The 10 Most Common Pests And How To Get Rid Of Them


Ants, cockroaches, or silverfish - nobody wants these little crawling guests in the house or apartment. But most of the time they came to stay. Getting rid of them can be tricky at times. Depending on the pest and the extent of the infestation, you can fight the beasts yourself or hire an expert in pest control.

We have researched the 10 most common pests what the causes of their occurrence are and what measures can be taken against them. Here you can find more information about pest control companies.

Pest Control: The 10 Most Common Pests

1. Ants

Ants are wonderful little creatures that enrich nature. However, if ants move into the domestic area, they become a nuisance. Three species of ants are most commonly found in the house or apartment.

The garden ants are storage pests that feed on food in the house and are also attracted by them. They are the most common type of ants that cause trouble around the house. Their bites are annoying and unpleasant, but not dangerous.

The wood ants attack wood, which can lead to massive material damage to the house. These ants grow up to 1 cm in size and are reddish-brown in color.

The pharaoh ants are particularly small at 3 mm and have a light yellow color. In contrast to the other species, the pharaoh ants pose a threat to humans because they can transmit diseases.

Causes of ants in the house

Ants get into the house while searching for food. They slip into the interior through gaps in windows or doors.

Measures against ants

First of all, it is necessary to find out what kind of ant it is. If you've spotted wood ants or pharaoh ants in your home, seek professional help as these ants can do a lot of damage in a short amount of time. Only with professional pest control can you be sure that your four walls will soon be completely ants-free again. If they are garden ants, you can fight the ant invasion yourself with the following measures.

Seal food well: Since garden ants are greedy for food and are also attracted by it, it is best to close food well (seal it tightly) and store it in a way that is out of the reach of small pests. This helps in the fight against the beasts and is also a good method to prevent the plague of ants.

Cleanliness in the apartment: Everything that ants find delicious must be removed from the apartment. This means that you must remove any cookie crumbs or leftover pet food and also empty the garbage bag regularly.

Seal entry points into the house: All possible places where the ants enter the house must be sealed. All window and door seals must be inspected. If necessary, seal gaps or cracks!

Disorientate through smells: If you put strongly smelling herbs such as lavender flowers, lemon herbs, or thyme on the ant trail, the ants will be disoriented and deterred by the strong smell.

Bait traps: If you want to take more radical measures, you can set up a bait trap in the house, which kills the ants by the poison. In any case, you have to make sure that you place the bait in such a way that children or pets cannot reach it!


2. Pigeons

Pigeons are increasingly found in large cities. Between 130,000 and 150,000 pigeons live in Vienna alone. This high number brings two serious problems for residents of the city: an economic one and a healthy one. Pigeons produce a lot and very aggressive, acidic excrement, which destroys the facades of buildings, sidewalks, balconies, or window sills. In Vienna alone, renovation costs run into millions every year.

Pigeons also transmit diseases such as salmonella; the bird droppings are highly infectious and get into the air when they are swirled up. In addition, pigeons are very often attacked by bird mites or ticks, which can spread to humans.

Causes of the pigeon plague

The reason for the huge number of pigeons in big cities is an oversupply of food. They often build their nesting places on balconies, in gutters, or on wall ledges, which leads to frequent deposits of excrement in these places.

Measures against pigeons

To prevent pigeon droppings on balconies and window sills around the house or apartment, measures must be taken to keep the pigeons away from the apartment.

Scare off pigeons: Probably the easiest way to take action against annoying pigeons is to scare them off, for example with a plastic rift, wind turbines, or rotating mirrors. Since pigeons are considered to be particularly adaptable, it is important to always place these deterrent elements elsewhere.

Install spikes: Spike systems are especially ideal for window sills, as they prevent the pigeons from landing. While spikes don't look particularly good, they are extremely effective and won't harm the animals.

Tension the net: When a larger area has to be protected from pigeons, e.g. B. a balcony, it can be useful to stretch a net over this area.


3. Rats

“He who feeds pigeons feeds rats” - these signs can often be found in Vienna and also show what these undesirable guests have in common. Just like pigeons, rats transmit diseases such as tuberculosis, typhus, or salmonellosis. Their excrement also pollutes people's living space. Rats are intelligent, tenacious, and adaptable animals. They eat almost anything and can only get into apartments and houses through very narrow crevices.

Causes of rats in the house

Rats usually get into the house on the searcher for food. They are attracted by open garbage cans, leftover food on the compost heap, or by food that has been disposed of in the toilet. The small mammals get into the house or apartment in many different ways, either via pipes, openings for supply lines, elevator shafts, or crevices in the wall. When rats have found a warm home, they usually make themselves comfortable in the attic and build a nest there. In the event of a rat infestation, professional pest control is strongly recommended!

Measures against rats

If you have seen rats in your house or apartment, it is necessary to act as soon as possible. They can cause major material damage, as they gnaw everything that comes in their way with their almost indestructible incisors. You can use the following measures:

Close entry points into the house: All possible conceivable entry points for rats must be researched and removed. This includes door gaps, gaps in windows or walls, ventilation shafts, or drainage systems. These entry points must be sealed, for example by installing grids in front of them. Backflow flaps can be installed in drainage systems.

Providing no food for rats: That means no flushing food down the toilet, no cooked food thrown on the compost heap, no garbage cans closed, and no pet food leftovers.

Get a cat: A very environmentally friendly and effective remedy against rats is to get a house cat. The house tiger will catch the rats for you with pleasure.

Snap traps: These work just like mouse traps, the rats are lured by a bait and then killed with the snapping trap.

Live trap: This can be used to catch the animals alive, but the rat must then be left as far from the house as possible. Otherwise, she'll come back immediately.

Rat poison: This should be used with great care, as pets or children must not come into contact with it.


4. Mice

Mice, like rats, count among the storage pests because they are attracted by food. They have very similar properties and behaviors to rats. They are very resistant, adaptable, and therefore reproduce quite quickly. Mice feed on everything they find in food, including nuts, pastries, cheese, cereals, but also enjoy insects. You will notice a mouse infestation in your apartment when you find gnaw marks on a wide variety of things such as cables or furniture. Mice are also disease carriers.

To get rid of them, the same measures as for rats can be used (see above). You can also find detailed information about repelling mice in the house or apartment in the blog article “How do I get rid of mice? "

5. Cockroaches

Cockroaches have feared visitors to the kitchen - and not without good reason! These pests contaminate food and transmit disease. Therefore, you should take an infestation very seriously and take action against it immediately! The most common cockroaches in Austria are the German cockroach and the oriental cockroach. The German cockroach is also called the common cockroach, is approx. 13 mm tall and yellow-brown with 2 dark stripes on the body. The oriental cockroach, also known as the cockroach or cockroach, is already relatively large at approx. 25 mm. The male cockroaches are brown, the female black. Cockroaches are thought to be incredibly resistant. Supposedly they even have an atomic bomb test on that Bikini Atoll survived. Cockroaches are nocturnal and mostly live in dark and humid places. They are omnivores, which means they will enjoy themselves with whatever they can find, including cloth or rotten food.

Important: If cockroaches are infested in a rented apartment, you must report the infestation to the landlord within 2 weeks. In most cases, the landlord pays the pest control costs, unless the tenant caused or contributed to the infestation.

Causes of cockroaches in the house

The causes of a cockroach infestation are diverse, but most of the time it is because cockroaches or their eggs have been carried into the apartment. This can be done, for example, by buying fruit or bringing the uninvited guests with you from vacation. Sometimes cockroaches also find their way through pipes from one already infested apartment to another. Poor hygiene in the apartment is usually not the cause of the appearance of cockroaches, although outdated food scraps can attract cockroaches.

Measures against cockroaches

It makes sense to look for the cockroach's hiding place first. It's best to look out for them in warm, dark places, such as in the laundry room, boiler room, kitchen, in corners, or cracks. At night, cockroaches usually come out of their hiding place, that's the best way to catch them. With sticky traps, you can tell from the cockroaches that stick to it whether and how many cockroaches are in your apartment.

Cockroaches can almost exclusively only be removed by professional exterminators, as they and their eggs are incredibly resistant. If they can survive a nuclear explosion, it is unlikely that you can scare them away with essential oils. But what you can do yourself to improve the situation is the following:

Stow all food supplies tightly closed

Thorough cleaning of the infested places


6. Flies

There are numerous types of flies - the housefly, the meat fly, the blowfly, the getaway fly - all of which are bothersome. What they all have in common, moreover, are large pinpoint eyes and a fairly compact body. Flies are harmful to health because they spoil food. This can happen by laying eggs on the food or transferring bacteria to the food. Always remember: the fly that was previously sitting on a dung heap could be the same fly that is now climbing around on your cake.

Causes of flies in the house

Flies mostly get into the apartment or house through the window. They are often attracted by the food.

Measures against flies

In most cases, individual flies can be removed or kept away by simple means.

Adhesive tape: Adhesive tapes are hung in infested rooms. The flies are attracted by a scent and stick to it.

Fly swatter: The classic fly swatter is an effective and quick remedy for individual flies.

Flyscreens: To prevent flies, it pays to install fly screens on the windows.

Cover food: Many flies are attracted by food standing around. This means that food should be kept out of the reach of flies.

Locking up garbage: The garbage should not be accessible to flying pests.

Dispose of leftover food: It is best to always dispose of leftover food immediately and wash the dishes or stow them in the dishwasher.


7. Bed bugs

Bed bugs can be described as tiny, pesky vampires - they suck human blood and are nocturnal. They are paper-thin, have a red-brown color, and are approx. 3-5mm long. Bed bugs are always around people because they live in their blood. They can often be found behind wallpaper, cracks in the wall, behind light switches, or under carpets. They often leave row-like bite marks on people's skin.

Cause of bed bugs in the house

Most often, bed bugs are brought into their own homes from the hotel when they are on vacation. Bed bugs can also be hidden in older pieces of furniture or used blankets and upholstery.

Measures against bed bugs

Find the hiding place of the beasts - and destroy! But that is easier said than done!

Finding the hiding place: Armed with a magnifying glass, you should go looking and look in all possible cracks and crevices in the apartment.

The infested piece of furniture, if possible, dispose of.

Washing bedclothes: It is also important to wash bedclothes as hot as possible.

The rest, i.e. mattresses, upholstery, etc. must be treated with a steam cleaning device. This can be borrowed from Boles, for example, or bought in the warehouse.

In the event of a bed bug infestation, professional pest control is strongly recommended!


8. Wasps

Wasps are actually wrongly on the list here, as they are considered beneficial insects and not pests. Wasps even feed on pests such as aphids and maintain an economic balance. Nevertheless, people often suffer from wasps - mostly from the German wasp and the common wasp, because they disturb the comfortable seating on the balcony or in the garden and want to eat with them. Wasps are particularly dangerous for people who show allergic reactions to wasp stings.

Causes of wasps in the home or garden

Wasps are mostly attracted to sugary foods and meat. They have an extremely good sense of smell and this is how they find their way to your food on the balcony. If you are dealing with an unusually high number of wasps, then there may be a wasp nest nearby.

Measures against wasps

Wasp nests in the immediate vicinity of the apartment or house should be removed by a pest control expert. It is not advisable to lend a hand here yourself. If you are only dealing with a few wasps, the following measures against wasps can be helpful:

Cover drinks and food outdoors

Remove fallen fruit

Do not wear colorful clothes or flowery perfume

At a distant place, the wasps can be offered sweet fruit so that they leave the lunch table alone.

Wasps can be kept away with lemon wedges, tea tree oil, or cloves.


9. Silverfish

Silverfish are about 1 cm tall, metallic-looking, and very nimble insects. They are nocturnal and live in warm places with high humidity, i.e. mostly in the bathroom or in the laundry room. Silverfish are not classified as hazardous to health. On the contrary, they even eat mold and dust mites and are actually doing people a favor, but we still find them repulsive.

Causes of silverfish in the house

If they find enough food (dust mites, clothing, wallpaper), the humidity in the room is high and there are cracks in wallpaper or floors for a living, silverfish can appear. With such optimal living conditions, they can also reproduce well.

Measures against silverfish

Ventilate well! This is the most important measure against nimble insects. It is best to dry it several times a day and especially after showering or washing.

Any gaps and cracks in the bathroom close. As a result, they no longer have any living space.

Silverfish can be caught with a damp cloth that has been dusted with sugar.


10. Food moths

The moths, which are most commonly found in the kitchen, the Indian meal moth, the flour moth, and Pyralis Farinalis. Food moths can grow up to 2 cm. They prefer to eat flour, muesli, dried fruit, or nuts.

Cause of food moths in the house

Mostly food moths are brought in via already infected products from the grocery store. Sometimes moths find their way into the kitchen through the window. Unfortunately, when you have a moth infestation you not only have to do with the flying moths themselves, but also with their larvae, which mercilessly eat their way through the food packaging. Moths can be recognized by spun larvae, threads in food, damage caused by eating or molting residues.

Measures against food moths

  • Infested food must be disposed of immediately.
  • You can blow out the boxes with a hairdryer - the heat kills the hidden eggs.
  • Seal new food airtight.
  • Moth paper attracts moths with an active ingredient, which then sticks to the paper. This can also be used to test whether there are still moths in the kitchen.
  • In extreme cases, many parasitic wasps are used as an aid. These lay their eggs in the moth's eggs and destroy them in this way. The parasitic wasps then die themselves.

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