Common Insect Facts

Bugs and insects that are common around your home and property become unwanted houseguests when outside conditions are too hot or too cold for them to survive, if they find food indoors, or if they are attracted inside by lights in your house at night.

These pests are usually not able to live inside for long, maybe a few days or weeks. But they can still cause issues for you, depending on what the kind of insect it is and where exactly they are in your home. Some of the most common insects that make their way into your home, garage, and/or shed are boxelder beetles, elm leaf beetles, ladybugs, pillbugs, centipedes, millipedes, earwigs and silverfish.

Common Insect Bites

Some common insects, like the house centipede, are venomous to their insect prey. Though house centipedes rarely bite humans, they may bite if handled. The majority of common insects are not poisonous and do not bite. They also don’t pose much of a threat to plants in your home. They like moisture and you’ll usually find them near leaking water in or outside your home.


Common Insect Infestation

Most common insects, like centipedes, millipedes and earwigs, will invade your home as the weather gets colder. They might seek refuge in your walls, basement or attic. If a season has been particularly wet, you’ll see an increase in numbers as well. Some insects, like the centipede, prey on smaller bugs like spiders and cockroaches, and may be attracted into your home if they find these other pests inside.

Types of Common Insects

Common Insect Identification

Boxelder Beetles

Boxelder beetles are about an ½ inch long with black bodies and orange or red markings.


Kids might categorize them as one of those creepy-crawlies they usually find in the backyard. Pillbugs are technically crustaceans, that range in size from ¼ to ⅝ inch in length. They have a grayish shell that looks like armor.  

Centipedes and Millipedes

Millipedes have only one pair of legs per segment of their body, while centipedes usually have multiple pairs of legs on each segment. Millipedes look more like worms while centipedes have long, feathery-looking legs. Centipedes run extremely fast. 


Earwigs have very distinct pincers at the ends of their bodies which are used to defend against predators or catch prey. A pinch from an earwig is basically harmless to people. They may lightly pinch you if handled. They range in size from ½ to ¾ inch long and have dark brown or reddish bodies.

Common Insects in The House & The Garden

Keeping these insects out of your home begins with maintaining the exterior of your house. Clear away leaf debris and trim any overhanging tree branches or encroaching bushes. Avoid having areas with excess moisture by fixing leaky water hoses and poorly grated landscaping. Clean out gutters and seal cracks and crevices with silicone. Create a border of stones or gravel beginning at the base of the foundation that is 18 inches wide to separate landscaping from the house and prevent pests from getting inside. All of these practices will help eliminate shelter for these pests and they will be less likely to sneak inside your home. 

Frequently Asked Questions About Common Insects

Are centipedes poisonous?

All species of centipede use venom to kill their prey. In rare cases, they may bite humans, but only if they are alarmed or being handled. Centipede bites feel like a bee sting and may swell.

What is the difference between a centipede and millipede?

Millipedes are slow-moving, worm-like bugs. Centipedes on the other hand are quick and have very recognizable long legs. Millipedes have several tiny pairs of legs along their segmented body, where as millipedes have only one pair of legs per segment. 

What are the benefits of professional pest control for common bugs and insects? 

Sometimes, no matter what you do, these pests will get inside your home. Whether you have hundreds of boxelder beetles moving into your attic or a big scary-looking centipede running across your floor, a pest management professional has the tools, skills and education necessary to take care of the your pest problem.