Home Owner’s Guide to Common Pests – Courtesy: PCI India

The inspiration for today’s article is from one the comments which talked about “Rat” problem. We have spoken about Pest Invasion in November last year. Here we wrote mainly about “ants”. The article today however is like a guide to common pests which are making home owner’s life miserable.

The article is sourced from the leaflet published by PCIL. We got this from one of the exhibitions.


They are easily the most common pest, besides being a nuisance, they can transmit respiratory diseases, contaminate food and damage articles. Types of cockroaches generally see in homes are:

German Cockroach:

German Cockroach Mostly found indoors in kitchens, cracks and crevices, they grow to large numbers in a short span of time.

American Cockroach:

American cockroach Lives in sewers and manholes, they enter homes through ‘nahni’ traps, open doors etc.

Brown-Banded Cockroach:

Brownbanded Cockroach Found in homes, it looks very much like a German cockroach.


ants Commonly found in homes (especially small red, black and ghost ants), they swarm around leftover, spilt food or drink and form trails back to their nest. Some ants cause painful bites and stings. Ants are fast becoming major pests.

Silverfish and Firebrats

silverfish firebrat

Largely active at night, they damage household articles containing starch such as book-bindings and fabrics.

Bed Bug

bedbug Bed bug bites cause irritation ad sleepless nights. They feed on human blood and have become serious pests in recent times. Bed-bug infestation is picked up at cinema halls, on railway benches and sometimes even from birds in your surroundings.

Wood Borer

woodborer Powder falling from wooden furniture is a sure sign of wood borer infestation. Many people incorrectly think this to be termite damage.

Birds (Pigeons)

pigeon Not generally perceived as pests, pigeons have become a serious nuisance in homes. Nesting and roosting outside homes can cause serious chest and lung diseases. Children and elderly people face a greater risk from these afflictions. Pigeon nests are also a source of other pests like fleas, ticks, mites etc. that cause irritating bites, sleepless nights and other health problems.


Rats and mice make themselves comfortable in human surroundings, finding food and shelter in our homes. They breed rapidly and contaminate food, damage clothes and other materials. They spread diseases such as plague, leptospirosis, murine typhus and rat bite fever.

Common types of rodents are:

House Mouse:

housemouse Smallest of the rodents found in homes, brown to grey in color. It prefers the ground level and can make nests in sofas, upholstery, old files, insulation etc.

Roof Rat:

roof rat  Slightly larger than the house mouse, dark brown to black in color. It prefers higher areas such as false ceilings and rafters, where it makes nests. Very cautious by nature, it shies away from new objects.

Indian Bandicoot Rat:

bandicoot ratThe largest of Indian rats, it is found near garbage bins and refuse collection areas. It lives in burrows, often excavated in footpath tiles and concrete. It also spreads diseases like plague and leptospirosis.



Termites are the number one pest when it comes to structural damage to homes. Most of this damage is caused by subterranean or soil-nesting termites in search for food containing cellulose such as wood, paper, clothes etc. They construct pathways or mud tubes from nest to food source. These tubes are a sure sign of infestation as are winged termites seen hovering around light sources during monsoons. Lack of these tell-take signs does not mean there are no termites around and the damage often goes undetected till its too late. When dealing with termites, prevention is definitely better than cure.

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Posted by on Mar 11 2008 Filed under Reports. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry
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