Common Pests in Virginia and How to Keep Them Out of Your Home

Rodent free home in West Virginia

Virginia is known for its lush greenery and natural landscapes, but with that comes a plethora of common pests that can invade your home. These pests can range from ants, centipedes, millipedes, spiders, pill bugs, stink bugs, silverfish, and more. Understanding the habits and characteristic features of each type of pest can help homeowners identify them and take appropriate measures to prevent their entry into the home.

The most common pests in Virginia are:


Ants are common household pests in Virginia. They enter homes in search of food and water, and can quickly establish colonies. They come in various colors and sizes, but most species are small and black or brown. Carpenter ants are larger and can cause structural damage to wooden elements in your home.

Effective pest control solutions for ants include using ant baits, baits that contain insecticide, and natural remedies such as diatomaceous earth and vinegar.

Centipedes and Millipedes

Both centipedes and millipedes are common in Virginia. They have elongated bodies with multiple legs and can be a couple of inches long. Centipedes have one set of legs per body segment, while millipedes have two. Both prefer dark and damp environments and can be found in basements and crawl spaces.

If you are facing a centipede infestation, it is recommended to use a vacuum to remove visible centipedes and their eggs. Applying insecticide around baseboards and in potential hiding places such as behind appliances and furniture can also be effective. It is important to follow the instructions on the insecticide label and use caution when applying it.


Virginia is home to many species of spiders, but the brown recluse and black widow are the most venomous. Brown recluses have a distinctive violin-shaped mark on their thorax and prefer dark and warm environments. Black widows have a shiny black body with a red hourglass shape on their abdomen. Some ways to prevent against spiders are:

  • Eliminate clutter and keep storage areas clean and well-lit.
  • Seal cracks and gaps in doors, windows, and walls.
  • Remove debris and woodpiles from near the house, as these can attract black widows and other pests.

Pill Bugs

Also known as roly-polies, pill bugs have a hard, segmented shell and roll up into a ball when disturbed. They are not harmful but can be a nuisance in large numbers.

In the garden, it is important to keep areas clean and free of organic debris as pill bugs are attracted to damp, decaying matter. Additionally, you can reduce their numbers by applying pesticides designed to control their population. By taking these steps, you can help to prevent pill bugs from becoming a nuisance in your home or damaging your garden.

Stink Bugs

Stink bugs emit a pungent odor as a defense mechanism when feeling threatened. They are a common outdoor pest in Virginia, but can also invade homes in the fall when seeking shelter for the winter.

For stink bug prevention you can also use some simple DIY tricks to lure them away from your house. One such method involves using sticky traps or DIY stink bug traps that can be easily created using small jars filled with soapy water. Place these traps around areas where stink bugs are commonly found, such as windows and doors, and wait for the bugs to get trapped.


Silverfish are known for their silver color and tapered bodies with numerous legs. They thrive in warm and humid environments and can often be found in bathrooms and kitchens.

If you're already dealing with silverfish in your home, there are natural and chemical control options that can help eliminate them. Diatomaceous earth is a popular natural option that effectively kills silverfish by dehydrating them. Simply sprinkle a thin layer of diatomaceous earth in areas where silverfish are commonly found and leave it for a few days.

How to Prevent All Common Virginia Pests

To prevent these pests from entering your home, there are several measures you can take. Sealing cracks and crevices around doors and windows, installing screens, and sealing gaps around pipes and utility openings can all help prevent pests from entering.

  • Keeping food and trash sealed and stored properly
  • Vacuuming regularly
  • Trimming trees and shrubs away from the house

If you do find pests in your home, there are DIY methods to try, such as using essential oils, diatomaceous earth, and boric acid. However, for more severe infestations or for those who prefer professional assistance, contacting a pest control company is recommended.

In conclusion, common pests in Virginia can be a nuisance, but with proper prevention measures and solutions, they can be kept out of your home. Stay vigilant and take proactive measures to prevent their entry, and in the event of an infestation, know when to call a professional for assistance.

Call a Professional Exterminator to Help

If the pest infestation is severe or persists despite your efforts, it's time to call a professional exterminator. Pest control professionals, like Petti Pest Control, have the knowledge, tools, and experience to eliminate pests safely and efficiently.

In conclusion, getting rid of household pests in Virginia requires a combination of preventative measures, natural remedies, and traps, chemical solutions, and, in severe cases, professional extermination. By following these steps, you can enjoy a pest-free home.

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