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Common Pests

Common Household Pests Facts

  • Regularly check your stored food products for pests. Moths and beetles love dry cereals, flour, spices, candies and chocolate.
  • Bed bugs can inhabit even the cleanest of houses. Simply changing the linens on your bed won’t eradicate an infestation of bed bugs.
  • Moths love clothing, especially woolens. Be sure to store your winter wear in moth-proof bags or containers.
  • Cockroaches in your house can survive without food for a whole month, but they can only live without water for about a week. Keep your kitchen area dry – don’t soak dishes in the sink for days on end!

Nothing can ruin a relaxing moment at home or a positive customer experience like a roach crawling up your wall or across the floor. American Pest Control will help you prevent or exterminate any bug or pest problems you may have and help keep your environment bug-free. The most common household pests include roaches, ants, fleas, ticks, spiders, and house centipedes.

Preventive measures such as keeping a clean home will help keep away these common pests, but to ensure their complete removal and prevention, you need a qualified exterminator to handle the job. In areas surrounding Birmingham, Mountain Brook, Homewood, Vestavia Hills, Bessemer, Clanton, Centerpoint, and Cullman, call American Pest Control for a free evaluation and estimate of your pest control needs.

Common Pest Control

Hornets, Bees & Wasps

Our customers are quick to call if they have an infestation of stinging hornets, wasps, or bees. Hornets are characterized by their large size and aerial nests. Common hornets are the Yellowjacket, with its black and yellow head and patterned abdomen and the Bald-faced Hornet, which is black with a mostly white face. The giant European Hornets were introduced into the U.S. in the 1800s and unlike most other hornets, are active at night.

There are many species of bees – some of which are actually considered beneficial, like Bumble Bees. Bumble Bees pollinate crops and plants, but they can sting when agitated. Carpenter Bees look like Bumble Bees, but often lack yellow stripes. They can bore into a victim like a carpenter bores into wood. Honey bees are social insect found throughout the world. Because they pollinate more than 100 crops in the U.S., they are considered beneficial bees as well, even though they, too, can sting. The Killer Bees masquerade as honey bees; in fact, the only way to accurately tell them apart is to measure their length. Killer Bees are the stars of horror movies; they have been known to chase people for more than a quarter of a mile once they get excited and aggressive.

The most common wasps are Paper Wasps, so named because they use paper-like material to build their aerial nests. Eradicating them is tricky, since they will swarm out of the nest and strike if disturbed. Open Pipe Mud Daubers construct most of their nests from mud, and the good news is that even though they’re a nuisance, they rarely sting.

Stinging pests send more than 500,000 people to the emergency room each year. Stinging is the way these insects protect their colonies or larvae, and they will sting repeatedly when aggravated. Such stings can be deadly in those with allergies to bee poison.

For Birmingham pest control call American Pest Control to help you get rid of stinging insects in your home or business.


The most common ticks we’re called about are American Dog Ticks, which are found only in North America and like to latch on to your favorite canine. A close relative is the Brown Dog Tick, which prefers dogs, but will also bite humans if a dog isn’t available. Ticks like the Blacklegged Deer Tick are commonly found in the woods. The tick most prone to bite humans is the Lone Star Tick, which gets its name from the single silvery-white spot on the female’s back. We frequently see these ticks in Alabama.

Between May and October each year, Lyme Disease is transmitted by ticks to humans. Though Lyme Disease was once more prevalent in the Northeast and West, the number of cases in the South is increasing. Lyme Disease is considered a serious health hazard. You can tell if you’ve been bitten by a tick with Lyme Disease if the bite is surrounded by a red “bull’s-eye” rash and you feel flu-like symptoms and extreme fatigue.

For Birmingham pest control call American Pest Control to help you get rid of the ticks in your home or business.


Ah, the dreaded roach! Other than termites, cockroaches are the reason for most of our panic calls from home and business owners. Nothing is more embarrassing than having a roach race across the floor in the middle of a visit from a friend or client. The exterminators at American Pest Control know how to locate roach infestations and their access sites. Then they use the safest and most effective treatments to eradicate these nasty beasts from your home, once and for all.

Roaches are despised because they look so creepy with their skinny legs and rotating antennae. They can be a health hazard, since they can trigger asthma attacks, especially in children. The National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences reports that one in five children has sensitivities to cockroach allergens, which are introduced into the home through roach saliva, droppings, and decomposing bodies. Cockroaches also spread nearly 32 kinds of bacteria, including E.coli and Salmonella, which can contaminate cooking utensils, food, and food surfaces.

The German cockroach is the most common variety. It can breed at a rate of up to six generations per year and can squeeze through an opening as wide as 3/8 inch. Oriental cockroaches are sometimes called “waterbugs” because they come out of drains. You can identify an Oriental cockroach by its strong, nasty, “roachy” odor. Brownbanded cockroach males can actually fly, though the female’s underdeveloped wings keep her on the ground. Flying cockroaches can live for more than 200 days. The largest of the roaches is the American cockroach, which was probably introduced via ships from Africa in the 1600s.

For Birmingham pest control call American Pest Control to exterminate the roaches in your home or business.


If a rat or mouse sends shivers down your spine, you’re not alone. It’s frightening to have these relatively large creatures infesting your home or business. That’s why it’s important to call American Pest Control immediately if you see mouse or rat droppings or the rodents themselves. They multiply rapidly, so waiting for help will only make the problem grow.

Mice can squeeze through spaces as small as a dime and rats can fit through spaces the size of a quarter. House mice are the most common rodent pest throughout the world. They breed rapidly and can adapt quickly to changing conditions. A female mouse can give birth to a half-dozen babies every three weeks, and can produce as many as 35 babies per year. Roof Rats are common in Alabama and are often found in attics. If you’ve heard the patter of little feet in your attic, chances are that Roof Rats have set up housekeeping there. Like their cousins, Norway Rats, Roof Rats cause significant structural damage with their gnawing.

Often the first sign of a rat infestation is rodent droppings, which you may see in your pantry area, under baseboards, and along walls. These droppings can not only cause allergic reactions, but can also cause diseases, including the potentially deadly Hantavirus. Rodents carry bacteria like Salmonella on their bodies and can contaminate kitchen surfaces and equipment.

For Birmingham pest control call American Pest Control to exterminate the rats and rodents in your home or business.


The good news is that of the 700+ species of ants in the U.S., only about 25 types are nuisances at home. The bad news is that those “nuisance” ants will eat any kind of food, and have a special love for sweets. You may find ants marching in a line across your kitchen countertop or scurrying around cracks in the concrete in your driveway. Common in Alabama is an infestation of “Fire Ants”, which build their nests in various parts of your yard and attack when disturbed. Every area of the country harbors some species of ants, even at altitudes up to 8,000 feet. Getting rid of these nuisance pests is easy with the professional services of American Pest Control. We can identify the type of ant you’re dealing with and then use the safest and most effective treatment to eradicate the ant colonies.

Of the 700+ types of ants in the nation, you’re probably very familiar with only a few. One good example is Carpenter Ants, which excavate wood in order to build their nests, making smooth tunnels in the wood. These are the kinds of ants you may see in a science project ant farm. Another common Alabama problem ant is the Pavement ant, which makes its nests in or under cracks in pavement as well as in structures.

Because ants are social creatures, spotting one usually means that many more are somewhere close behind. They can contaminate your food and food surfaces as they creep around your pantries and around your sinks.

For Birmingham pest control call American Pest Control to help you get rid of the ants in your home or business.

Other Household Pests

Moths and Merchant Grain Beetles are common household pests that feed on stored products in pantries and cabinets, such as flour, dry cereals, spices candies and chocolate. Nothing is more disgusting than opening a box to find pests inside. American Pest Control can make sure your kitchen is pest-free and your groceries are free of bugs.

Bed Bugs are another frequent reason for calls to American Pest Control. Bed Bugs are small, flat, parasitic insects that feed solely on the blood of people and animals while they sleep. They can live for several months without a blood meal. Bed Bugs can inhabit even the cleanest of homes or apartments. They hide during the day in the seams of mattresses, box springs, bed frames, headboards, or in objects around the bed. They have been known to be able to travel more than 100 feet in a single night, but they generally live within eight feet of where people are sleeping. The Centers for Disease Control says Bed Bugs should not be considered a public health hazard, but they can cause itching and loss of sleep and sometimes even a secondary skin infection from excessive itching. They can also trigger allergic reactions in sensitive people. You can even take your Bed Bugs with you when you travel; they can hide out in suitcases, suit bags, and tote bags. It’s hard to be sure if you have an infestation of Bed Bugs, but you can look for bite marks on your body after sleeping and examine the bedclothes for the bugs’ exoskeletons after molting, rusty-colored blood spots from their fecal material, and a sweet, musty odor.

For Birmingham pest control call American Pest Control to help you get rid of the bugs in your home or business.

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