Learn more about common pests in TN
There are many different pests that invade homes here in Tennessee. Some are nothing more than a nuisance. Others may spread the disease to your family. A few can cause structural damage to your home. Click below to learn more about specific pests and what All-American can do to help you control them. If you do not see the pest you are looking for, please contact us.
Acrobat ants are a small species of ant with adults ranging in size from 1/16th to 1/8th of an inch.
American cockroaches are the largest of the home-infesting roaches, typically measuring between 1.5 and 2 inches in length.
This spider is the most common species to be found inside homes all across North America.
American House Spiders
Argentine ants are well-known for their extremely large colony sizes. A single colony could have hundreds of thousands of workers and hundreds of queens in it.
Contrary to popular belief, the Asian lady beetle is NOT a ladybug. These beetles were originally introduced into the United States to control aphid populations.
Asian Lady Beetles
The black widow spider is a species of venomous spider that lives in most counties in Tennessee. They are glossy black in color and have a distinct orange or red hourglass shape on their bellies.
Black Widow Spiders
Bottle flies are a large fly that can grow to be 1/8th to 5/8th of an inch in length. They are metallic green or blue and create a loud buzzing sound as they move around.
Boxelder bugs are fall pests. It is black with red markings along the edge of its wings and traditionally measures 1/2 inch in length.
These pests are common in the Northeastern, Southern, and Midwest regions of the U.S. The brown banded cockroach received its name from the tan bands that cross their wings. This same banding is found on the bodies of adults, young cockroaches, or nymphs.
Brown Banded Cockroaches
Brown recluse spiders are medium-sized and range in length from ¼ to ¾ of an inch. These spiders are venomous and are found in every county in Tennessee.
Brown Recluse Spiders
Camel crickets are wingless insects with legs that resemble a spider’s. Camel crickets have also been referred to as cave crickets, cave wetas, and spider crickets.
Unlike other ants (such as odorous ants and other nuisances), carpenter ants are much larger. They range from 1/8 to 1/2 of an inch in length. Carpenter ants are often mistaken for swarming termites. But, if you know what to look for, you can distinguish the two.
Carpenter bees are a large species of bee commonly found in Middle Tennessee.
They range in size from ½ to 1½ inches in length.
They are a common pest with three species being most often identified: the varied carpet beetle, the common carpet beetle, and the furniture carpet beetle. All three are about the same size, ranging in length from 1/8 – 3/16 of an inch.
Commonly referred to as “daddy long legs”, cellar spiders have distinctive long, skinny legs and a very small body. As their name suggests, these spiders tend to live in and hang out in dark, damp areas like basements.
The body of a centipede can measure from 1/8 of an inch to 6 inches in length. These insects are easily recognizable and can be found throughout the United States.
Cigarette beetles are a species of stored product pest that is known for their humped appearance which is due to their head being bent downward at a right angle. Cigarette beetles are oval and can be red, yellow or brown.
There are two types of clothes moths that will commonly infest Tennessee homes and they include the casemaking clothes moth and the webbing clothes moth. The adult clothes moth is approximately half an inch in length and a yellowish-tan color.
Clover mites are tiny. They measure only about 1/30 of an inch in length, which is smaller than a pinhead. They belong to the arachnid family and therefore have eight legs.
Cluster flies are often mistaken for the common house fly, but there are some differences that make the cluster fly unique. Cluster flies are bigger, with the adults growing to be between 3/8th and ½ of an inch in length.
Drain flies are a small fly species with adults growing to be 1/5th to 1/16th of an inch in length. They are gray to black; and under magnification, it can be seen that their body is covered in a coating of fuzzy hair.
The drug store beetle received its name because they are frequently found feeding on drugs in pharmacies, but they will also happily feed on dry food goods like flour products, spices, seeds, dry pet food, along with non-food items like wool, aluminum foil, leather, and books.
Drug Store Beetles
Earwigs may best be known for the myth associated with them—that they crawl into sleeping people’s ears and burrow into their brains to lay eggs. This, of course, is false.
Fire ant populations have spread all across the U.S., especially the southern states, including Tennessee. They are a very aggressive species of ant that will run towards a disturbance of their nest and deliver a very painful sting.
Firebrats look very similar to silverfish and are often confused with them. They are equipped with a very long pair of antennae and grow to be about ½ an inch in length.
Fleas are external wingless parasites that feed on the blood of their hosts. They have a hard flat body that measures 1/8 of an inch in length.
They measure about 1/8 of an inch in length and are tan and black in color with bright red eyes. Fruit flies feed and lay their eggs in rotting or fermenting fruit.
Alongside the American cockroach, one of the most common species of cockroach found in the United States and Tennessee is the German cockroach (also known as waterbugs).
Granary weevils are a type of stored product pest and are a brownish red color. An interesting fact of granary weevils is that when adults are disturbed they will play dead.
Ground beetles can range in size from 1/8 of an inch to one inch in length. They have three pairs of legs and can move very quickly.
One of the most common pests found in Tennessee homes is the house fly. House flies need a water source because they constantly salivate; they use their saliva to liquefy solid foods because they are only able to ingest liquids.
House spiders are commonly found in Tennessee and throughout the rest of the United States. They will range in size from 3/16 to 5/16 of an inch.
Indian meal moths are also referred to as pantry pests, stored product pests and/or food infesting pests. They are winged insects that are capable of flying.
Indian Meal Moths
Jumping spiders are a species of spider that is active during the daytime. They have excellent eyesight, are very successful predators, and can jump as high as 25 time their own size.
Kudzu bugs are a type of true bug, but because of their appearance, many people think that they are beetles, when, in fact, they are actually more closely related to stink bugs.
Little black ants are native to the United States and, like many other ant species, they are social insects that live in large colonies. As their name suggests, they are very small in size with workers of the colony only measuring about 1.5 mm in length.
Little Black Ants
Adult merchant grain beetles are brown in color, they have 6 legs, antennae, and have an oval narrow shaped body with a flattened head. They also have 6 saw-like teeth that are found on either side of their head.
Merchant Grain Beetles
The house mouse and deer mouse are the two species of mice most common to middle Tennessee homes and businesses. The common house mouse is 5 1/2 to 7 inches in length with large ears and small dark eyes; they are grey or brown in color with a light tan belly.
Although its name suggests it has a thousand legs, the millipede actually only has between 80 and 400 legs. Contrary to popular belief, millipedes are actually an arthropod, not an insect.
Mosquitoes are members of the same insect order as flies and gnats. They are 1/4 to 3/8 of an inch in length with a round head and slim body.
The mud dauber is a species of wasp that is solitary and therefore do not live in colonies. These pests get their name from the fact that they construct their nests out of mud.
Norway rats are a species of rodent with small bulging black eyes, a blunt nose, small ears, and a heavy body. Their fur is shaggy in appearance and is usually brown and scattered with black hairs.
Odorous house ants are a common ant species that invade Tennessee homes. As their name suggests, when these ants are crushed they give off a foul “rotten-coconut” smell.
Odorous House Ants
Orb spiders are named after their distinctive round, wheel-shaped webs that they create to catch prey in. They are also called garden spiders because they are most commonly found outside in your landscaping.
The oriental cockroach is a large cockroach species that is commonly found in Tennessee and many parts of the country. Like American cockroaches, Oriental roaches are an occasional invader and will enter homes and businesses from the outside.
Paper wasps get their name from the umbrella-shaped nests that they create from paper-like material. They are considered to be only semi-social insects and live together in small colonies.
Pavement ants are a docile species of ant that, as their name suggests, can be found nesting and living underneath pavement and concrete structures. Adult workers grow to be about 1/8th of an inch in length; the queens grow a bit bigger in size.
Pharaoh ants are amber or yellowish color and have a dark brown or black abdomen. Workers grow to be about 1/16th of an inch in length with the queens being slightly larger in size growing to 1/8th of an inch in length.
Phorid flies are a small fly species with adults growing to between 1/16th and 1/8th of an inch in length. They are dark brown to black and are commonly referred to as “humpbacked flies”.
Adult pill bugs grow to be about ½ an inch in length, they have 7 pairs of legs, two antennae, and are brown or gray. When they feel scared or are being threatened, they will roll themselves into a complete ball.
These winged insects are reddish-brown to black and have four yellow or reddish spots on the corners of their forewings. Their “nose” is very distinctive as it is about 1/3 of its total body length.
Roof rats are dark brown or black in color with a contrasting lighter-colored underbelly, their tail grows longer than their body. Roof rats have a pointed nose, along with large ears and eyes.
Adult sawtooth beetles grow to be about 1/8th of an inch in length and have a long, flattened, narrow body. As their name suggests, they have rows of saw-like teeth located on the first body segment found behind their head.
Silverfish have been appropriately named as their entire body is covered in silver scales. Silverfish measure between ½ to ¾ of an inch in length and their body is teardrop-shaped.
Sow bugs, also known as "roly poly" bugs, are rounded on top, flat on the bottom, and have armadillo-like segments covering their body. Adult sow bugs grow to be about ½ an inch in length.
Springtails are a type of arthropod. They are very tiny, only reaching about the size of a pinhead.
Brown marmorated stink bugs are part of the group of pests known as fall invaders. Stink bugs are easy to recognize because of the triangular-shaped plates on their backs (earning them the nickname "shield bugs”).
Eastern subterranean termites are destructive wood-destroying insects commonly found in Nashville, throughout Middle Tennessee, and most of the U.S.
Ticks are an external parasite that feed on the blood of mammals. There are up to 15 species of ticks that live in Tennessee.
Wolf spiders are found throughout the United States and are generally dark brown in color with pale, cream, or even yellow stripes or markings.
Yellow jackets are social insects that live and work together, gathering food for the colony. Their colonies can become very large, sometimes having more than 4,000 workers associated with a single colony.
Zipper spiders are also known as “yellow garden spiders”. These spiders can be quite large, with the females growing up to 30mm in length. The males are much smaller though, only growing to be about 8mm.