Most Common New York Pests

By WebFX Dev

Most Common New York Pests

New York is home to various pests, from carpenter ants and cluster flies to wildlife like mice and bats. These pests are drawn to the warm, dark and tiny spaces within your home and can be a nuisance for many New York residents, with some even causing structural damage or carrying disease and bacteria.

Learn more about identifying these pests and how Pestech Pest Solutions can safely control them to protect you and your family in the event of an infestation.

1. Bees, Hornets and Wasps

These flying bugs are some of the most common insects of New York. Some are more beneficial, while others are more aggressive. Learn the difference between bees, hornets and wasps:


There are hundreds of bee species in New York, though the most widely recognized are honeybees and bumblebees:

  • Honeybees: Domesticated for honey production and pollination, honeybees pollinate more than 100 crops in the U.S. They are oval-shaped with bands of yellow and brown hairs, while some appear black. They build nests in tree crevices, attics and chimneys.
  • Bumblebees: These insects have a round black and yellow body covered in soft, fuzzy hair. Their colonies are typically smaller than honeybees, and they often nest in the ground, though they can also be found in decks and attics and under roof beams. Female bumblebees can sting repeatedly, though they tend to ignore humans. They will generally only sting when they feel threatened, which can be especially painful.

Carpenter Bees

Carpenter bees resemble bumblebees but can be far more destructive to your home. Unlike bumblebees, carpenter bees have a bald, black abdomen. Damage caused by carpenter bees is often mistaken for carpenter ants and termites due to the long tunnels and cells they bore into wood. You might notice small holes in your home’s siding, decks or other wooden structures.

Wasps and Hornets

Wasps and hornets are stinging insects that are generally more aggressive than bees and can sting multiple times, with the venom enough to cause a severe allergic reaction in some people. You can identify these insects by their colors and behaviors:

  • Wasps: Wasps might be solid black, yellow or bright yellow and black with stripes. When they fly, they let their legs hang down.
  • Hornets: The bald-faced hornet is a common New York pest, a relative of the yellow jacket and other wasps. It’s primarily black with a white face and is referred to as a hornet due to its large size and aggressiveness.

Wasps and hornets are attracted to sweet liquids, garbage and areas of standing water. They might build their nests in trees, under porches or decks, in attics, inside chimneys or under roof eaves. If you find a wasp or hornet nest in your home, you must not remove it on your own. This can aggravate the colony and cause them to sting. Professionals can examine the nest during the day and remove it at night when the majority of the wasps or hornets are in their shelter.

Yellow Jackets

Yellow jackets are predatory wasps. They build nests in attic eaves, wood piles, ground holes and inside the walls or attics of homes. There are a variety of species of native yellow jackets in New York. They’re attracted to sweets, such as fruits and sodas, so it’s common to spot them near picnic areas and garbage receptacles. Yellow jackets deliver painful stings and, when crushed, release alarm pheromones to attract other workers.

They are particularly active toward the end of the season, in August, September and October.


2. Beetles

There are many types of beetles in New York. Most beetles don’t carry diseases and rarely bite. If you have beetles in your home, the biggest risk is damage to belongings or contaminated food. Look for damage to clothing, carpeting, upholstered and wood furniture and food boxes. Here are the most common beetles in New York:

Ladybugs and Lady Beetles

If you’ve noticed an infestation of red beetles with black spots, they’re likely Asian lady beetles. These pests are an invasive species near-identical to the common ladybug. While ladybugs are highly beneficial and harmless insects that prefer forests and grassy areas, lady beetles seek warm spaces to hibernate over the winter. They can appear in a few colors, including yellow, orange and red, with a random number of spots on their wings.

While they may look like a ladybug, you can identify a lady beetle by the “M” shaped marker on their heads. And unlike ladybugs, lady beetles bite and leave foul-smelling residue wherever they gather. They may attempt to invade your home for shelter in the winter, gathering in large numbers near warm, reflective surfaces like windows.

Powderpost Beetles

Another common New York pest, the powderpost beetle, destroys wood and can cause structural damage to homes. Female powderpost beetles bore into the wood to lay their eggs within the cracks. After the larvae hatch, they feed on the wood and create tunnels, making their way out when they reach adulthood through tiny exit holes.

The term “powderpost beetle” describes several species of small insects that reduce wood to a flour-like powder. The tunnels they create are often hidden behind walls and sheetrock, making it essential to schedule an inspection by a trained pest control professional to determine whether you have an infestation.

Carpet Beetle

Three types of carpet beetle are common in New York — the furniture carpet beetle, the varied carpet beetle and the black carpet beetle. Adults are reddish-brown or black. They typically feed on plants outside and come inside to lay eggs. Larvae are striped and furry and eat natural fibers and grains. Because they are drawn to materials like wool, they can damage carpets, furniture and stored clothing and linens.

Carpet beetles are often found in groups and are attracted to light and heat, so look for them on your windowsills, under heaters and radiators, and where baseboards meet the floor. Like most beetles, these bugs don’t bite or carry disease. However, the hairs on larvae can cause skin irritation.

3. Blood Feeders

Several different species of pests feed on human or animal blood. Here are the top three blood-feeding pests in New York:

Bed Bugs

Bed bugs are nocturnal insects that feed on human or animal blood. They often hide in mattresses, box springs, headboards and bed frames, and the females deposit their eggs into cracks and crevices — making them difficult to find. After birth, bed bugs move through five stages, requiring blood with each transition. They may feed several times throughout each stage and are often very difficult to control.

Discarding or moving anything containing bed bugs can allow them to spread throughout the house. Bed bugs are also resistant to most over-the-counter pesticides, so it’s essential to contact professional pest control if you suspect they’ve invaded your home.


There are over 300 species of fleas in the U.S., though the one that poses the biggest threat to humans, our homes and pets is the cat flea. You can find these fleas all over New York, and they are most active between April and December. When ingested by dogs or cats, these fleas can cause tapeworms. When bitten by a flea, reactions can range from mildly itchy welts to lesions or rashes with the potential to spread severe or fatal diseases.

Any flea control program will identify the type of flea to understand its biology, life cycle and habits.


Ticks are common New York pests capable of transmitting diseases. They feed by latching onto an animal host and sucking its blood, allowing it to harbor and transmit diseases like Lyme disease and Rocky Mountain spotted fever. As a result, if you suspect a tick invasion, it’s essential to contact professionals who can provide an inspection and advise you on the best treatment plan for your property.


4. Flies

Flies are a common cause of contamination since they are as likely to land on garbage or waste as on food or food prep areas. They can also carry numerous disease-causing bacteria and are a serious health risk. Here are the kinds of flies you’re most likely to find in New York:

Cluster Flies

You’ll typically see cluster flies in the fall, winter and spring, especially on warm days. In the late summer, females lay their eggs in the soil. Within days, the eggs hatch and feed on earthworms. In late summer and early fall, as nights grow colder, adult cluster flies seek shelter in homes, where they remain for the winter.

Cluster flies are among the most common pests in New York, entering homes by squeezing through weatherstripping and tiny cracks. You can identify them by their behaviors. They fly much slower and less frantically than house flies, with their wings overlapping when at rest. And like their name, these flies cluster together. It’s best to call professional pest control in late summer and early fall to prevent and treat your home from infestation.

Drain Flies

Drain flies breed in drains, septic tanks and sewers. They are also known as “moth flies” because of their moth-like appearance. They gather at windows, darkened lamp shades, sinks, bathtubs, showers and floor drains. They’re also commonly found in basements, kitchens near fruit or decaying vegetable matter, or areas with defective plumbing where the drain traps are dry.

You can identify drain flies by their red eyes and tan, gray or black bodies covered in tiny hairs.

Fruit Flies

Fruit flies are among the most common New York pests. While they do not sting or bite, they can spread some diseases and bacteria on the food and surfaces they land on. These pests commonly enter homes on produce from stores. They can also enter homes through cracks and crevices to search for food and water.

You can identify a fruit fly by its red, brown or black eyes and translucent wings. They might have brown, tan or black bodies.

6. Wildlife

Countless native species were here before permanent residences and other buildings. Many have since adapted to live alongside humans. Even if these animals don’t come into your home, they can still be a nuisance. Many carry diseases such as rabies and other pests like fleas. In addition to the most common wildlife pests listed below, opossums, skunks and rabbits can also be a problem in New York.


Bats have silky, dark brown hair often compared to the color of cinnamon, pale gray bellies and black, hand-like wings. While beneficial to our environment, they will defend themselves if provoked or threatened. They are also known carriers of rabies and other health risks, so it is essential to contact professional pest services immediately if you find a bat in your home.

Bats can enter the home through small holes, gaps and openings on the exterior. You might notice bat droppings in attic insulation and other building materials. Female bats will typically reinfest the same roosting sites year after year, usually in late April. They produce one fully developed baby that can fly within four weeks.


Mice are among the most common pests in New York, and once they infest your home, you face a higher risk of becoming reinfested. These small rodents can fit into a hole the size of a dime. They are also excellent climbers and swimmers. Since their teeth constantly grow, they can cause a lot of damage, even chewing through electrical wires.

mice control program can ensure that once the mice are removed from your home, they won’t gain access in the future.


Moles are small mammals with velvety gray fur, stunted back legs and large paws for digging. They have a hairless pointed snout with small eyes and no visible ears. These common New York pests live their lives underground, digging tunnels and foraging for earthworms and insect larvae. While they may look like rodents, moles are insectivores and are more closely related to shrews and bats.

You can identify a mole infestation by their molehills or small mounds of dirt near the opening of their tunnels. Their burrowing habits can disfigure lawns, destroy flower beds, tear up grassroots and wreak havoc on gardens.


Whether they’re trying to take over your bird feeder or build nests in your attic, squirrels are among the most common pests in New York. They can severely damage your yard and house while carrying diseases like rabies, fleas, parasites and ticks. Anytime you have wildlife living in your attic or walls, it’s best to contact pest control professionals. They can safely locate nests and use humane traps to catch and release squirrels from your yard or home.


Raccoons are nocturnal and prefer forested areas near water. You can easily recognize them by their black mask and striped tail. Raccoons carry rabies and can transmit other diseases to humans. They can damage electrical wiring, insulation, shingles, siding and wooden structures in search of a suitable nesting location or materials. Raccoons are omnivores and may raid your garbage, help themselves to your garden or even kill fish and poultry.

Other Common Pests

Other Common Pests

In addition to the above categories of pests, a few other bugs may cause problems in or around your home. Look for these common pests:

Carpenter Ants

Carpenter ants can cause immense damage to one’s home and are often very difficult to control and keep out of the structure. For this reason, 100% satisfaction guarantees like the one offered at Pestech are practically unheard of in the pest control industry.

You can identify a carpenter ant by their large size and black, dark tan or mahogany coloring. While relatively harmless to people, carpenter ants can attack damp or weakened wood inside homes and businesses. You can identify a carpenter ant infestation by the fine sawdust they push out of their tunnels. You might notice these large ants foraging in the kitchen or outside the home.


There are a few types of cockroaches that make common pests in New York, living in businesses and homes. They carry and transmit diseases and bacteria while contaminating food. Before entering your home, they forage for food in dumpsters, sewers and drain pipes — making it essential to eliminate them quickly to prevent illness.

Pest control services can bait and spray while placing monitors to find the exact location of the cockroach harborage. The service is done once, though it requires three weekly retreats to fully control and eliminate them from your home.


Mosquitos are a dangerous pest common in New York that can remain active as long as the temperature exceeds 60 degrees. They often breed within basements and drains and cause itchy bites that can spread diseases like the Zika virus. A mosquito control and treatment program can rid these pesky insects from your yard and home.


New York State is home to many different species of spiders. Black widow and wolf spiders will bite in defense or if handled, though most other spiders aren’t risks to humans. Still, some are venomous and can pose a threat to humans. These arachnids can enter the home through tiny cracks and windows and will follow insects into well-lit spots to feed.

Pestech will spray for spiders and eliminate their food sources to make your home less attractive.

Stink Bugs

Stink bugs are other common New York pests that can cause damage to gardens and flowerbeds. In the winter, they migrate indoors to make nests in residential homes. Once inside, they can spread odor and congregate near light fixtures. Since they frequently reproduce, finding one stink bug in your home is a clear sign you will need professional stink bug control.

Pestech will treat your home’s exterior or attic to control these pests.


While harmless to humans, termites can wreak havoc on your home. These common New York pests are social insects that work together in underground nests. They are divided among their labor — kings and queens, workers and soldiers. The kings and queens are the reproductive members of the group and the largest, often black or brown with wings. The workers are a creamy white color and are blind. The soldiers look similar to the workers, except for their large jaws and elongated yellow heads.

While they primarily feed on dead or water-damaged wood, leaves and soil, termites will also damage sound wood should they find their way into a structure. Like other insects, termites take advantage of cracks, gaps and other openings on your home’s exterior. A professional termite control service is essential to eliminating termites.

Pestech Can Take Care of Your New York Pest Problems

When you have a pest problem, Pestech can help. We are proud to offer the highest quality service from the state’s largest family-owned pest management center. Our customer service provides a personal touch with an instant line of communication. Further, our 100% satisfaction guarantee ensures that even the most challenging problem gets solved, no matter the type of pest.

For pest control services, contact us today.