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  • 5 Bugs You Might Find in Your Home—and How to Banish Them

    From ants and spiders to roaches, flies and bed bugs, use these tips to remove your unwanted guests.

    Five bugs you might find in your home, plus tips to get rid of them. Two people making a bed together.

    No matter how much we clean, bugs still sometimes make their way into our homes. Maybe you notice more bugs inside in the summer, or perhaps you’re a new homeowner and have discovered unwelcome visitors. If you’re facing a bug situation, this article is for you. We’re taking a look at the different types of insects that may appear, walking you through how to get rid of them and offering tips to help prevent future visitors.


    Ants have a reputation as the No. 1 nuisance pest in American homes. These small, six-legged insects—which come into the house in search of food, water and shelter—are mostly harmless to you physically, but if not dealt with can cause serious damage to your home by chewing through and hollowing out wooden areas.

    How to get rid of them: Many common household ingredients can repel—and even kill—ants. Try spraying white vinegar or peppermint oil anywhere you see ants, as well as scattering citrus peels, ground cinnamon, pepper or coffee around entryways and corners.


    Most household spiders pose no threat to your health or your home. In fact, they are an important part of the ecosystem, controlling the population of smaller pests, spinning silk and pollinating plants. Still, it’s understandable that you don’t want to see them spinning webs in the corner of your bedroom.

    How to get rid of them: Spiders are a phobia for many people, but these eight-legged arachnids have some irrational fears of their own. Spray peppermint oil, citrus-scented dish soap or vinegar where spiders like to hide; incorporate chestnuts and cedar wood into your decor; and crank up the music now and then, as sound wards them off.

    Bed Bugs

    If you’ve ever woken up to raised and itchy red bumps on your skin or rusty stains on your sheets, you might have bed bugs, which are pests that make their way into homes on used furniture, luggage and other items placed on bed bug-infested upholstered surfaces. At the size of an apple seed, they can be hard to spot—look near mattress and box spring seams and tags, in bed frame cracks, between couch cushions and under loose wallpaper.¹

    How to get rid of them: Throw all infested clothing and bedding in your dryer at high heat for 30 minutes, then put those items in sealed plastic bags. Vacuum your mattress and box spring, taking care to empty your vacuum outside, and put encasements over them. Clean and reduce clutter—remove everything from under your bed, keep clothing off the floor and replace all cardboard boxes with plastic boxes for storage.


    There’s a preconceived notion that cockroaches are only attracted to filthy environments, but that’s not true. These pests can show up in any home that gives them access to food, water and shelter.

    How to get rid of them: Lure cockroaches to homemade traps by mixing borax and sugar or sprinkling baking soda over an onion. Alternatively, you can make a solution with water and peppermint oil, dish soap or lemon, and spray it where you’ve seen the roaches.


    Don’t ignore the telltale buzzing sound of a pesky fly. Carrying dozens of diseases, these winged pests are attracted to uncovered garbage cans, feces, rotting fruit left on countertops and open bottles of alcohol.

    How to get rid of them: Many “shoo-fly-don’t-bother-me” solutions can be made from common household items. Set out a bowl of apple cider vinegar and dish soap to trap and kill the pests, or plant herbs like basil, mint and bay leaf near doorways and windows to repel them. You can also spray a mixture of water and essential oils—try lavender, peppermint or eucalyptus—in heavy fly traffic areas.

    How to help prevent bugs from invading your home

    • Eliminate any sources of moisture, such as leaky pipes, roofs and clogged gutters.
    • Seal cracks and gaps around windows and doors with a silicone-based caulk.
    • Remove trash often, and keep garbage containers clean and covered.
    • Keep food in airtight containers, and clean up crumbs and spills immediately.
    • Trim any tree branches that touch your house, as these provide easy access for pests.
    • Clean up clutter, especially stacks of cardboard boxes and newspapers, where bugs breed and hide.
    • If more natural remedies for getting rid of bugs in your home are unsuccessful, call a professional exterminator to avoid an out-of-control infestation problem.


    1. “How to Find Bed Bugs.” EPA. 2023.

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