugs can trigger allergic reactions in sensitive individuals ranging from mild swelling and itching to severe whole-body responses. Seeking medical care for significant or unusual reactions is recommended.

How does a pest control company get rid of termites?

Professional pest control technicians use customised plans to eliminate termite infestations. This usually involves applying targeted liquid termiticide chemicals into the soil to kill and repel the entire colony.

Why is pest control important?

Controlling pest populations protects homes from damage and disease. Biting insects can also transmit illnesses to humans. Working with a licensed pest control service helps manage populations for better health and home condition.


Pests may start out almost invisible, but their populations can quickly grow out of control if left unchecked.

These ground creatures can damage our homes and plants while biting insects spread disease.

Understanding details about different species’ behaviors and reproduction cycles helps us implement more effective pest control strategies.

With vigilance and the help of professional services when needed, we can manage pest populations for healthier homes.

Now you know some surprising and fascinating facts about these common household creatures.