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Most Common Bugs In Virginia

The Most Common Bugs In Virginia

Virginia is a state with amazing landscapes, rich history, and a diverse ecosystem. With that ecosystem comes a wide variety of pesky bugs that can invade your home. As a homeowner, you think of your home as a safe haven against the insects that live in the woods and yard around your house. Most of the time a random insect on your bathroom wall isn’t an issue. In fact, the state of Virginia has 20,000 native insect species. But, sometimes these bugs can infest your home, damage the structure, or spread disease, and that’s something you don’t want. Termites can cause $3,000+ in damage, pets can bring in ticks, and cockroaches can spread disease and contaminate your entire pantry. 

In this article about the most common bugs in Virginia, we will give you comprehensive information on 18 pests that can infest your home, how to identify them, and what to do if an infestation does take hold. Greenshield Home & Pest Solutions provides pest control services to all localities in Central, VA. Whether you live in Hanover County, Henrico County, The City of Richmond, or the City of Petersburg, don’t hesitate to contact us should you suspect a pest problem. But, lets start talking about bugs!

Table of Contents

1) Carpenter Ants

Whenever people think about invasive bugs and property damage, the first insect that comes to mind is termites. But, carpenter ants can also cause extensive and expensive damage to your home. Carpenter Ants get their name because they excavate wood to build nests. These excavation sites are reached through the creation and use of tunnels. Over time, the tunnels can seriously damage the structural integrity of your house and cost you thousands of dollars in repairs. You might then think to yourself, “insurance will handle it, I’ll take care of it some other time”. Negative, most homeowners insurance plans do NOT cover the damage caused by carpenter ants.

How To Spot Carpenter Ants In And Around Your Home

To check for signs of Carpenter Ants, you want to look at different places around your property. First, look at the landscaping of your yard and the woods near your home. Dead trees, decaying stumps, and rotten logs are all places Carpenter Ants like to nest. When you’re looking at the house itself,  check for decaying wood on the windowsills, doorframes, chimneys, around sinks, bathrooms, and walls. You can detect Carpenter Ant tunnels by tapping the walls and listening for a hollow sound. This can mean there is damaged wood within the walls.

Carpenter Ants Vs. Termites

If you spot an ant and aren’t sure if it’s a Carpenter Ant or a Termite, some features will help you tell the difference.

  • Carpenter Ants are generally brown or black, while termites are lightly colored.
  • Carpenter Ants have bent antennae, while termites have straight antennae.
  • Carpenter Ants have defined waists that look like wasps. Termites have undefined waistes and cigar-shaped bodies.
  • Both Carpenter Ants and Termites have two sets of wings, but Carpenter Ants’ front wings are longer than their hind wings.

How To Protect Your Home From Carpenter Ants

There are steps you can take to protect your home from Carpenter Ants before they begin tunneling inside. Replace all moisture-damaged wood inside and outside your home. Fix any leaky pipes and poor gutters so the wood doesn’t become moist and attractive to Carpenter Ants. Don’t let hanging branches touch your home since the ants can use them as a bridge. Remove any lumber, rotten trees, and logs that are within 100 feet of your home. 

A picture showing the difference between Carpenter Ants and Termites. Carpenter Ants are on the left while Termites are on the right.

2) Bed Bugs

Did you know the bed bugs we encounter today are descended from insects that lived in caves and sucked the blood of bats? It’s disgusting, right? When humans started living in caves the bed bugs found a new source of food. Then when humans moved out of the caves and civilization advanced, the bed bugs came with them. There is nothing more disturbing than small insects that infest your mattress, crawl on you while you sleep, and suck your blood. Luckily, there is no serious disease carried by bed bugs. But that doesn’t make them any less disturbing.

Where Do You Find Bed Bugs And How To Identify Them

Bed Bugs are found in every human-populated area. With an increase in population density comes an increase in the likelihood that Bed Bugs will be present. This is why hotels are a hotbed for bedbugs. Since bedbugs are unable to fly, they hitch rides on people’s luggage and travel around looking for new places to infest and feed. Here are some tips on how to identify Bed Bugs and recognize an infestation.

  • Bed Bugs are visible to the naked eye and their bodies are oval. However, they are around 1/4 of an inch in size.
  • They are brown, but their color darkens to a deep red or darker brown after feeding.
  • After feeding an adult Bed Bug’s body becomes more oblong.
  • Bed Buys move at the speed of an ant.
  • Small spots on your bed sheets, mattress, or box springs are Bed Bug excrement and are a sign they are in your bedding.
  • If you notice dead bed bugs anywhere there are more hiding.
  • Bites on the arms, legs, and other exposed areas after sleeping are a telltale sign you have a Bed Bug problem. 

How Do I Protect Myself From Bed Bugs?

Preventing Bed Bugs and keeping your home 100% bed bug-free is a tough thing to do, especially if you’re an avid traveler. One Bed Bug that hitched a ride in your suitcase can result in an infestation. Here are some tips on how to protect yourself.

  • Inspect hotel room headboards, mattresses, box springs, and bed sheets for any of the telltale signs listed above.
  • Avoid buying used furniture for use in your home.
  • When traveling try to keep bags, purses, and other belongings off the ground.
  • When you get home from traveling immediately remove all laundry from your suitcases and wash it with high heat.
  • Keep suitcases off the floor in motels and hotel rooms to avoid Bed Bugs hitching a ride on them.

But Do I Really Have To Worry About Bed Bugs In Central, VA?

Bed Bugs don’t spread any diseases and are not considered dangerous to your health, but that doesn’t mean you’re completely safe. Several Bed Bug bites can cause allergic reactions and require medical attention. The biggest problem is bed bugs love people, and you are their food. Nothing is grosser than thousands of bed bugs crawling throughout your mattress and biting you when you sleep. The biggest thing to remember is anyone can get bed bugs, and it’s not a symptom of a dirty home. So, if you see a bed bug call your local pest control company ASAP.

A bedbug infested mattress.

3) Boxelder Bugs

Boxelder Bugs are native to Central and Eastern Virginia and they are not considered dangerous. These bugs have a very recognizable appearance thanks to their black and orangy-reddish color oval-shaped body. They grow to around a half inch in length and their young look the same but without wings and are bright red. Remember how we said they aren’t dangerous? This is true, as the boxelder bug is not poisonous or known to spread disease. But, if they are handled they can bite and puncture your skin. 

Where Do You Find Boxelder Bugs Around Your Home?

Boxelder Bugs are usually active during warm weather seasons and can be found around your yard in large numbers. Their feeding habits give them their name since they infest leaves and flowers on Boxelder Trees. These bugs can also infest Maple, Ash, and Cherry Trees, but usually, they don’t cause large amounts of damage to the tree. They also won’t cause damage to your home. When they enter your home, the results are usually just gross. Boxelder Bugs will leave excrement stains on walls, curtains, and other surfaces. The bugs can also release a nasty odor into the air when killed.

How Do I Prevent These Bugs Or Get Rid Of Them?

Preventing Boxelder Bugs from getting into your home is difficult because they relocate from the trees to the side of your home in cooler months. They do this because they’re following the warm sunshine that hits the side of your house. If the Boxelder bugs get inside, they will congregate in attics, under floors, and in other dark and quiet areas. Here are some tips on preventing their entry and removing them.

  • Cut back Boxelder Trees from being against your home.
  • Seal off entry points in your walls and roof.
  • Fill in spaces around piping and wiring that enters your home.
  • Use mesh covers on vents.
  • Install a chimney cap.
  • Make sure you have weather stripping around all doors and windows.

If the bugs infiltrate the house and become an infestation, they can be hard to remove. Contact Greenshield Home & Pest Solutions and we can inspect the problem for FREE.

4) Carpet Beetles

Carpet Beetles are small and only 2 – 4 mm in length. They are dark in color and usually brown and black. But this can depend on the species. When they are larvae, they look more like small worms, yet this is when they do the most damage. The larvae are slow-moving, but they leave behind (molted) skins, threadbare spots, and irregular holes. Finally, can you guess how they got their name? They love to infest carpets.

Where And How Do I Find Carpet Beetles Around My Home?

As we said earlier, carpet beetles love to live in carpets and other animal-based materials. They like to feed on wool, felt, fur, silk, feathers, and leather. This makes them especially likely to make their way into sweaters, scarves, coats, blankets, rugs, carpets, pillows, comforters, toys, decorative items, and upholstery. Essentially, they love to eat anything in your home made from these materials. But, the most likely places you will find them are the edges and undersides of rugs and carpets.

How Do I get Rid Of Carpet Beetles Or Prevent Them?

The best way to get rid of carpet beetles is to vacuum all your carpets thoroughly and then go over them with a steam cleaner. You can then use a potent insecticide to ensure they have been eliminated. However, if you’re uncomfortable using chemicals, you should contact a local pest control professional that is eco-conscious. Further, you want to use rubbing alcohol to wipe down counters, windowsills, cupboards, and drawers to kill the larvae and eggs on contact.

To prevent the return of carpet beetles or keep an infestation from starting, eliminate the source. Carpet Beetles are attracted to accumulations of lint, hair, dead insects, and other debris that serve as their food. This is done by regularly cleaning rugs, draperies, furniture, closets, and other locations where the beetles congregate to feed and reproduce.

The black carpet beetle on carpet.

5) Centipedes

About Centipedes In Viginia

The House Centipede is the most common type of centipede found in Virginia. The centipedes are a dark brown to yellowish color and have dark stripes along the top of their bodies. Most species will have a different number of legs, despite their name meaning “100 hundred legs.” The common House Centipede has 15 pairs of legs. On females, the last pair is twice the length of the body. Centipedes do not see very well and use their antennas to find prey. Their first pair of limbs have claws that contain venom that help them catch and paralyze the prey.

Centipedes are found outdoors more than indoors and they don’t pose much of a threat to humans. However, if you find them in your home they can be dangerous. Centipedes deliver painful bites and administer venom to your skin. The good news is that although their bites are painful the venom is not enough to cause a health concern. What’s disgusting about having centipedes is they are nocturnal and usually like to feed and bite you while you’re asleep.

Where Would I Find Centipedes Around My Home?

Centipedes are considered beneficial to the environment because they eat many insects we find a nuisance. During the day they hide out in damp, dark places like mulch, under landscaping tiles, rocks, and in leaf piles. Most of the time you will find them near the foundation of your home. This is how they get inside the house. When they are inside your home, you will find them in crawl spaces, basements, closets, kitchens, bathrooms, and under sinks.

How Do I get Rid Of Centipedes Or Prevent Them?

Since they live so close to our homes (in foundations), it can be hard to keep them out. The best ways to prevent them are to seal cracks in your home’s foundation, use door sweeps, and seal spaces near utilities entering your house. You can install a crushed stone barrier between the soil and foundation of your house, remove excess leaves from your property, and reduce humidity levels. All of these preemptive measures can help keep these nasty critters outside where they belong.

A House Centipede.

6) Cockroaches

About Cockroaches In Virginia

The most common cockroaches found in Central, VA, are American and German Cockroaches. The American Cockroach is the largest species of common cockroach and is often considered an invasive pest. The German Cockroach regularly creates large infestations and spreads rapidly through buildings. In Virginia, we also have the European Cockroach and various wood roaches, but it’s the American and German Cockroaches that usually cause problems for people.

Cockroaches are a problem because when they move inside, they spread diseases. Cockroach feces, skins, and other body parts can also become allergens causing rashes and extreme asthma attacks. Cockroaches carry millions of bacteria throughout homes and businesses due to traveling through sewers, excrement, garbage piles, and drains. They quickly contaminate places in your home where you store and prepare food, as well as other surface areas.

How Do I Know I Have A Cockroach Problem?

Cockroaches aren’t out to hurt you and your family, but unfortunately, they pose a problem during their constant search for food. They first enter homes and businesses through cracks in foundations, under doors, gaps in siding, through vents and open windows, holes in screens, on used furniture, appliances, mail, and potted plants. Once they’re inside they will try to find a dark, moist area.

This is how they stay undetected and start to multiply, and once they multiply the infestation grows FAST! One single German cockroach can hatch up to 35,000 eggs. American cockroaches can produce two oothecas (egg capsules) a week. Each capsule has 16 eggs. That’s 32 new roaches each week! If you start seeing cockroaches, you should assume there is already a problem going on behind the scenes, and a professional pest control company will have to be contacted.

Can I Get Rid Of Cockroaches Or Prevent Them?

Getting rid of a cockroach problem is difficult since they can breed and spread throughout your home so quickly. You can try citrus and peppermint sprays, Diatomaceous Earth, and Boric Acid. But, since cockroaches can hide so easily, many people who try to do it themselves don’t fully eliminate the problem.

It’s best to be proactive and prevent cockroaches from ever becoming a problem. Make sure all your home’s entrances are sealed, clean up crumbs, clean regularly, keep trash away from your house, store food in sealed containers, dry moist areas, and declutter.

A cockroach.

7) Earwigs

About Earwigs In Virginia

There was a myth in Europe these bugs would crawl into people’s ears and tunnel into their brains. No, it’s not true. But, it is how the Earwig got its name. Earwigs are a quarter inch long, have long bodies, are dark brown/reddish, have six legs, and have two large pincers on the back of their abdomens.

Some species of Earwigs have wings and can fly, while others use the wings to only fly a short distance. Earwigs are primarily scavengers that eat dead insects and rotting plants. However, a few species of Earwigs are predatory and eat other insects. They aren’t dangerous but some species feed on living plants and are pests on farms.

Where Do I Found Earwigs Around My Home?

Earwigs are commonly found outside your house in mulch and leaf piles. Like all the other bugs on this list, they enjoy damp, moist areas. They are active at night and many will be attracted to the lights around your home. But, you will usually find them hiding under large stones, boards, sidewalks, or debris. Some species of Earwigs can tunnel up to 6 feet underground to escape the cold in winter.

How Do I Get Rid Of Earwigs And Prevent Them?

Earwigs do not feed on human food or bite humans, but they can be pests if you own a garden. To prevent Earwigs from becoming a problem, treat flowerbeds with an insecticide and water. The water can help the insecticide penetrate the mulch enough to kill Earwigs that tunneled below the surface. Make sure you have sealed any entrances to your home and these measures should keep them outdoors. If the Earwig problem has become large and you begin seeing clusters of them, contact a pest control professional.

Male Earwig with large pincers.

8) Fleas

About Fleas In Virginia

Fleas are parasites that love to feed on the blood of your pets, other mammals, and you. The most common type of flea found in Virginia is the Cat Flea. Cat Fleas are usually found feeding on the blood of outdoor cats, dogs, rodents, wild animals, and humans. The insects are the size of a speck of dirt and have flat bodies that are a dark brownish-red color. Fleas don’t have wings, but their back legs are incredibly powerful and allow them to jump from threats or onto a host. They connect to their hosts using special spines on their mouths, legs, and backs.

Fleas are dangerous because they carry diseases, which means they should be removed from your home immediately. Their saliva causes intense itching and the area can easily become infected. They are also famous for spreading parasitic tapeworms to pets and humans. Pets can also become anemic and very ill, resulting in death if they aren’t treated.

Where Do Fleas Live Around My Home?

Fleas usually are found in crevices and living in large populations. You can find fleas everywhere, and just because you don’t see them doesn’t mean they aren’t there. The parasites like to live in carpet, pet bedding, inside, and outside your house. Once they get into your home, they especially like upholstery, furniture, and other furnishings. The best way to tell if you have fleas is to run a flea comb through your pet, especially if your pets are itching themselves regularly.

How Can I Eliminate Fleas And Prevent Them?

To get rid of fleas, clean your entire home thoroughly. The material fleas like to infest should be cleaned every two weeks. At a minimum, you should clean them each month. This includes furniture, clothing, towels, and other upholstery. After you clean these items it’s best to vacuum all carpets.

To prevent the fleas from getting on your pets and carried into your home, you want to use a flea treatment. You can purchase flea foggers, carpet sprays, and use treatments on your dogs and cats. If your cats and dogs don’t stop itching after treatments, contact a pest control professional because the problem might be larger than you can see.

A flea on a dog.

9) Flies

About Flies In Virginia

Flies are a big nuisance for every home and business owner in Virginia. We see them so much we simply swat them with a fly swatter. But, we forget how dangerous they are to human health. Flies have a healthy diet of trash, rotten produce, feces, and spoiled meats.

Thanks to what they feed on, they are consistently picking up pathogens. Per the CDC (Center for Disease Control), flies can carry 65 different diseases. The main ones are Anthrax, Cholera, Salmonella, Tuberculosis, and Typhoid. Even worse, adult flies can also transmit parasitic infections.

Where Do Flies Live Around My Home?

Flies usually reach your home through produce. Once they have gotten onto your property they like to reproduce in trash, food, recycling bins, cleaning rags, mops, floor drains, toilets, and open containers. They are most active during the day and can live in your windows, doors, ceilings, walls, floors, light sources, pet food, and trash bins. 

How Can I Eliminate Flies And Prevent Them?

Flies prefer to live and breed outdoors, then find easy ways to access your home. Plus, they won’t be eliminated until you properly set up prevention methods so they don’t keep coming back. You want to repair screens and seal all openings to your home, store your food in a refrigerator, keep cereal and other loose foods in airtight containers, and don’t leave open drink containers out in the open.

Make sure you regularly dump trash cans and tidy up your landscaping because dead leaves can harbor flies. In the end, the best way to eliminate and prevent flies is to use a combination of methods. Don’t hesitate to contact Greenshield, your local pest control service in Ashland, VA, if you have an overabundance of flies on your property.

A fly sitting on takeout food.

10) Flour Beetles

About Virginia's Flour Beetles

Virginia has two different species of Flour Beetles. The Red Flour Beetle and the Confused Flour Beetle. You might have just asked yourself, “What the heck is a flour beetle?” Flour Beetles are pests that invade home pantries, restaurants, and other businesses in the food industry.

They are flat, dark, cherry colored, have straight abdomens, and are about a quarter of an inch long. They aren’t directly dangerous to humans but they can indirectly get people sick by contaminating food sources with pathogens and parasites. Keep reading to see where they love to live.

Where Would I Find Flour Beetles?

Flour Beetles love to infest pantries and food sources. You will find them all over the food business in silos, agricultural settings, and other food storage areas. They love to make their homes in bags of grain, cereal, or rice, and they can eat almost every type of cereal people can eat. But what’s disgusting is they eat and lay their eggs in the same places, which means if you’re not careful you could end up eating their eggs.

How Do I Eliminate Flour Beetles Or Prevent Them?

Flour Beetles are resistant to baits and sprays, which makes them difficult to get rid of. That’s why chemical products are usually used as a last resort. Getting rid of them can be very complicated and that’s why we recommend contacting a local pest control professional.

Why? Because treatments like heat and exclusionary tactics are the best ways to remove infestations of Flour Beetles. If you want to prevent flour beetles from invading your property then you should practice safe food storage procedures, inspect cereals and other grains before you buy them, and reduce household moisture levels.

A flour beetle infesting food.

11) Ladybugs

Information About Ladybugs

Ladybugs are beneficial because they can eat more than 5,000 aphids in their lifetimes, which makes them very beneficial to gardens and the environment. So why are we putting them on a list of the most common bugs in Virginia?

If Ladybugs have an easy way to access your house, other insect species can get in as well. Ladybugs aren’t innocent. They can gather together and leave excrement on surfaces, and nobody wants to see a lot of bugs in the corner of their home.

Where Do I find Ladybugs On My Property?

Ladybugs live outside your house and provide environmental benefits. If you see them inside they might be unsightly, but they aren’t going to damage your property or pose a medical threat to you and your family. If they are inside it’s because they searched for a way into your home to escape cooling weather. 

If I Have Ladybugs How Do I get Rid Of Them?

Even though they are harmless, you want to put measures in place to prevent the bugs from entering your home. Why? Because if the Ladybugs are trying to get in during the winter, so are other insects. Here are a few ways to prevent Ladybugs from invading your house.

  • Check the outside of your home and seal any cracks.
  • Make sure your garden is not up against your home.
  • Limit the amount of landscaping alongside your house’s walls.
  • Remove or make sure lights are motion-activated since Ladybugs are attracted to light and lights that stay on will draw them to your home.

If Ladybugs are grouping in places around your house and you can’t find the entryway, give your local pest control company a call. They can help you find the entryways and seal them.

Ladybug sitting on a leaf.

12) Millipedes

Millipedes In Virginia

Millipedes have a worm-like body with between 40 and 400 legs depending on the species. They are found in every state including here in Central, VA. Most of the millipedes in our area only grow to be an inch in length and they aren’t dangerous.

Millipedes do not bite, transmit disease, or sting, but they are nasty to look at if they are in your home or business. These bugs are slow-moving and require moisture to survive. During the day they are usually hiding under objects and at night they leave their hiding spaces and can trek indoors.

Why Do I See Millipedes In My Home?

Millipedes will sometimes enter your house in large numbers. If this has happened to you, it’s because large numbers of them are breeding outside near your home. They love to hide under mulch, walkways, leaf piles, litter, and other debris. If they are surviving in large numbers in your house, it could mean you have a moisture control problem. This is because millipedes need moisture to survive and will usually leave your home to find moisture when it’s needed.

How Do I Keep Millipedes From Getting Inside My House?

Just like the other pests that aren’t dangerous, you will need to take proactive measures to keep millipedes from getting into your home. Here are some of those measures:

  • Cutaway shrubbery that is close to your home so the sun can dry out the soil against your home’s foundation.
  • Repair all cracks in your home’s foundation.
  • Dry out your basement and ensure moisture levels are under control.
  • Store garbage bins, debris, and other objects away from the foundation of your home.

If you are still getting the occasional millipede in your house call your local exterminator since there could be moisture or a hidden opening you can’t find. 

13) Mosquitos

Mosquitos In Virginia

There are around 50 species of mosquitos in the state of Virginia and about 30 of them are commonly encountered by humans. The Asian Tiger Mosquito has been named an invasive species and is #1 when it comes to biting humans. You may not know, but the main source of food for mosquitos is flower nectar; however, female mosquitos feed on human blood to obtain the protein required to produce eggs.

They have oval-shaped bodies, long legs, and a long proboscis used for feeding. Mosquitos are generally black and gray with white markings, but the specific color pattern depends on the species. Mosquitos can be dangerous and you want to have their populations controlled. They can transmit West Nile Virus, Eastern equine encephalitis, La Crosse encephalitis, St. Louis encephalitis, and the Zika Virus. Second, mosquito bites can cause severe allergic reactions, itching, and infection due to excessive scratching. 

Where Do I Find Mosquitos On My Property?

You will find mosquitos in places that keep them protected from the sun, such as tall grass, shrubs, bushes, and trees. They are highly attracted to standing water because they can use it to breed. Common breeding spots are buckets, puddles, trash can lids, bird baths, kid pools, watering pots, wheelbarrows, and other low-lying areas around your property. If you live near large standing bodies of water you’re safer than if you have regular puddles of water. A puddle 4 inches deep and 10 inches in diameter can produce 10 – 20 times more mosquitos than large bodies of water. Why is this? It’s because permanent bodies of water develop species that control the mosquito population.

How Do I get Rid Of Mosquitos And Prevent Them From Coming Back?

Mosquitos breed outdoors. so it’s impossible to eliminate entire populations from an area, but you can control the population so you and your family can enjoy time outside without getting bitten. Here’s a quick list of ways you can prevent a large mosquito infestation on your property:

  • Reduce the number of flowering plants in your yard.
  • Keep your lawn maintained by regularly mowing.
  • Cut back wooded areas and overgrown shrubbery.
  • Don’t store items on your property that can collect rainwater.
  • Ensure there aren’t any cracks in your home that will let mosquitos enter the house.

DIY products are a tempting and cheap way to try to reduce the number of mosquitos in your yard, but they usually aren’t very effective. If you are seeing large numbers of mosquitos contract a local mosquito control service.

An Asian Tiger Mosquito feeding on someone's blood.

14) Pill Bugs

What Are Pill Bugs?

Pill Bugs are crustaceans that use gills and air tubes under their bodies to breathe. They are common throughout the United States and are the only crustaceans that have evolved to live on land, which means you could find them around your home here in Central, VA.

It’s funny to say this but Pill Bugs are more closely related to the shrimp you eat than the insects you swat. Like some of the other pests on this list, Pill Bugs do not bite, sting, or spread disease, but they are unsightly to have on your property.

Where Will I Find Pill Bugs?

Pill Bugs need moisture just like Millipedes, and you will find them hiding under rocks, piles of leaves, mulch, trash cans, landscaping ties, and woodpiles.  Since they are scavengers, you can also find them near dead plants and other decomposing materials.

If their living area starts to become dry, then they will start trying to find a way into your house, especially if you have a moisture control problem. This leads them to invade basements, crawl spaces, leaky pipes, clogged gutters, and dripping air conditioners.

How Do I Get Rid Of Pill Bugs Or Prevent Them?

Pill Bugs require moisture and if you start seeing an abundance of Pill Bugs, it more than likely means you have a moisture problem within your home and a large breeding population outdoors.

They typically enter your home through sliding doors that aren’t properly sealed and other cracks in the foundation. You want to remove anything in your yard that is collecting moisture and make sure your crawl space and other areas are sealed off from the outside. If you aren’t sure, contact someone who provides crawl space moisture control.

15) Spiders

What Spiders Are In Richmond And The Surrounding Areas?

We could write an article about the spiders in Central, VA, alone. But, here is a list of the most common spiders found in Richmond, VA, and the surrounding counties.

  • Black Widow: The Black Widow is famous for its shape, red hourglass mark, and shiny black color. They are widespread in Virginia and like dark, moist places where they won’t be disturbed. Their venom is not usually dangerous for adults but can be life-threatening to children and the elderly. Some Black Widow bite symptoms include redness and swelling around the bite, headache, sweating, nausea, anxiety, muscle cramping, and sometimes chest pain/difficulty breathing.
  • Brown Recluse Spider: Brown Recluse spiders can be yellow, gray, or black, and they have gray hairs on their abdomens. Very well-known for the distinctive violin shape on their backs, these spiders also have three pairs of eyes arranged in groups of two. Brown Recluse bites seldom cause extreme reactions, even though they are presented in the media as dangerous. Some people will have zero symptoms while some may end up hospitalized. The initial bite is usually painless, but if the bite is severe then symptoms can appear within 24-36 hours. The symptoms include restlessness, fever, chills, nausea, weakness, joint pain, and sometimes tissue death near the initial bite area. 
  • American House Spiders: The American House Spider is the most common spider found inside homes. They are between 3/16th and 5/16th of an inch long and are generally harmless. They do have venom but the spiders do not bite unless threatened. Furthermore, their venom is not strong and not considered dangerous to humans. A bite will usually result in redness and swelling.
  • Wolf Spiders: Wolf Spiders do not catch their prey in webs like a traditional spider. They chase down their prey! They are dark brown with yellowish markings and have the third-best eyesight of all spider groups. Wolf Spiders will continuously inject venom if provoked and their bites will cause swelling, mild pain, and itching. Since the Wolf Spider doesn’t spin a traditional web, they live underground in your yard, but if you find them in your home try not to squish them. A female could be carrying eggs or hundreds of babies that would then disperse through your home.

Where Do Spiders Like To Live In My House?

Outside your home, spiders live in a variety of places. Some species burrow underground, while others live in webs on your deck. They will spin webs in your garden, around rock piles, in the shrubbery, on garages, barns, and other outbuildings. Most of them like to hide in dark, quiet places where they aren’t disturbed. Inside your house, spiders are attracted to places that provide food and shelter. You will find them in cluttered gutters, birdbaths, in corners, attics, basements, and behind clutter.

How Do I Get Rid Of Spiders And Prevent Them?

You can purchase glue boards, spider traps, and sprays from a retail store, but these methods are ineffective if the infestation is large. Spider sprays will kill them on contact but leave residue in your house. The most effective way to prevent a spider infestation is to be proactive. You will want to:

  • Install tight-fitting window screens and doors.
  • Keep firewood and other building materials away from the house.
  • Clean and vacuum your house regularly.
  • Keep shrubs, tree branches, and bushes trimmed.
  • Remove clutter in closets, garages, basements, and attics.

With these measures in place, you should prevent spiders from invading your home. However, spiders can find cracks and other entryways you can’t see. If you keep seeing spiders don’t hesitate to contact a pest control service.

A wolf spider carrying her babies.

16) Stink Bugs

What Is A Stink Bug?

Stink bugs are also called shield bugs because their backs have a triangular shield shape. However, they get their name because a gland in their thorax secretes a nasty smell.

Stink bugs belong to the order Hemiptera, family Pentatomidae, and Virginia is known to have multiple species. The bugs are about 3/4 of an inch long and as round as they are long. The insects aren’t native to the United States and they first arrived in Pennsylvania in the year 1998.

Where Do You Find Stink Bugs?

Stink Bugs are found in the warmer areas of Virginia and aren’t dangerous to have in your home. However, you will want them removed because enough of them will cause a repugnant odor throughout the house. Stink Bugs are dangerous for crops and agriculture. They will feed on tomato, beans, okra, pecan, and fruit crops. Stink bugs are found throughout your yard. But, if you have a garden this is where they will congregate since it’s a large food source.

In warmer climates, the bugs will reproduce throughout the year but here in Virginia, the bugs will reproduce in the spring and summer months and then seek shelter in the winter. Stink bugs like to gather where the sun shines on the side of buildings, and this is how they find their way inside. But once they are inside, they will make their way to your attic, under floor boards, within walls, and into crawl spaces.

How Do I Prevent Stink Bugs In My Home?

Preventing stink bugs can be difficult, but the most important thing to do is seal gaps in your home. They can get in through cracks around your windows and doors, vents, chimneys, and tiny holes along your roofline. Since they like to hide within the walls, if you kill one it doesn’t mean you don’t have a stinkbug problem. Give a pest control professional a call so you can get an inspection to be sure none of these pests are hiding.

17) Termites

We Have Two Species Of Termites In Virginia

In the state of Virginia, we have two different species of termites, the Eastern Subterranean Termite and the Formosan Termite. Both can cause serious damage to the structure of your home, and termites are responsible for over 2 billion dollars worth of damage a year in the United States. The good news is that termites are not physically dangerous for your health. They don’t spread diseases or bite humans. But, termites can be very emotionally and economically draining considering the frustrating amount of damage they can cause your home or business. Formosan termites reproduce so rapidly they can significantly damage your home in around a year.

How Do I Know If You Have Termites?

There are specific signs of a termite infestation that you want to be on the lookout for. Some of these include:

  • Buckling or blisters in hardwood flooring
  • Hollowed or damaged wood
  • Flying termites (Swarmers)
  • Discarded termite wings
  • Doors and windows that are suddenly hard to open
  • Mud tubes
  • Drywood droppings (frass)
  • Living termites
  • Bubbling under paint and wallpaper
  • Dipped ceilings and buckling support beams
  • Squeaky floors

If you spot any of these symptoms don’t hesitate to call a termite pest control professional.

How Do I Prevent Termites In My Home?

Preventing termites is important if you want to protect your home and avoid the possibility of expensive damage in the future. But, you have to be aware any termite prevention list does not guarantee every home will be protected. Each house and piece of property is unique and can present challenges to keeping termites from invading. Here are some basic tips to prevent termites:

  • Reduce soil-to-wood contact around your house.
  • Make sure plants are trimmed and not up against the structure of your house.
  • Keep moisture away from your home’s foundation.
  • Keep food sources (rotting wood and dead trees) away from your house.
  • Seal gaps around your home.
  • Turn off outside lights that can attract swarmers (flying reproductive termites).
  • Patch any window holes and separation in door frames.

Remember, these tips will work better in some homes vs. others. It’s best to ensure you have your home inspected to be 100% sure there isn’t a hidden termite problem. 

Four termites chewing on wood.

Conclusion To Our Article On The "Most Common Bugs In Virginia"

In this article, we covered 18 of the most common bugs in the state of Virginia. If it made you feel like something could be crawling up your arm then you can contact Greenshield Home & Pest Solutions. Our pest control services are eco-conscious and we provide free same-day residential/commercial pest inspections for residents in Richmond, VA, and the surrounding areas.

Most people start to think about calling a pest control service when they see the insects, but the best way to prevent an infestation is to be proactive. Greenshield offers preventative pest control services for any Virginia pest that could get into your home. It’s our goal to help you prevent pest problems, not just exterminate them after the damage has been done. 

If you live or have a business in Central, VA, and are interested in a free home pest inspection and consultation, contact Greenshield Home & Pest Solutions.

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