dozens of termites on damaged wood

A Guide To Common Pests In The Bronx, New York

When you see a pest scurrying through your kitchen, your first thought may not be to learn everything about it, but you’ll probably want some information about what’s invaded your house, once you’ve had time to stop and think about it. Our pest library is the perfect resource to answer your questions. You’ll find all the most common pests found in NYC’s homes and businesses, as well as what problems they cause and how to get rid of them.


an ant on a table

Social insects that live worldwide, ants are a common pest problem in our area’s homes and businesses. Ants live together in large colonies, dividing their members into different groups (males, queens, and workers) to help maintain the colony. A male ant’s only job is to mate with the queen(s), dying soon after its job is completed. The queen’s sole job is to produce eggs that will develop into new ants. The worker ants are sterile females and are the heart of the colony. They gather food, repair the nest, protect the colony, and care for the developing larvae. Ants are highly organized and their only mission is to ensure the success of their colony, making them a difficult pest to control and eliminate.

There are many species of ants living across the country each with their own nesting and preferences and unique behaviors. In our area, the most common species of ants to invade our properties are the carpenter ant, house ant, and pharaoh ant. Most ants we come across, such as the common house ant, are nuisance pests; while they will contaminate food and spread some bacteria, they pose no significant health risks to people. Other species, such as the carpenter ant are more destructive. Destructive species of ants will invade and over time cause extensive and expensive damage to a building’s structural integrity. Pharaoh ants are an example of a dangerous species of ant. They prefer to live indoors and pose serious health risks by carrying and transmitting pathogens that make people very ill. They are a huge issue inside of hospitals where they seek moisture from patient wounds and IV fluid bags.

Ant prevention tips: Inspect your structure’s foundation and exterior walls sealing any cracks or openings discovered. Repair torn screens and place weatherstripping around windows and doors and place door sweeps on exterior doors. Remove food sources by cleaning up placing locking lids on trashcans and recycling bins, picking up uneaten pet food, and keeping outdoor eating areas free of food debris. Inside get rid of their access to food by washing dishes daily, vacuuming, and storing food in refrigerators or containers with airtight lids. Outside, leave a barrier between any mulch or soil and your home’s foundation. Remove tree stumps, excess construction materials, or leaf debris that ants could nest within.

Bed Bugs

a bed bug on a sheet

Bed bugs are prolific pests that live worldwide and in every state, within the U.S. They are especially problematic in urban areas where there are large numbers of people coming and going from homes and businesses each day. In urban areas and anywhere else that people live and visit bed bugs have the potential to quickly establish large, hard to control populations. Bed bugs sole food source is the blood of warm-blooded mammals, with people being their favorite host to feed on from. Bed bugs want to live with us, making them a difficult pest to avoid.

Bed bugs are nocturnal; they hide during the day and come out at night to feed on their sleeping hosts. Bed bugs find their human food sources through our body heat and the carbon dioxide produced as we breathe. Lacking wings and unable to jump, bed bugs from location to location searching for new food sources by hitchhiking on people or our belongings. They move from home to business, business to home, and home to home with ease. In addition to hitchhiking, they are able to invade new spaces by moving through walls and floors using wires and cables as a highway system. They also move into new locations in things like used furniture, mattresses, and electronics.

Bed bug prevention tips: To avoid bed bugs, it is essential to keep clothing, luggage, and other personal belongings off the ground when in public or at work or school. When traveling, inspect hotel rooms for signs of bed bugs before bringing luggage and other personal belongings into it. Wash and dry all newly purchased clothing or clothing taken on a trip using the highest heat settings possible. Change and wash bedding a weekly basis. Bed bugs like to hide out of sight in clutter, so it is helpful to keep clutter to a minimum within your home. Vacuum your home’s floors, upholstered furniture, and mattresses on a regular basis. Limit hiding spots in your home by placing protective bed bug covers on mattresses and box springs.


a cockroach inside a home

Cockroaches are adaptable insects that are difficult to control, finding find their way into our homes and businesses while foraging for food and shelter. Once inside they cause a variety of problems including spreading bacteria, pathogens, and parasites. The shed skins and excrement that cockroaches leave behind trigger allergies and asthma attacks, particularly in young children. They also produce an unpleasant odor, and their excrement and feeding habits contaminate food and damage personal property. For those reasons and more, do not tolerate the presence of cockroaches in your home or business for any period of time.

One of the most common species of cockroaches that live worldwide is the German cockroach. This species prefers an indoor lifestyle and thrives in urban areas. They are common pests in homes, restaurants, and other places where food is prepared or stored. They prefer a warm, humid environment, and inside our homes or commercial properties, they live in kitchens, bathrooms, basements, and crawlspaces. It is important to understand that a cockroach infestation can happen anywhere, inside of any home or business. They find their way inside through openings around windows and doors, through drains and vents, and in spaces around pipes. Cockroaches also hitchhike their way into homes and other buildings inside used appliances, furniture, and deliveries.

Cockroach prevention tips: Stop cockroaches from foraging for food on your property by keeping locking lids on trash cans. Keep outdoor eating areas free of food debris and always pick up uneaten pet food. Inside your home, always store food in the refrigerator or in containers with airtight lids. Vacuum floors and wipe down counters to eliminate crumbs and spills. Stop cockroaches from finding their way into your home by sealing cracks in the foundation and exterior walls and place weatherstripping around windows and doors. Install mesh covers over vents and drains. Always inspect boxes, bags, furniture, appliances for cockroaches before bringing them into your home.


a mouse outside a home

Rodents make up the largest groups of mammals, they live worldwide and vary in size from over a hundred pounds to only a few ounces. Based on their exact species, rodents live in different habitats, have different food preferences, and exhibit different behaviors. Something that all rodents have in common, however, is their continuously growing front incisors. To keep these large powerful teeth sharp and to prevent their overgrowth, rodents chew on objects they come across. When rodents decide to live in our yards or inside our properties, their chewing habits, as well as their ability to spread disease and contaminate food, cause them to be dangerous pests.

As our habitats have come to overlap, rodents have adapted to living near us, and have come to at least partially rely on us for their food and shelter needs. Rodents are particularly problematic in urban areas where there is plenty of food and shelter for them to choose from. Rodents will move into our homes and businesses any time of the year either looking for more food or to escape weather that is too hot or cold. Properties with multiple areas for rodents to access food are most attractive to them. Garbage cans, bird feeders, and outdoor eating areas are all places rodents love to gather food from. In our area, the most common species of rodents that become a problem in and around our homes and businesses are the Norway rat, roof rat, house mouse, and deer mouse.

Rodent prevention tips: Keep rodents from being able to find their way inside your structure by sealing spaces around wires, cables, and other utilities, place door sweeps on exterior doors, and caulk gaps in the foundation of your building. Limit their access to food by keeping locking lids on trash receptacles, keeping outdoor areas free of food debris, and picking up uneaten pet food. Inside, keep storage and other areas clean and free of the clutter that rodents are able to hide in out of sight. Store all food in containers with airtight lids of the refrigerator. Vacuum floors and wipe down counters and tables daily to remove crumbs and other food debris.


a spider on a plant

Spiders are predatory arachnids that only feed on other living things, such as insects, arthropods, and other spiders. Their feeding habits make them eco-important, as they help to control nuisance and dangerous insect populations. Those spiders living outside and away from our homes are helpful and wanted; however, when they decide to invade our structures and outdoor spaces in large numbers, they quickly become unwelcome pests. Some of the most common species of spiders living in our area include the American house spider, cellar spider, harvestmen spider, black and yellow garden spider, and sac spider.

Spiders all have a few physical features in common, such as two body segments, eight legs, fangs, and a lack of wings and antennae. Most species of spiders that we come across are not a threat to us, as we are too big to be their prey, and their shy, reclusive nature makes them want to stay hidden away. Bites from spiders usually occur because we accidentally come into contact with them. In most cases, a bite from a spider only results in a red welt that may be slightly itchy. Spiders prefer to live outside, but will move inside while following or searching for prey. Once inside, if there are plenty of food sources available, they may decide to stay. The presence of spiders in large numbers in or around your structure is usually an indicator of a larger pest problem.

Spider prevention tips: Make your outdoor space less attractive to spiders by removing excess debris, keeping the grass cut short, and trimming back overgrown shrubbery, especially from your structure’s exterior walls. To keep spiders outside where they belong, seal cracks in the foundation and exterior walls. Place mesh cover over vent and drains and seal spaces around wires and pipes entering into your structure. Inside reduce hiding spots for spiders by removing areas of clutter. Regularly dust and vacuum to remove spider webs.


a termite on damaged wood

Termites are a type of wood-destroying insect, the most common species living throughout New York is the subterranean termite. Subterranean termites prefer to feed on pieces of wood that have been damaged by water, and nest under the ground in moist soil. As worker termites are out and about, foraging for food for their colony, they often accidentally find their way inside through cracks in the foundation or pieces of wood that are making direct contact with soil (steps, wooden deck posts, wooden trim). Termites are dangerous pests – not because they cause any harm to people, but because of the extensive damage they are able to cause by feeding on a building’s structural wood. Across the country, each year termites cause billions of dollars in damage.

Subterranean termites are often called “silent invaders” because they are rarely seen by people, and enter buildings without anyone noticing, invading pieces of wood located behind walls and under floors. They usually enter into a home or other building at ground level to feed on wood under floors or behind walls. Over time, they will move up the walls and begin to feed on structural beams located above ceilings. Termites always prefer to feed on pieces of wood damaged by water, but eventually, will also feed on sound wood as well. A termite infestation usually isn’t discovered until the damage they have caused is, leading to extensive damage that needs costly repairs. Termite damage is made even more costly due to the fact that most homeowner’s insurance companies do not cover the cost of termite damage. This is because the damage termites cause happens over a long period of time and is able to be prevented against.

Termite prevention tips: Avoid problems with subterranean termites by reducing as much excess water inside and outside of your structure as possible. Repair leaky fixtures and dripping pipes, make sure gutters are allowing rainwater to flow away from your home’s exterior. Place weatherstripping around windows and doors to prevent rainwater from seeping into your home’s walls. Use dehumidifiers and when necessary air conditioners to reduce humidity levels in your home. Ventilate crawlspaces. Replace wood inside that has become damaged by water. It is also a good idea to replace traditional mulch on your property with a non-organic option and always leave a barrier of at least 12-18 inches between the soil and your structure's foundation.

If you are having problems with pests in or around your Bronx, Brooklyn, Queens, or Manhattan home or business, reach out to No Bug Pest Control. Our effective home pest control and commercial pest control services will eliminate current termite problems and prevent their return!


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