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Helping Raleigh Residents Identify Pesky Pests

Are you experiencing problems with pests in your home? The first step in eliminating them and reclaiming your territory is to determine the type of pests that have moved in. Every infestation has specific markers that show what is lurking in the shadows, and after you identify a pest, you can arrange for a pest control exterminator to rid your home, garage and outdoor areas of the unwanted visitors.

Here’s the A to Z of common Raleigh pests to help you:


These little creatures come in red, black and brown, and behave differently depending on their type. Argentine ants are red and so are fire ants, which swarm when they are disturbed. Odorous house ants are black or brown, and black pavement ants love nesting under concrete. All ants seem to love the kitchen, where every grain of sugar is a feast waiting to be gathered.

Bed Bugs

You don’t want the bed bugs to bite while you sleep tight, but you won’t realize you have them until they do and you develop a rash. Bed bugs are small, only about 1/4 of an inch long. They are brown and flat, and their oval bodies are as wide as they are long. They feed on blood, which makes any sleeping human a tasty meal. Consultation with qualified Raleigh pest and termite control services will solve your bed bug problem.

Black House Spiders

Don’t panic if you see a dark spider in your home. Unless it has reddish markings, it’s probably not a black widow. Black house spiders have dark gray abdomens, brown legs and light marks on their backs. They are about 3/4 of an inch long or 1.5 inches if you count their legs.

Black Widow Spiders

This spider is aggressive and poisonous, and usually grows to between a half inch and 13 mm in length. The female has a shiny black body with a marking on the underside of her abdomen, which ranges in color from a light orange shade to a dark red. The marking is typically an hourglass shape, but it could even look like a dot. If there’s one occasion when it’s critical to identify a pest, it’s if you have a black widow in your home.

Brown Recluse Spiders

Brown recluse spiders hide and rarely bite, but if they do, it can prove fatal. These arachnids are yellow to dark brown and they average 6 mm to 11 mm in length. A telltale sign a spider is a brown recluse is if it has a mark on its back shaped like a violin. The brown recluse spider can survive up to six months without food or water, but a pest control exterminator can rid your home of them.

Carpenter Ants

Carpenter ants don’t eat wood like termites do, but they do build nests in it. Over time, this can cause severe damage as the colony branches out to satellite nests. The U.S. is home to 24 different species of carpenter ants, which can be black, brown, orange, red or yellow in color. Carpenter ants are one of the reasons Raleigh pest and termite control services are so vital in the community.

Cigarette Beetles

The cigarette beetle got its name from its fondness for tobacco. These insects are the same family and very similar in appearance to drugstore beetles and the common furniture beetle. They like to infest stored food in addition to tobacco, as well as other types of non-food products. The beetles measure about 2 mm to 3 mm long, and are light brown in color. You can hardly see their heads, which are overshadowed by their round, plump bodies. Identify a pest of this type by the environment it decides to inhabit.

Clover Mites

These pests are the size of a pinhead and are a bright red to reddish-brown color. They usually appear in crowds and look like dark red miniature crabs or specks crawling around windows, doors, furniture and other parts of the home. They have long front legs and round bodies and leave a red stain when you crush them. They are harmless, but they are also a nuisance, so you don’t want them around.


Nobody wants La Cucaracha in their house, particularly since there are over 3,500 species of the resilient critters. Cockroaches are brown or black and can grow as big as 3 inches. Their bodies are oval and somewhat flat, and they have wings but don’t fly. They like to hide in dark spaces, but your pest control exterminator will root them out.


Earwigs are light to dark brown. They have long, flexible bodies and pincers like forceps on their abdomens. Their fine, translucent wings are folded and rarely used, and they prefer to live outdoors in damp soil. They also like dead plants, leaves and soft weeds. The quickest infestation identification method is to lift up the vegetation and see how many are underneath.

House Mice

Cute as they may be, the light brown house mouse is extremely destructive. Although only 20 cm in length, these little guys will chew through everything in your home. Signs you have them include chew sites and droppings, which are black and look like grains of rice. A visit from your Raleigh pest and termite control service can usually get rid of them.

Indian Meal Moths

Brown with patterned red and brown wings, the Indian meal moth likes cereal, pet food and powdered food products. These moths are about 1/2 to 5/8 of an inch in length. If you open up a bag of dog food and see creamy-white caterpillars, those are actually Indian meal moth larvae. Residents of Raleigh often refer to these as weevil moths, pantry moths or flour or grain moths. You can identify a pest of this type by the food it eats. Don’t get them confused with the almond moth, raisin moth or Mediterranean flour moth, however, which all like to infest the same type of food sources.


Brown, with 2.5 cm- to 4 cm-long bodies and up to 200 pairs of legs, millipedes are frightening. Like the earwig, these creepy crawlers prefer to be outdoors in damp environments. You’ll find them in your flower beds and under vegetation. This being said, they can come indoors and hide in dark spaces.

Paper Wasps

Paper wasps got their name from their nests, which look as if they’ve been made from paper. These stingers are aggressive, and they grow as big as 3.2 cm. Their bodies are longer and narrower than bees, and they have yellow markings on their dark brown abdomens and black wings. A pest control exterminator can rid your home of paper wasps.


Silverfish look like an actual fish with shiny skin, and they eat through clothing, paper and wallpaper. These bugs are light blue to silver, and when they crawl, they look as if they’re swimming. They grow as long as 19 mm in length, and they live in moist areas, such as under your sinks.


Termites look like ants but are lighter and have shorter bodies. Their waist and antennae are straight, and the flying varieties have long wings. Look for wings on your window sills and keep an eye on your woodwork. If you cut into a piece and it’s honeycombed, you may need to call Raleigh pest and termite control for assistance.

Wolf Spiders

Because they look like tarantulas and move quickly, wolf spiders instill a deep fear in humans. They’re relatively harmless, however. They’re big – about 35 mm in length – and hairy, which is why people think they’re that other scary arachnid. They are also patterned in a pretty black, brown and gray.

We’ll Get Rid of It, Whatever It Is!

There you have it! A handy list of common pests in Raleigh. If after reading this you’re stuck on what crawlers are invading your house, don’t worry – we can identify any pest and we specialize in custom pest control services. Pest & Termite Consultants, Inc., is happy to conduct a full inspection and remove any unwelcome creepy critters. Call us today at 919-870-8003.

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